Rob Stein http://wkms.org en Genetic Sequencing May Not Be Ready To Become Routine http://wkms.org/post/genetic-sequencing-may-not-be-ready-become-routine Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block.<p>Getting your entire genetic code deciphered is the cutting edge of medicine. The test to spell out every letter in one's genetic blueprint can be done quickly and has become relatively inexpensive. That's raising the question: Is the technology ready for primetime? NPR's Rob Stein joins us now to talk about one of the first carefully done studies aimed at answering that question. Tue, 11 Mar 2014 20:53:00 +0000 Rob Stein 39189 at http://wkms.org Scientists Question Safety Of Genetically Altering Human Eggs http://wkms.org/post/scientists-question-safety-genetically-altering-human-eggs A panel of government advisers has expressed serious concerns about a controversial proposal to allow scientists to try to make babies using eggs that have been genetically altered to include DNA from another woman.<p>Members of the Food and Drug Administration panel said they were worried that not enough research has been done to know whether the experiments would be safe.<p>"I think there was a sense of the committee that at this particular point in time, there was probably not enough data either in animals or in vitro to conclusively move on to human trials ... Wed, 26 Feb 2014 21:48:00 +0000 Rob Stein 38936 at http://wkms.org Scientists Question Safety Of Genetically Altering Human Eggs Can Probiotics Help Soothe Colicky Babies? http://wkms.org/post/can-probiotics-help-soothe-colicky-babies When Melissa Shenewa and her husband imagined their first weeks with their new baby, they pictured hours of cuddling. Instead, they're enduring hours of inconsolable crying.<p>Their 6-week-old son, Aladdin, is a colicky baby. He cries for hours, usually in the middle of the night. They've tried everything they could think of. Nothing helps.<p>"Being a parent when your child is screaming in pain for hours on end and there's nothing you can do, you feel helpless," says Shenewa, 24, who lives in Houston. "You feel like you're not a good parent."<p>The Shenewas are far from alone. Mon, 20 Jan 2014 10:19:00 +0000 Rob Stein 38149 at http://wkms.org Can Probiotics Help Soothe Colicky Babies? Getting Your Microbes Analyzed Raises Big Privacy Issues http://wkms.org/post/getting-your-microbes-analyzed-raises-big-privacy-issues After spending months working on a series of stories about the trillions of friendly microbes that live in and on our bodies, I decided it might be interesting to explore my own microbiome.<p>So I pulled out my credit card and paid the $99 needed to sign up for the <a href="http://americangut.org/">American Gut Project</a>, one of a couple of "citizen science" or crowdsourced microbiome projects.<p>Organizers of the American Gut Project are recruiting thousands of people to donate their microbes to science — along with lots of personal information — to help researchers learn more about the tri Mon, 04 Nov 2013 08:16:00 +0000 Rob Stein 36243 at http://wkms.org Getting Your Microbes Analyzed Raises Big Privacy Issues Could Detectives Use Microbes To Solve Murders? http://wkms.org/post/could-detectives-use-microbes-solve-murders In the woods outside Huntsville, Texas, scientists are trying to determine whether they can use the microbes that live on the human body as microscopic witnesses that could help catch criminals.<p>It's a strange scene at the <a href="http://www.shsu.edu/%7Estafs/">Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility</a>. Mon, 23 Sep 2013 21:01:00 +0000 Rob Stein 35105 at http://wkms.org Could Detectives Use Microbes To Solve Murders? Diverse Gut Microbes, A Trim Waistline And Health Go Together http://wkms.org/post/diverse-gut-microbes-trim-waistline-and-health-go-together Scientists have discovered new clues about how microbes in our digestive systems may affect health.<p>European researchers found that the less diverse those microbes are, the more likely people are to gain weight, become obese and develop risk factors for serious health problems.<p>Evidence has been mounting in recent years that bacteria and other organisms in our bodies do a lot more than just help us digest food.<p>"We had kind of a notion that all these bacteria that live in our body will be important for health and disease," says <a href="http://jobs.inra.fr/en/Career-opportunities/Portrai Wed, 28 Aug 2013 17:12:00 +0000 Rob Stein 34405 at http://wkms.org Diverse Gut Microbes, A Trim Waistline And Health Go Together Brains Of Dying Rats Yield Clues About Near-Death Experiences http://wkms.org/post/brains-dying-rats-yield-clues-about-near-death-experiences A burst of brain activity just after the heart stops may be the cause of so-called near-death experiences, scientists say.<p>The insight comes from research involving nine lab rats whose brains were analyzed as they were being euthanized. Mon, 12 Aug 2013 19:03:00 +0000 Rob Stein 33923 at http://wkms.org Brains Of Dying Rats Yield Clues About Near-Death Experiences Scientists Grow A Simple, Human Liver In A Petri Dish http://wkms.org/post/scientists-grow-simple-human-liver-petri-dish Japanese scientists have cracked open a freaky new chapter in the sci-fi-meets-stem-cells era. A group in Yokohama <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature12271">reported</a> it has grown a primitive liver in a petri dish using a person's skin cells.<p>The organ isn't complete. It's missing a few parts. And it will be years --maybe decades — before the technique reaches clinics.<p>Still, this rudimentary liver is the first complex, functioning organ to be grown in the lab from human, skin-derived stem cells. Wed, 03 Jul 2013 20:52:00 +0000 Rob Stein 32745 at http://wkms.org Scientists Grow A Simple, Human Liver In A Petri Dish Proposed Changes In Organ Donation Stir Debate http://wkms.org/post/proposed-changes-organ-donation-stir-debate The nation's organ transplant network will consider a controversial proposal Monday to overhaul the guidelines for an increasingly common form of organ donation.<p>The board of directors of the <a href="http://www.unos.org/">United Network for Organ Sharing</a> will open a two-day meeting at the organization's headquarters in Richmond, Va., to consider new guidelines for donation after cardiac death.<p>Donation after cardiac death involves removing organs minutes after life-support has been stopped for patients who still have at least some brain activity.<p>The approach has long been controver Mon, 24 Jun 2013 07:04:00 +0000 Rob Stein 32407 at http://wkms.org Proposed Changes In Organ Donation Stir Debate Parents' Saliva On Pacifiers Could Ward Off Baby's Allergies http://wkms.org/post/parents-saliva-pacifiers-could-ward-babys-allergies That word "microbiome" — describing the collection of bacteria that live in and on our bodies — keeps popping up. This time, researchers say that children whose parents clean their pacifiers by sucking them might be less likely to develop allergic conditions because of how their parents' saliva changes their microbiomes.<p>That's the word from a small <a href="http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/doi/10.1542/peds.2012-3345">study</a> of 184 Swedish babies published in this week's issue of the journal <em>Pediatrics</em>. Mon, 06 May 2013 07:43:00 +0000 Rob Stein 31432 at http://wkms.org Parents' Saliva On Pacifiers Could Ward Off Baby's Allergies