Category Archives: Medicine

Is Progress Outpacing Precaution? Experts Weigh In

Illustration by An Arres.

No one expects the machinery of progress to roll backwards, but sometimes it seems that no one is watching the speedometer (or manning the brakes, assuming any exist).  Is this a fair assessment? If so, should we be worried — and what can we do about it?

In this feature, experts on technology, risk, science, policy and neuroscience discuss risk, innovation and how our values affect our conceptions of both.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
ASU Experts Weigh the Risks of Innovation

Genome Map Hints at How Desert Tortoise Overcomes Natural, Human Dangers

Photo by Sandra Leander, Arizona State University.

Researchers have finished the first full genome map of the threatened Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), also known as Agassiz’s desert tortoise.

They hope their findings will inform conservation efforts, improve understanding of its evolutionary past and potentially contribute  to  human medicine.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Desert Tortoise Genome Reveals Genetic Keys to Surviving Harsh Conditions, Threats

Biomarker-Based Concussion Test Passes Key Milestone

Diagram by Patrick J. Lynch, medical illustrator; C. Carl Jaffe, MD, cardiologist.

In one five-year period, college athletes suffered more than 10,000 concussions — one-third of them while playing football. But an unusual team-up has recently brought a new, biomarker-based concussion test one step closer.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
TGen, ASU And Riddell Team Up To Create New Concussion Test

Zebrafish Make a Big Splash in Arizona Medical Research

Photo by Nicholas Gerbis.

Mammals might seem like better human stand-ins than a minnow’s striped cousin, but zebrafish resemble us in surprising and useful ways. But zebrafish also offer practical advantages over other model species: They’re cheap, hardy, breed like rabbits on Viagra, and their skin can be made transparent.

To find out more about how Arizona researchers are using zebrafish in their research, read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Tiny Fish Makes A Big Splash In Arizona Medical Research

For Pancreatic Cancer, Biomarker Test Offers Chance for Early Detection

When cancer is detected,  the interaction of two nanoparticles creates a bright yellow signal (photo by Fei Lu, Houston Methodist Research Institute).

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States each year, in part because around four-fifths of cases go undetected until they have reached an advanced stage. But a new, biomarker-based test could soon change all that — and offer a way to monitor treatment outcomes.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Biomarker Test Offers Hope For Early Detection Of Pancreatic Cancer