Easy DNA Editing Will Remake the World. Buckle Up.

They were worried about what people called “recombinant DNA,” the manipulation of the source code of life. It had been just 22 years since James Watson, Francis Crick, and Rosalind Franklin described what DNA was—deoxyribonucleic acid, four different structures called bases stuck to a backbone of sugar and phosphate, in sequences thousands of bases long. DNA is what genes are made of, and genes are the basis of heredity.

Preeminent genetic researchers like David Baltimore, then at MIT, went to Asilomar to grapple with the implications of being able to decrypt and reorder genes. It was a God-like power—to plug genes from one living thing into another. Used wisely, it had the potential to save millions of lives. But the scientists also knew their creations might slip out of their control. They wanted to consider what ought to be off-limits.

I highly recommend reading if you’re at all interested in editing DNA to see the history of how the current tools have come forward, and why the power to do so should not be taken lightly.

Just One Fix: How to Know When You Actually Need Antibiotics

Antibiotics are strong medicines that can kill bacteria. But we have overused antibiotics for many years. As a result, we now have bacteria that resist antibiotics. Resistant bacteria cause infections that are harder to cure and more costly to treat.

Antibiotic-resistant infections can strike anyone. They can be passed on to others. For example, more and more healthy young people are getting skin infections from MRSA, a bacteria that resists many common antibiotics. MRSA is spreading in households, daycare, schools, camps, dorms, gyms, team sports, and the military.

Try to protect yourself and your loved ones. Here’s what you need to know to help prevent resistance:

Source: Antibiotics: When you need them—and when you don’t

The CDC provides similar information for adults, but more detail.  Reducing antibiotic prescribing is something that requires awareness from both doctors and patients.

No, it's not a tumour!

Maybe it’s a tumour?