The Tao of Biotechnology

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Health Notes

It’s good to know that there are people in the world who are working hard on the bird flu problem. One study, for example, suggests that vaccinating chickens can actually stop the spread of the H5N1 virus. That’s good. Also, bird flu seems to be subsiding in Russia, and the Netherlands is already talking about a timetable for lifting some of its restrictions.

For up to date and breaking news on bird flu, see link at right.

In genetic engineering news, China is still concerned about the safety of genetically modified (GMO) rice, and has decided not to recommend planting the crop until more data is available. Good for them.

And in medical news, we already know that the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test is flawed. It results in false positives about eighty percent of the time. Now research suggests that even if PSA levels fall within the normal range, there may still be cancer present. The digital rectal exam (DRE) finds some of these cancers and should be included, not excluded, as part of the prostate exam process.

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