All posts by Geoff Morris

Are GMOs safe? Yes. The case against them is full of fraud, lies, and errors.

A well written article addressing the important need to understand that the term ‘genetically modified organism’ covers a wide variety applications that can’t all be neatly grouped together. In it’s relatively short length it manages to pack in plenty of valid criticisms against the anti GMO/anti science crowd whilst highlighting the common use of ‘chemicals’ in organic farming. Continue reading Are GMOs safe? Yes. The case against them is full of fraud, lies, and errors.

Is Bilingualism Good for Kids? | The Scientist Magazine®

New research suggests that raising kids in a dual-language environment might be better for their verbal development than previously realized.

Source: Is Bilingualism Good for Kids? | The Scientist Magazine®

Fukushima; Thyroid Claims and Reality

In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear incident there has been a lot of fear and anxiety over any possible health effects, largely due to the public’s lack of understanding of science and the media’s willingness to play upon people’s fears.

This is especially true when it comes to claims and studies of the incidence of thyroid cancer in the immediate aftermath of Fukushima.

Here Dennis Normile, writing in Science, picks apart those claims to show that whilst it’s certainly a topic for study there is no evidence to suggest that radiation from Fukushima played any part.

Source: Mystery cancers are cropping up in children in aftermath of Fukushima

Increasing breastfeeding worldwide could prevent over 800000 child deaths and 20000 deaths from breast cancer every year

breastfeeding mother

Just 1 in 5 children in high-income countries are breastfed to 12 months, whilst only 1 in 3 children in low and middle-income countries are exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months. As a result, millions of children are failing to receive the full benefits provided by breastfeeding. The findings come from the largest and most detailed analysis to quantify levels, trends, and benefits of breastfeeding around the world, published in The Lancet.

New estimates produced for the two-part Series reveal that increasing breastfeeding to near-universal levels for infants and young children could save over 800000 children’s lives a year worldwide, equivalent to 13% of all deaths in children under two, and prevent an extra 20000 deaths from breast cancer every year. Continue reading Increasing breastfeeding worldwide could prevent over 800000 child deaths and 20000 deaths from breast cancer every year

Meet the Robin Hood of Science via Big Think

Unknown to many is the fact that scientific research is being stifled by the very people who would claim to champion it; academic publishers.

Charging exorbitant fees to access research papers that they had no part in creating has left even well known institutes like Harvard reeling from fees for academic journals.

Read here about one researcher’s quest to circumvent paywalled journal articles and allow free access to millions of research papers in an effort to help the scientific community at large.

Source: Meet the Robin Hood of Science | Big Think

Weekend binge just as bad for the gut as regular junk food diet, study suggests

Food choices

A new study undertaken at the University of New South Wales suggests that bingeing on junk food at the weekend is likely to be just as bad for your gut health as a daily junk food diet.

The study, led by Professor Margaret Morris, the Head of Pharmacology at UNSW, examined the impact of yo-yo dieting on the gut microbiota of rats. The findings have been published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. Continue reading Weekend binge just as bad for the gut as regular junk food diet, study suggests

A New Weapon in the War Against Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria?

There has been much in the press in recent years about the looming post antibiotic era, and rightly so, the overuse and misuse of antibiotics has led the rapid evolution of bacteria that are resistant to multiple antibiotics. Continue reading A New Weapon in the War Against Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria?

Low-fiber diet may cause irreversible depletion of gut bacteria over generations

When mice with gut bacteria from a human were put on a low-fiber diet, the diversity of their intestinal inhabitants plummeted. Four generations on a low-fiber diet caused irreversible losses.

A study by Stanford University School of Medicine investigators raises concerns that the lower-fiber diets typical in industrialized societies may produce internal deficiencies that get passed along to future generations. Continue reading Low-fiber diet may cause irreversible depletion of gut bacteria over generations

Debate Rages over Whether Speaking a Second Language Improves Cognition


Over the last decade a number of studies have suggested that speaking a second language may provide certain cognitive benefits so much so that the idea is now widely accepted both within the scientific community and by the public at large.

New studies, however, are suggesting that this so called “bilingual advantage” may be just a myth resulting from the way studies are conducted and subsequently published. For example, studies involving smaller number of participants often seem to suggest a benefit, whereas studies involving larger groups don’t.

Source: Debate Rages over Whether Speaking a Second Language Improves Cognition – Scientific American

Revolutionary New Technique Takes First Steps to Curing Genetic Diseases

duchenne-team

A revolutionary new gene-editing technique has allowed a team of researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center to stop the progression of Duchenne muscular dystrophy in young mice.

It’s early days yet, but the powerful tool known as CRISPR-cas9 may one day allow for the correction and cure of currently untreatable genetic disorders within humans.

Source
Gene-editing technique successfully stops progression of Duchenne muscular dystrophy – Press release