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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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Your mom was right - Don't skip breakfast!

  Obesity in this country is reaching epidemic proportions. Over 30% of the United States adult population is obese. This is not genetics. Thirty years ago we did not near the number of obese adults as we do today. It is a matter of poor diet and lack of exercise. To add to this phenomenon, research by Dr. Elizabeth Thomas demonstrates that skipping breakfast, just once, can cause acute insulin resistance. In this condition, the body requires higher levels of insulin to cause cells to absorb...

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Serious Problem, Simple Solution

  A team of researchers at the University of Iowa, lead by Marin Schweizer, have developed guidelines that could reduce the incidence of post-surgery infections by more than 70%. The sources of post-operative infection in 85% of cases originated with the patient. They were infecting themselves, sometimes with highly resistant microbes, such as MRSA. These microbes were found to be harbored in the nasal passages  and the patients would transmit the microbe by touching their nose and...

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The CDC and H7N9 Influenza

  Dr Michael Shaw and his team at the CDC are making rapid progress in understanding the H7N9 influenza virus that is causing lethal cases of flu in China. There is great concern about this virus, and its potential to cause a serious pandemic. Currently the virus is not transmitting readily human-to-human, with most cases being bird-to-human. Unfortunately, the virus does not seem to greatly sicken birds, making it harder to detect and easier to spread. You can find some cool graphics and images o...

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A new source of stem cells

  Saleh Heneidi et al at UCLA have reported in PLOS One the isolation of pluripotent stem cells from adult adipose (fat) tissue. By stressing the tissue they killed off all of the cells in the fat tissue except the Multilineage Differentiating Stress-Enduring (Muse) Cells. These cells behave in cell culture in a manner reminiscent of embryonic stem cells and tests reveal that they can differentiate into mesenchymal, endodermal and ectodermal cell lineages. It is clear that these are...

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Edition 5 of Through the Microscope

  The process of creating the 5th edition of Through the Microscope has begun and you are at the new site. Unlike typical publishers, the process is completely open and you can watch the book take shape. Here is what is coming in the new edition Upgrade the backend server software to the latest release of Zikula. Create a new look for the book Update Microbial Diversity Update Microbial Ecology Update Bacterial Structure The deadline for the 5th edition is August 2013.

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Using Biosensors to detect important molecules

  An international team of scienctists has worked out a new biosensor that is able to detect its target molecule over a large concentration range. This will make these sensors more useful in many different applications; drug detection, cancer screenings, cancer treatment, and infectious disease. The method can detect its target in seconds.

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Calorie restriction may not lengthen life

  The results are in, calorie restriction may not extend your life. Previous studies of rats and mice demonstrated that calorie restriction could extend life span. While human behavior can sometimes be rat-like, there are distinct differences in physiology between rats and humans. A much anticipated calorie restriction study using rhesus monkeys shows that these results do not translate to our close cousins. Being overweight is a tremendously important predictor of life expectancy, but the number...

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Test taking actually improves comprehension of material

  Jeffrey D. Karpicke and Janell R. Blunt report that using tests to measure your comprehension of a subject also has the side benefit of helping you remember the material better. The NY times has an excellent article summarizing the findings. Through the Microscope has dozens of concept quizzes throughout the text that help you to check your understanding of the material. Each chapter also has an end of chapter quiz to further cement the concepts. As you use this text, make sure you take advanta...

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Natural gas as a way to reduce climate change?

  Cornell Professor Lawrence M. Cathles who studies Earth sciences calculates that switching from coal and oil to natural gas as we move toward renewable energy could decrease carbon emissions significantly. We do need a transition period, but lets make it as short as possible.

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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 of them in children. The malaria parasites, protozoa of the Plasmodium genus, are susceptible to a number of drugs, but have been becoming more resistant the drugs available for treatment. Professor Jonathan Vennerstrom of the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy and his team announce the development of Synriam (a synthetic trioxolane) that has many of the properties of arte...

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