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Intestinal Bacteria May Fuel Inflammation and Worsen HIV Disease
Surprisingly, the human body consists of more bacterial cells than human cells. An important region where...
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'Epilepsy in a Dish': Stem Cell Research Reveals Clues to Disease's Origins and May Aid Search for Better Drugs
Scientists at the University of Michigan Medical School have created an exciting new model called “epilepsy...
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A Community of Microbes Help Protect Plants from Disease.
The immune system of animals is extremely complex and helps defend against a plethora of diseases. Plants,...
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A measleslike virus is responsible for the recent Dolphin die-off
Over 300 dolphins have washed up along the eastern coast of the U.S. since July 1st of this year....
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A new antimalaria drug: less expensive, simple treatment, easy to produce
Malaria is the most important tropical disease in the world, with over 665,000 deaths worldwide, many...
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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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Gut disbiosys hinders the healing of spinal cord injuries

  There has been a growing body of evidence that the microorganisms that live with us on our bodies deeply influence our health and well being. It has been known for many years that the gut microbiota help to digest food, but it is now becoming clear the relationship goes far beyond that. Over 70% of immune cells are in gut-associated lymphoid tissue. Yes, almost 3/4 of your immune system is in your gut! What are they doing? It turns out lots of thingsā€¦

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A new avenue of attack against drug resistance pathogens

  Some pathogens are becoming resistant to many of the treatments we have for them. It is serious enough that the World Health Organization has declared antimicrobial resistance worthy of attention rivaling that of climate change. Strains of Staphylococcus aureus and Neisseria Gonorrhoeae are feared to be close to escaping treatment with antimicrobials. Researchers around the world are racing to discover new treatments for these multi-drug resistant pathogens. Shu Lam, a 25-year-old PhD student at...

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The epigenetic clock

  Have you ever noticed that some people seem to age faster than other people? I am not talking about individuals with Progeria. Instead, I mean just in your regular group of friends, how some seem to age faster than others. Many will chalk this up to poor nutrition, too much drinking, bad habits like smoking, and a lack of exercise. However, even if you factor all those things out, it seems like some people just age faster than others. Enter professor Steven Horvath of UCLA. Dr. Horvath works on...

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Evolution of bacteria and drug resistance

  This frightening experiment demonstrates how important it is that we manage our antibiotics carefully and avoid overuse. A giant bacterial growth chamber was created. The bottom layer was solid medium, and the top was a semi-solid medium that bacteria could swim through. The edges of the chamber had no antibiotics, while an area adjacent has a dose that would normally kill a typical strain of E. coli. Next to that area, was a third that had 10x a lethal dose, next to that 100x a lethal does, and...

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New treatments for <i>Clostridium difficile</i> infections

  Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) causes a great deal of suffering in the elderly and now more frequently in the general population. CDI can occur after treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics. Infections with this microbes causes severe gastrointestinal distress, including bloating and gas. Left untreated, and even when treated, it can be fatal. When treated with conventional antibiotics, there is often recurrence, which is understandable, since antibiotics often cause the problem in the...

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Fungal Friends of Plants and Trees

  When most folks think of fungi, they think of rotten fruit, decaying trees, or mushrooms. These are all good examples, but there is much more to the vast world of fungi than meets the eye. (Of course that makes sense since most fungi are microscopic.) One particular group of fungi, the ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi, form mutualistic symbiotic relationships with tree roots where the fungi integrate intimately with the roots of the tree and help it absorb water and minerals from the soil. This re...

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Microbes come to the rescue for Celiac's Disease?

  Ciliac's disease is a debilitating condition where sufferers have an immunologic reaction to gluten, a protein commonly found in wheat, barley, and rye. Consumption of gluten results in severe digestive issues and other health problems. Researchers at Boston University, Headed by Eva Helmerhorst, have described the isolation of a protease from Rothia mucilaginosa that is capable of degrading the epitope in gluten that causes the immune response. After isolation, the enzyme was compared to other...

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