Rewriting Life

Recommended Biomedicine Reads This Week

A roundup of interesting stories on biotechnology, drugs, and medicine from other sites, collected by Antonio Regalado, MIT Technology Review’s biomedicine editor.

Oct 20, 2015

Four Reasons Drugs Are Expensive, of Which Two Are False
Would you haggle over the price of shoes? How about at what price to sell your children? Prices aren’t just numbers, they have morality, and that’s why the drug industry has been consumed by debate over the high price of medicines. In very deep dive in Forbes, analyst Jack Scannell, explains why drugs cost so much.

Hot Startup Theranos Has Struggled with Its Blood-Test Technology
The Wall Street Journal investigates Theranos, the much-hyped lab-testing startup said to be worth $9 billion. The newspaper found that for most tests, the company does not even use its vaunted finger-prick technology. The accuracy of its tests are now in question and the FDA is investigating.

Searching for the Genes That Are Unique to Humans
Science writer Ed Yong reports from the annual meeting of the American Society for Human Genetics in Baltimore on the discovery of enigmatic genes that appear only in human beings, and might be behind why we can think and reason.

23andMe Wins a Second Life: New Business Plan Scores $115 Million from Investors
The Silicon Valley gene-testing startup 23andMe has one of the largest, if not the largest, collection of human DNA in the world from over 900,000 people. That alone makes it worth paying attention to, despite its business missteps and struggles with regulators.

Talk Therapy Found to Ease Schizophrenia
Talk trumps medical technology. So says a government study involving some of the two million Americans with schizophrenia. The study found that lower doses of antipsychotic drugs and more one-on-one psychiatry helped patients recover faster than those taking heavy doses of antipsychotics.