Arsenic, while more infamously linked to poisons, has historically been considered an essential element for human nutrition and to have medicinal qualities, such as in the treatment of ulcers and sleeping sickness. However, in light of recent studies concerning the safety of arsenic in rice-based products, the FDA has offered draft guidance on the amount of inorganic arsenic found in infant rice cereal.

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?

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