Latest News

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...
Read more
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...
Read more
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...
Read more
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?...
Read more
Latest News on COVID-19
Hydroxychloroquine The NIH halted trials of hydroxychloroquine. While the drug did not show significant...
Read more
News

News

Messages list

Show all entries

Mycobacteria get the best of both worlds: Asexual and Sexual Reproduction

  Recently, it has been discovered that mycobacteria, have the “best of both worlds” when it comes to reproduction. They use a type of DNA transfer, called Distributive Conjugal Transfer, to swap genes with other mycobacteria. After the genome is thoroughly mixed, the bacteria is able to replicate asexually. Because these organisms are able to obtain a “genetic blend” of DNA from parent bacteria (a type of quasi-sexual reproduction), and also replicate individually, it...

Read more of Mycobacteria get the best of both worlds: Asexual and Sexual Reproduction

Prion-like protein accumulation in brain cells helps explain Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases

             When looking at the damaged nerve cells of an Alzheimer’s patient under a microscope, one observes clumps of proteins that seem out of place.  Researchers have discovered these protein masses behave much like prions – malformed proteins normally found in healthy neurons.  These contorted proteins in turn cause like proteins to misfold and bind to one another, resulting in a chain reaction or cascade that destroys entire regions of th...

Read more of Prion-like protein accumulation in brain cells helps explain Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases

Antibiotic resistant bacteria chemically communicate resistance to less-resistant bacteria

  A new study conducted by El-Halfawy and Valvano has demonstrated how resistance to antibiotics can be communicated to other less resistant bacteria through secreted chemicals. They investigated the mechanism of resistance to a bactericide, polymyxin-B (PmB), in resistant strains of Burkholderia cenocepacia, a species that causes severe infections in patients with cystic fibrosis.   

Read more of Antibiotic resistant bacteria chemically communicate resistance to less-resistant bacteria

Insight on the Side-Effects of Antibiotics

  Ever wondered why it's so important to take your entire antibiotic regimen? Or whether you should be worried about the plethora of medication you may be asking for, or your doctor may be prescribing? New studies show there may be more side-effects than originally anticipated.                 The dangers of anti-biotic resistance have been somewhat understood for the last twenty years. Initial concern was raised with the selective properties of...

Read more of Insight on the Side-Effects of Antibiotics

Creating a vaccine for malaria using chemically attenuated parasites

  Malaria is a parasitic disease spread by mosquitoes that causes an estimated 1 million deaths per year.  Four different types of Plasmodium parasites can cause malaria and in many regions of the world these parasites have developed resistance to a variety of the medicines used to treat malaria.  It is believed that the development of a vaccine will be the most effective way to decrease the amount of deaths caused by this disease.  In the past, vaccine development for mal...

Read more of Creating a vaccine for malaria using chemically attenuated parasites

Novel Strategies for Safer Long-Term Antibiotic Usage

              Scientists at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have gained new insight into the dangers associated with long-term antibiotic usage.  The scientists, led by Jim Collins, Ph.D., have discovered the cause behind hazardous side effects resulting from long-term usage of antibiotic drugs and have proposed two solutions to prevent and reduce these negative effects.          &nbs...

Read more of Novel Strategies for Safer Long-Term Antibiotic Usage

Life Still Goes on in Even the Most Extreme Conditions

  Dr. Scott Rodger has just published his fourth paper on his findings on Lake Vostak in Antarctica which are summarized in the article “In subglacial lake, surprising life goes on”.  Dr. Rodgers has discovered life in Lake Vostak, once thought to be free from any form of life and considered sterile by many scientists. Many even considered Lake Vostak as a possible model for other planets.  Lake Vostak is the fourth deepest lake on earth and is the largest lake in Antarc...

Read more of Life Still Goes on in Even the Most Extreme Conditions

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 bacteria reside is the intestinal tract. The bacterial community present plays an important role not only in food absorption, but also in the body’s immune response. The bacterial community is dynamic and adapts as its environment, the human body, changes. As the title suggests, researchers hypothesized that HIV infection would have a significant impact the int...

Read more of Intestinal Bacteria May Fuel Inflammation and Worsen HIV Disease

Bugs provide new insights into relationships between animals and bacteria

  A unique three-tiered symbiotic relationship is now being studied in order to better understand how organisms transfer and share genes in mutualistic interactions. Surprisingly, this gene transfer is not analogous to how mitochondria and chloroplasts have evolved with their host genome. 

Read more of Bugs provide new insights into relationships between animals and bacteria

Microbial Exposure During Early Life Has Persistent Effects on Natural Killer T Cell Function

  In early life, one is exposed to thousands upon thousands of microorganisms. The most affected organs are naturally the gastrointestinal tract and the lungs, as they are constantly exposed to the outside world. How one is affected via microbial exposure during this early stage of life could have an effect on them throughout their life. This article discusses the benefits of these early exposures to microorganisms in the way of preventing diseases later on.

Read more of Microbial Exposure During Early Life Has Persistent Effects on Natural Killer T Cell Function