In mid-June, researchers reported that they were able to use next-generation sequencing to diagnose suspected brain infections, which are often arduous and complicated to diagnose. After taking biopsies of brain lesions, a metagenomic analysis was performed on the tissue. In a number of the patients, this lead to individualized precision treatment based on the bacteria identified. With all of the specialized disciplines surrounding populations of cells/organisms and the functioning parts within cells, researchers have multitudes of information at their disposal—now what?

A study was recently published which claimed that there is a lack of association between cardiovascular disease (CVD) and total cholesterol; the authors even went on to claim that higher levels of cholesterol may prolong life and suggest that lowering cholesterol via medication is useless. This view is not only extreme, but also garnering a lot of criticism. Statins are commonly prescribed to mitigate symptoms associated with many different disorders, such as hypertension, diabetes and peripheral artery disease (PAD). For now, the jury is out on whether or not the study carries any weight, as a substantial amount of evidence will need to be collected before physicians give up on statins.

“Personalized medicine” is an increasingly popular catchphrase in modern health care and advocates of this approach argue that doctors should not assume that one treatment will work for every patient with a certain disease or condition. Instead, it’s believed that doctors should prescribe individualized medical treatments based on an evaluation […]