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Moderna's mRNA vaccine passes important first hurdle.
Many of you probably already heard that the Moderna vaccine raised a strong immune response in all participants...
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Taking care of a family member, caregiving, does not impact your health
In the U.S. it is estimated that at least 17 million people care for loved ones with significant health...
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A review of vaccine efforts against SARS-CoV-2
The Journal of Virology published a review by Moore and Klasse that summarizes the herculean efforts...
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What does being immune to an infectious disease mean?
There is a ton of talk, justifiably so, about developing immunity to SARS-CoV-2, and whether is it long-lasting?...
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Latest News on COVID-19
Hydroxychloroquine The NIH halted trials of hydroxychloroquine. While the drug did not show significant...
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Autoinducers Act as Biological Timers in Vibrio harveyi

  Microorganisms, though individually capable of significant metabolic feats, often cooperate with other organisms to perform population-wide tasks. One example is the emission of light by biological organisms, termed bioluminescence, a phenomenon in which a population of bacteria must all express their genes encoding for luciferase, a light-producing protein, at the same time. This process is regulated by quorum sensing, the central focus of a 2012 study relating the expression of bioluminescence...

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New bacteria found to hold homologous horA gene known for beer spoiling capabilities

  A new APT binding cassette, multi-resistant gene (ABC MDR) was discovered in 3 strains of bacteria unknown for housing this gene. Bacillus, Paenibacillus and Staphylococcus strains are new vehicles for this horA gene relative. These strains are usually found in the environment and are not known for spoiling beer. ABC MDR is homologous to the horA gene which has been linked with its ability to grow in beer and is already present in Lactobacillus and Pediococcus, which are bacteria that have been...

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The Microbiology of Beer

  One ancient and potentially overlooked application is microbiology’s relevance to brewing beer. Brewing has been going on for thousands of years and the process has changed drastically over time, especially recently. A recent review compiled hundreds of relevant studies on microbiology’s importance on beer quality from barley field to your glass. Brewing is a process of fermentation, thus yeast does most of the heavy lifting when producing beer. However, not any yeast will do. Bee...

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Mutations in influenza H5 HA can render droplet transmission ability

  Influenza viruses are a great threat to humans and have very well proven their pandemic nature such as the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. They contain the protein haemagglutinin (HA) which determines the host range by identifying specific receptors such as sialic acid linked to galactose by α2,6-linkages in humans. Recent studies at UW-Madison and University of Tokyo by Yoshihiro Kawaoka have identified a reassortant H5 HA/H1N1 virus that can be transferred through droplet transmission in a fe...

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Gut Microbes

  According to a study conducted at Illinois University, headed by Kelly Swanson, gut microbiomes are able to flourish in certain types of diets in any species. These microbes start to develop at birth and will cause different effects on the body depending on the microbe's arrangement. Theses microbes have been known to affect the immune system and are linked with metabolic issues, such as obesity in both animals and people. To see if gut microbes are similar to other microbes of different spe...

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Weakened Immune Systems lead to Increased Virulence of Malaria parasite

  A recent Penn State experiment studied the effects of weak immune systems on the virulence and aggressiveness of a malaria parasite in mice. The study involved disabling a key immune molecule, CD4 receptors, with an antibody and then infecting these mice and a control group with an uncompromised immune system with the malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi. It lasted 21 weeks and each week, the parasite was taken from one mice and transferred to another previously uninfected mouse. They froze the...

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A Shot in the Arm for New Antiobiotics

      The ability of bacteria to develop resistance to antibiotics has posed as an ongoing obstacle for the medical community.  Antibiotic resistance becomes evolutionarily favorable when the resistant microbes are able to thrive within a community.  This in turn creates a pressure to maintain these mutated microbes and weed out the susceptible ones.  Since mutated organisms are less fit, when resistance is no longer needed the original strain can thrive once again.  ...

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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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