Winter has arrived in the United States. For those of us in colder areas, the season is synonymous with one thing: snow. Despite its contribution to our fresh groundwater supply, the word itself brings dread for many. At best, it represents clearing sidewalks in icy temperatures. At worst, it means […]
For years, the scientific community has warned about the dangers of overusing antibiotics. Initially viewed as a wonder drug, physicians took to prescribing them to address many types of bacterial infections. While this strategy appears sound, overuse has led to the evolution of “superbugs” against which most conventional antibiotics are […]
While the global demand for meat has been steadily increasing, the reliance upon animals to meet this demand is not without complications. In fact, our world’s collective love of meat might one day result in “increased environmental pollution, energy consumption, animal suffering, and the proliferation of animal-borne disease.” How can we avoid such a future? According to a Times editorial, synthetic meat products created in the laboratories of food and beverage companies instead of originating on a farm will come to dominate our supermarkets. Still, current efforts in the development of synthetic meat and other food items are in infancy. In order to accelerate the field, more information about precursor cells, how the cells can be grown in bioreactors and the types of additives and preservatives to add remain a working challenge.
Imagine being unable to eat bread without experiencing abdominal discomfort. Or, for that matter, having to avoid any food containing wheat-related by-products for fear of suffering from gastrointestinal issues. That’s the case for over 3 million people in the United States. These people live with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder […]
If the human body were thought of as a machine, biofluids would be the oil and gas necessary for its function or the dirtier components beneath the gleaming exterior. In general, biofluids refer to the “liquids originating from inside” the human body and include diverse fluids, from amniotic fluid and […]
Metabolic disorders, like diabetes, typically arise when a gene responsible for encoding a necessary enzyme is defective. Since enzymes are crucial for the body to function properly, it should come as no surprise that problems occur when these pathways are disrupted. Since they’re due to faulty genes, metabolic disorders have […]
Have you noticed anything different about the offerings at your favorite fast food restaurant recently? I’m not talking about healthier food items on the menu—although that is certainly a trend I’ve noticed as well. What I’m referring to is the wider selections of condiment sauces at several restaurant chains. Gone […]
In modern clinical medicine, small molecule drugs dominate our therapeutic landscape. These chemical drugs are often composed of a single molecule with simple structures. Now consider the very different world of biologics. Unlike the chemical reactions used to synthesize small molecule drugs, biologics are often large and complicated proteins, produced through a great diversity of processes that can individually and collectively affect protein composition. The very structure of biologics is highly dependent on exact manufacturing processes. Further complicating the development of biologics is the fact that they can be difficult to completely characterize, thus making a near identical copy of a drug, without a clear understanding of the specifications that produced it, can be extremely difficult.
On the evening of November 15, 2014, four workers died as the result of a toxic chemical leak at a DuPont insecticide plant in La Porte, Texas. The tragedy came about when an employee attempted to clear a blocked pipe containing methyl mercaptan, a chemical used to manufacture the insecticide […]
Part of the human condition involves surviving and caring for our bodily injuries and an entire industry in pharmaceuticals is devoted to ensuring we do so effectively: ointments are made to prevent infection, medications prevent pain and bandages protect our scrapes and scratches from further re-injury. But for individuals with […]