Avastin and the Power of Hope

This week, an FDA panel unanimously voted to revoke its approval of Avastin (bevacizumab) for breast cancer. The decision evoked cheers from some groups and jeers from others.  At least one group derided the decision as the work of a  “death panel.” Initially hailed as a wonder drug, Avastin is a monoclonal antibody first approved […]

Synthetic biology: Parlor trick, or proof of concept?

The first time I heard about bacterial photography, I thought, “Wow, that’s so rad! I’m not sure what they’re gonna use it for, but anyway, it sure is cool!” The bacterial photography project involved transplanting a light sensor into an Escherichia coli bacterium so that it could take “pictures” in Petri dishes. It sprang from […]