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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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Through the Microscope updates

  An important feature of Through the Microscope is the animations that depict important processes. Often these are hard to portray in a static picture. There are dozens of animations throughout the book. Many of these were developed using Adobe Flash animations. While the technology was powerful for its time, Flash and Actionscript were insecure, buggy, resource-intensive, and propriatary. To their credit, Adobe provided useful tools to migrate Flash animations to html5, the standard in animation...

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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 of that information in Chapter 9 of Why Microbe Matter. The cost of obesity in this country is alarming. I ran across a great article about the societal costs of obesity by Loyola University. It's worth a read.

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New updates to Why Microbes Matter

  Chapters 4, 5, 8, 10, and 14 of Why Microbes Matter have been updated to reflect some new information and to clean up editing errors. If you downloaded a copy of the Ebook, I encourage you to update your copy. Go to the

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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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