September/October 2016

Feature September/October 2016
More Than Just Monkey Business
The science of the microbiome is arguably one of the hottest topics in medicine, and rightfully so. A deeper understanding of the ecology of the flora in our bodies is providing revolutionary insight beyond the simple form and function of... Read more
State of the Art September/October 2016
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Modern medicine is overwhelmingly reactive rather than proactive. Get sick, seek medical help. How expensive that model is! If everyone only got sick and then sought medical assistance, we could not afford the bill. It is much better that most... Read more
Book Reviews September/October 2016
Consilience of Conscience
LAB GIRL By Hope Jahren, Knopf, 2016. ISBN: 9781101874936, 304 pages, US$26.95. As an academic, a research engineer, and a committed tree hugger, I found much to like in the 2016 memoir, Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren, who is currently a geology... Read more
Feature September/October 2016
The Precise–and Wild–Genomics Revolution
Figure 1: This 2001 photo of DNA sequencing equipment at the NIH’s Intramural Research Center, Advanced Technology Center, in Gaithersburg, Maryland, suggests the “hundreds, hundreds, hundreds” of machines required at the time. (Photo courtesy of Eric Green, NHGRI, NIH.) In the... Read more
Feature September/October 2016
What Lies Within
In 1991, a group of Italian researchers announced that they had isolated a new antibiotic from a chemical soup brewed with a soil-dwelling bacteria called Planobispora rosea. The drug was a type of thiopeptide, effective against grampositive bacteria like Staphylococcus... Read more
Feature September/October 2016
Knowing What You Eat
Food allergies and sensitivities have always been a public health problem but are becoming more prevalent worldwide. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that millions of Americans have allergic reactions to food each year. More than 17 million... Read more
Feature September/October 2016
What Can Big Data Tell Us About Health?
“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data,” said Sherlock Holmes creator and author Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887. In this era of big data, and especially the crush of medical information becoming available through new technologies... Read more
Feature September/October 2016
The Case for Big Data
Cigarette smoking is tied to lung cancer, but people still smoke. Why do people start smoking in the first place? That is one of the many complex, interdisciplinary questions behind the Kavli HUMAN Project, a massive data-collection endeavor with the... Read more
Feature September/October 2016
Omics Tech, Gut-on-a-Chip, and Bacterial Engineering
It was six years ago that fecal transplantation first received prominent media attention and the public began to fully appreciate that the bacteria and other microbes in their bodies could have a real impact on health. “In that case, the patient... Read more
Cover Story September/October 2016
Deciphering the Mysterious Microbiome
A few years ago, the average person had no idea what the microbiome was, but now it is bantered about on quasi-medical talk shows, social media, and blogs almost as though it were the savior of human health: change your... Read more
Feature September/October 2016
Wearables and the Internet of Things for Health
In our recent book Health-e Everything: Wearables and the Internet of Things for Health, we capture in an interactive e-book format some global thought-leader perspectives as well as early examples of case studies and novel innovations that are driving this... Read more
Retrospectroscope September/October 2016
Lamarck, Darwin, Wallace, and Ameghino
… Der wahre Wert eines Menschen ist in erster Linie dadurch bestimmt, in welchem Grad und in welchem Sinn er zur Befreiung vom Ich gelangt ist. [The true value of a human being is first determined by the degree and meaning... Read more
Feature September/October 2016
Controlling Seizures Through Chemogenetics
Electricity is the currency of our nervous systems. Thinking and planning, walking and talking, eating and sleeping—all our mental and physical activities are driven by electrical signals moving through the brain. This electrical traffic ebbs and flows in consistent patterns... Read more