The Daily Dose: More antivax comeuppance and another turkey-salmonella warning

Another day, another outbreak: The anti-vaxxers strike again. This time in what’s considered a movement stronghold, North Carolina. A school with a larger than average number of unvaccinated children is experiencing the largest outbreak of chickenpox in twenty years. Out of the school’s 152 students, 110 are unvaccinated. 36 of those students have come down with the chickenpox during the current outbreak.

The new cell biology: The field of synthetic biology has taken a significant step forward. Scientists at the University of California, San Diego created artificial cells with polymerized acrylate in place of lipid membranes and a nucleus that consists of DNA and minerals found in clay. This synthetic nucleus is able to release RNA that, in turn, leads to the production of proteins.

Working with nature: Farmers in the land where corn originated are doing their part to ensure that modern farming methods and biotechnology do not destroy the variety of corns that exist in nature. These campesinos plant and grow these varieties in small, family-run plots all over Mexico. Their efforts not only conserve older lineages but also contribute to the genetic diversity seen in modern crops.

Beware of turkey: Just in time for largest Turkey eating day in the United States (and perhaps the world), the CDC released an updated warning regarding the Salmonella outbreak linked to raw turkey products. This announcement calls attention to Jennie-O brand ground turkey products.

Change gonna come: With the recent elections in the rear view and Democrats ready to take control of the House of Representatives, pharmaceutical industry executives are bracing for a heavier hand coming from Congress. There’s no doubt that there will be a shakeup. The question is: how drastic a shakeup will it be. STAT news provides 8 burning questions related to the issue.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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