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COVID-19
All of humanity is rightfully concerned about the coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the globe. Popular...
Read more
New powerful antibiotics discovered using machine learning
Bacteria are amazing creatures. They adapt rapidly to any stress that is put on them or at least some...
Read more
Top Publishers Sued over Collusion in Textbook Market
Textbook prices are out of control and this is why I spent years of my life writing and running this...
Read more
Americans are fatter than ever and processed food is to blame
Before diving into this article we need to clarify how being obese is measured. There are many ways to...
Read more
Through the Microscope updates
An important feature of Through the Microscope is the animations that depict important processes. Often...
Read more
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COVID-19

  All of humanity is rightfully concerned about the coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the globe. Popular Science has an excellent article to help you understand the risks associated with the recent epidemic. Dr. Alessandro Vespignani published an analysis of the ongoing spread of the epidemic. I was lucky enough to attend a session he presented on his amazing and powerful software GLEAM that can model these outbreaks and give excellent predictions on what might happen. Finally, read this...

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New powerful antibiotics discovered using machine learning

  Bacteria are amazing creatures. They adapt rapidly to any stress that is put on them or at least some part of the population. Because of the careless use of antibiotics to treat illnesses where they are not effective, antibiotic resistance has arisen. Some countries even allow the sale of antibiotics over the counter. The problem is getting out of control to the point that drug-resistant strains of bacteria that can no longer be treated are becoming a serious threat. About 35,000 people a year d...

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Top Publishers Sued over Collusion in Textbook Market

  Textbook prices are out of control and this is why I spent years of my life writing and running this website. Now we find out that top publishers, such as McGraw-Hill and Pearson have been colluding to try to force students to buy new textbooks. Head on over to Ring of Fire to learn more.

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Americans are fatter than ever and processed food is to blame

  Before diving into this article we need to clarify how being obese is measured. There are many ways to measure obesity -- waist circumference, % body fat, and body mass index (BMI) are three examples. The CDC used BMI, which is a person's weight divided by their height. This isn't the best measurement, as there are examples of healthy muscular athletes, having high BMIs who are clearly not obese. However, for the average person, it is a good indicator of how much fat they are carrying. Now, that...

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Through the Microscope updates

  An important feature of Through the Microscope is the animations that depict important processes. Often these are hard to portray in a static picture. There are dozens of animations throughout the book. Many of these were developed using Adobe Flash animations. While the technology was powerful for its time, Flash and Actionscript were insecure, buggy, resource-intensive, and propriatary. To their credit, Adobe provided useful tools to migrate Flash animations to html5, the standard in animation...

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Obesity and the Microbiome

  A large body of evidence is emerging showing that the microbiome has a role in obesity and I cover some of that information in Chapter 9 of Why Microbe Matter. The cost of obesity in this country is alarming. I ran across a great article about the societal costs of obesity by Loyola University. It's worth a read.

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New updates to Why Microbes Matter

  Chapters 4, 5, 8, 10, and 14 of Why Microbes Matter have been updated to reflect some new information and to clean up editing errors. If you downloaded a copy of the Ebook, I encourage you to update your copy. Go to the

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The very real danger of alfatoxins

  Food products, especially harvested grains, need to be stored carefully. Proper management means storing them in conditions that are cool and dry. If conditions become too hot or moist, it promotes the growth of molds, and many of them can produce mycotoxins. These harmful compounds can lead to death at high concentrations, but even at low levels have serious health effects such as cancer, liver problems, and immunosuppression. Jae-Hyuk Yu, a professor in the Bacteriology Department at the Uni...

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The 6th Edition of Through the Microscope is now available

  The website, eBooks, and hard copy of Through the Microscope are now available. To purchase website access, follow the directions on the Buy This Book page. When you buy website access, you get free access to the kindle and ePub electronic books. These can be downloaded from the download page. Make sure you are logged in before you click on it. If you want a hard copy of the book, click on the lulu button below:

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The stringent response can influence antibiotic resistance

  Cancer is a horrible disease, killing over half a million people in the United States every year and is the leading, or second cause of death in most states. It is especially horrific when it affects children. Great strides have been made in cancer therapy in children, increasing rates of 5 year survival for some cancers above 80%. Some treatments, especially when treating leukemia, require the killing of all white blood cells, which can leave the patient open to infection. Work by Honsa et al...

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