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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...
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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...
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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...
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Through the Microscope updates
An important feature of Through the Microscope is the animations that depict important processes. Often...
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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...
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Gut Bugs Could Explain Obesity-Cancer Link

  Obesity is associated with increased risks of certain types of cancers, such as colorectal and liver cancer. The mechanism behind this relationship in humans is still unknown, but recent research has shown that gut microbiota may play a role. Scientists at the Cancer Institute of the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research in Tokyo studied the relationship between gut microbes and the development of liver cancer using lean and obese mice. By exposing the mice to a cancer-causing chemical shortly...

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Vitamin c helps control gene activation

  It turns out that vitamin C is a switch for gene activation inside mouse stem cells. A recent study that was conducted by UC San Francisco researchers made it possible to help guide normal development in mice, humans and animals, improving results of in vitro fertilization and growing healthy stem cells in the near future. What happens is that vitamin C assists a specific group of enzymes called “Tet” which are activated during the early stages of fertilization and development. This...

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How Your Cat is Making You Crazy

  Zombies seem to be all the rage recently in the entertainment industry. Obviously, Hollywood generally avoids keeping things “scientific” for entertainment purposes, but could it be possible to be controlled by another biological organism? Well, a Czech Scientist named Jaroslav Flegr sure thinks so. Flegr came to this idea when he noticed that he would do dangerous acts, like crossing the street, without thinking twice about it. He made the connection when he read about how a flatwor...

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Gut microbes may put barrier between species

  A recent study, conducted by Professor Seth Bordenstein of Vanderbilt University, proposed that two species of jewel wasp, Nasonia giraulti and Nasonia Vitripennis, remain separate species largely because of microbe interference, not lethal incompatibility in DNA, as many biologists believed.

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The microbial communities surrounding radioactive waste dumps

  Growing interest in nuclear power is often hindered by the question of what to do with the radioactive byproducts. One solution is to bury them. In Mol, Belgium, at the HADES research center, scientists have discovered communities of microbes living in the clay surrounding structures that house nuclear waste. Some species of microorganisms are known to have detrimental effects on the materials used for these structures. Researchers have delved hundreds of meters underground in search of wha...

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A New Reason Why Red Meat, and Some Energy Drinks, May Be Bad for Our Heart

  We have heard that Red meat is bad for our health, and we know that the high cholesterol content of the meat is what causes atherosclerosis by accumulating in blood vessels. But a new study has found that bacteria in our gut may in fact contribute to heart disease risk. Although this is quite confounding as we have never heard of the involvement of bacteria in heart health, Stanley hazen, the section head and a biochemist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio had published that L-Carnitine in red meat...

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Nanotechnology product has ability to slice cell membrane

  Normally when one thinks of microbes, they don’t imagine them being able to be mechanically cut as one cuts an onion. Microbes are extremely small and we don’t have blades fine enough to get the job done.  However, researchers at Brown University have shown that the cell membrane of human cells can be cut by graphene microsheets. Graphene is a relatively new nanomaterial that is a two dimensional layer of repeating carbon and is made by exfoliating it off of chucks of graphite u...

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Vaccines Various Methods of Creation Defend Against Disease

  Vaccines have been made ever since Edward Jenner created one for smallpox in the late 18th century. The 19th century saw a handful of vaccines created while the 20th witnessed a boom in creation. Today the process of making a vaccine in the United States is highly regulated by the FDA as well as the CDC. However, creating a vaccine is not a straightforward process. There are multiple ways in which a virus or bacteria and be used to create a vaccine that will protect a person for years to come....

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A New Model -- And Possible Treatment -- For Staph Bone Infections

  A recent article regarding a study on osteomyelitis, an incapacitating bone infection shows there may be a new treatment available. Bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus (staph), often cause osteomyelitis. The bacteria involved in these infections are often resistant to complete classes of antibiotics, making current treatments insufficient for use and making it very difficult to treatment.

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Structure and Evolution of Streptomyces Interaction Networks in Soil and In Silico

   Streptomyces are gram-positive, filamentous bacteria that are often found in ground soils.  They are prolific produces of antibiotics.  These microbes survive by secreting toxic antibiotics in an effort to kill surrounding, competing microbes. Different strains of Streptomyces produce different secondary metabolites (antibiotics and other secreted chemicals).  The presence of secondary metabolites can either inhibit or promote the growth of a cell.  With this in mi...

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