When a stranger can gain access to someone's entire genetic code by picking up a used coffee cup, it presents a whole new thicket of concerns about privacy and security.
Actually, we're already there, though we're still in the early stages of what's shaping up, after all the years of hype, as a genuine revolution. Just take a look at Rob Stein's recent series on the $1,000 genome to see how far we've come and where we're headed.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 5:38 am
Measurement has long been a cornerstone of quality improvement, whether it's on the factory floor or the hospital ward.
And making the quality scores of doctors and hospitals publicly available is central to the idea that health care can become a service that patients shop for intelligently. The results can also ratchet up professional peer pressure for improvement.
But does public reporting lead doctors and hospitals to game the system by withholding care from the sickest patients?
For the past decade, scientists have been toying with the notion of encapsulating medicine in microscopic balls.
These so-called nanospheres could travel inside the body to hard-to-reach places, like the brain or the inside of a tumor. One problem researchers face is how to build these nanospheres, because you'd have to make them out of even smaller nanoparticles.