Welcome to a belated Spring!
This issue is full of new science, with many articles reviewing cutting edge findings in biology. We lead off with a wonderful update and primer designed for nutritionists like myself who need to catch up on CRISPR and gene editing. Dr. Shawna Lemke has produced an article “Gene Editing in Plants: A Nutrition Professional's Guide to the Science, Regulatory and Social Considerations" that is not only a primer on what gene editing in plants is and how it differs from other forms of bioengineering but on the social and regulatory implications that are involved. It is well worth your time. Next, we turn to Drs. Imad Saab and Wen Jones who contribute another update called “Trends in Food Allergy Research, Regulations and Patient Care" that discusses the prevalence of food allergies and some of the new findings about allergies that are now being translated into food science and product offerings. It comes with a CE test for those who need credits.
To round out the new science, we turn to our veteran columnists Sylvia Rowe and Nick Alexander who have a great piece, “Pandemic Health Science Communications: Lessons Learned (or Not Learned)." Alas, this is a tale of both success and failures in applying new communications science in dealing with our newest old enemy, COVID-19. The positive steps and the missteps are both worth reflecting upon.
This month starts a new history of nutrition series, told by tying some of the many nutrition research developments in the later 20th century to highlights in the career of a Dr. Doris Calloway. She was a distinguished nutrition scientist who served as Provost of the University of California at Berkeley during some of its more turbulent and yet remarkably productive years scientifically. The first article is called “Doris Howes Calloway: A Woman Who Changed Nutrition Around the World." This contribution was written by Nancy Butte PhD and a star-studded group of coauthors whose names many will recognize. What you may not realize is that they were all Doris's doctoral students. Subsequent articles will focus on reviewing some of the many developments in nutrition research that took place during the time and Dr. Calloway's contribution. I think you will enjoy that this combination of a technical descriptions of several research methods coupled with fascinating biographical details .
After this biography of distinguished female scientist, we turn back thousands of years to primitive man as the topic for the next offering. Kartsten Overltveit's “The Quantified Caveman: A Yearlong Case Study of the Paleolithic Diet" is a fascinating report. Readers will remember that last year we ran two articles on the so called “paleo" diet as currently practiced compared to what we know about what ancient humans really did eat. This article describes an n of 1 study of one person who stuck with the modern version of the diet for a year, what changed and what didn't. If nothing else if there were an academy award in popular diets this fellow should win the tenacity award.
Speaking of history, don't miss our columnist Dr. Carolyn Berdanier's article, “Vitamin C From Ancient Times to Today!" It combines a heady dose on the history of scurvy with the latest biochemistry on this fascinating vitamin that you will enjoy.
Finally, Dr. Keith Singletary continues our series on spices and herbs with “Anise: Potential Health Benefits." I am addicted to anise flavored cookies and so this is one of my favorites. As always, Keith points to some tantalizing findings upon which future studies may build to produce more definitive science on the health benefits of the spice in the future.
Johanna Dwyer DSc,RD
Editor, Nutrition Today