The Daily Dose: Google’s got your medical data and there’s nothing you can do about it

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When it comes to finding sources of information across the internet, things aren’t always as easy as it seems. Search engine results may spew hundreds of suggestions. Unfortunately, that only trades one cup of muddy water for another cup of equally muddy water. Sometimes, a human touch is still needed in this age of algorithms. When it comes to finding science blogs, Feedspot’s curated listing is an invaluable time saver.

The revolution may not be televised anymore, but it certainly appears that it will be built on secret access to the world’s private data. Each time a new revelation emerges that people’s personal information has been compromised, it becomes a little less surprising but no less disturbing. Now it seems, Google has upped the stakes significantly. According to reports, “The initiative, dubbed “Project Nightingale,” gives the tech giant the ability to analyze personal health information compiled by Ascension, a Catholic hospital system that operates in 21 states. It appears to be unusual in that it grants such a large amount of patient data to a third-party technology company without the knowledge of doctors or patients.”

The 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall has fostered a surge of ruminations on the Cold War. An opinion piece in Nature recalls the divisions between East and West, in particular between researchers. While the demise of Communism rectified many divisions, the dynamics of today’s geopolitical world are putting those achievements in doubt again. According to the author, “Thirty years of research cooperation since the cold war ended has done much more than just help to keep the peace. But a strong dose of that original spirit — which kept cold-war collaborations alive — is still needed. The journey to successful East–West collaboration is far from over.”

Cures for cancer may not be a reality just yet, the treatments are improving at an encouraging pace. In particular, medical professionals and patients are reaping the benefits of CAR-T therapy which one doctor describes as “a one-time infusion giving a person a better version of her own immune system.” A cancer doctor provides a behind-the-scenes look at how it has changed the industry.

A bacteria is decimating Florida’s famous oranges and everyone is struggling to get a handle on the situation. The local industry is on the verge of collapse.

IMAGE CREDIT: Creative Commons

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