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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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Why is basic research important? Here is your answer

  In the early 1960's Tom Brock was on vacation in Yellowstone National park. He hit the usual tourist destinations, including the hot springs of the park. To his astonishment, he observed what he was sure were cyanobacteria living at temperatures over 80°C (176°F). Professor Brock went back to his lab and wrote a grant to study the microbes present in this environment. Now many would think that this research is esoteric at best. However, as part of that research, Tom discovered&n...

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A measleslike virus is responsible for the recent Dolphin die-off

  Over 300 dolphins have washed up along the eastern coast of the U.S. since July 1st of this year. Scientists at the NOAA declared a Unusual Mortality Event, allowing them to use fund and perform an extensive investigation of the cause. A combination of classic of tissue investigation along with molecular techniques  that assayed for the presence of the virus, revealed the cause to be a Morbillivirus. The Morbillivirus family includes viruses such as measles, th...

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A new malaria vaccine is 100% effective in first trials

  In a first stage trial an new type of malaria vaccine, made from whole, irradiated sporozoites, has shown itself to be 100% effective. The vaccine, PfSPZ was developed by Sanaria and its lead researcher, Stephen Hoffman, a veteran malaria researcher. This work was encourages by research in the 1970s, showing that long-lived protection could be had by exposure to thousands of bites from irradiated, infectious mosquitoes. Taking this observation and making progress has been slow bec...

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Obesity More Likely in Preschoolers Drinking Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

  Yet again another study showing that sugary drinks are rarely a good idea. This includes fruit juices by the way. They are just as bad as soda pop. Drink your water people! www.newswise.com Young children who regularly drink sugary beverages are more likely to gain excessive weight and become obese, according to new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

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New Insight into Potassium Channels

  Ion channels are massively important to all cells as they allow for the production of ion gradients as well as important ion movements into the cell. These enzymes work in very complicated and closely regulated ways which were previously unknown. New research has opened up these ion channels and dissected their processes to allow us to more closely describe their actions. 

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Bacteria Communicate to Help Each Other Resist Antibiotics

  As many know, antibiotics are at the front line of medical treatment when it comes to many deadly bacterial infections such as pneumonia, dysentery, and others.  Dr. Miguel Valvan and Omar Halfawy have showed that antibiotic resistance can come from more than just an acquired trait within the cell. They observed that large populations of antibiotic resistant strains share small molecule metabolites with other non-resistant cells.

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Antibiotics Take Toll on Beneficial Microbes in Gut

  In the late 1800s a search for antibiotics began in accordance with the growing acceptance that bacteria and microbes have a causal effect on the human body leading to a variety of ailments. From this point in time onward there has been a pursuit for drugs to deter or kill this disease causing bacteria.  Antibiotics can be seen in use for serious life-threatening illness, such as pneumonia, kidney and heart infections, or after major operations to reduce the chances of infection, but also f...

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Plant-based compound may prevent HIV infection

  HIV research have come a long way since the beginning of the epidemic with newer and newer treatments being discovered and administered. However, a classic drawback on novel medications is the virus's ability to develop newer drug resistance strains against the treatment. This is largely due to the virus's high genetic variability, fast replication cycle, and high rate of mutation. New hope arises from an unlikely source, the soybean. New evidence from the George Mason University rese...

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Overactive immune response blocks itself

  Natural killer cells are thought be an important component of innate immune response, which is the immediate response of the body to any infection or any breach of the human body surfaces. Natural killer cells produce messenger substances at the site of infection to recruit other components of the immune system to aid in the removal of the infection. So it has been assumed that having an abundance of natural killer cells will increase the likelihood of the removal of infection. But Helmholtz Cen...

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Biggest Virus Yet Found, May Be Fourth Domain of Life?

  In the past year, scientists came to a shocking discovery when they found a virus larger than any found before: a Pandora virus. Discovered in Chile’s Tunquen River, Pandora viruses average a length of about a micrometer—0.3 micrometers larger than any virus found before—and contain an astonishing 2,500 genes. This is surprising considering an average virus can contain as few as 10 genes. Amoeba are the host for the Pandora viruses With such a large relative size, one may be...

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