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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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Stomach Bug uses novel mechanism to infect cells

  At the UT Southwestern Medical Center, researchers are investigating a seafood contaminant that thrives in the summer. This contaminant, Vibrio paraphaemolyticus, is a bacterium that causes a stomach flu and has a novel mechanism by which it infects cells. The bacterium inject proteins, known as effectors which regulator biological activity, into the cell. VopQ is an important effector and is the focus of this research. Once into the cell, VopQ disrupts autophagy. Autophagy is the...

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Human herpesvirus 6 infection linked to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)

  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a disorder characterized by extreme tiredness that does not go away with bed rest, lasts for about 6 months in adults. Some of its many other symptoms include cognitive problems, headaches and vertigo. A study in the Journal of Health Psychology also found a high mortality level (12.5%) in CFS patients over the course of 10 years. Experts believe that CFS has many root causes including psychological factors, pathogens and genetic predisposition.  Re...

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'Epilepsy in a Dish': Stem Cell Research Reveals Clues to Disease's Origins and May Aid Search for Better Drugs

  Scientists at the University of Michigan Medical School have created an exciting new model called “epilepsy in a dish” to study seizure disorders. It works by converting skin cells from patients harboring an epilepsy disorder to stem cells and then to neurons. The patient specific neurons allow for the study of brain cells and brain activity without the need to perform a brain biopsy. The overall goal of this study is to create induced pluripotent stem cells from cells of patients wi...

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You are what you eat

  Recent research done by scientists at the university of Massachusetts medical school (UMMS) shows that even the smallest bites of food can have a massive impact, by significantly changing gene expression, which could lead to an undesirable physiology and health outcome. Using special worms that are used normally as model organisms in genetic studies, the scientists observed how different diets cause differences in gene expression in the worms that could be interconnected to crucial physiolo...

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Simply reducing antibiotic use doesn't guarantee a decrease in resistance among bacteria

  Antibiotic resistant bacteria emerge from improper and over usage of antibiotics. However, antibiotic resistant bacteria have some disadvantages of their own.  When not exposed to antibiotics, non-resistant bacteria are often selected for due to the fact that there is an energetic cost associated with being immune to antibiotics. Because of this, it is now desired to reduce antibiotic use in proper situations with the hope of decreasing resistance among bacteria. This is often successful. H...

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Copper nanoparticles could protect food from bacteria

  Microbial such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi exist in our everyday life, and many of them are harmless to us. However, some of them are toxic that we need to come up with approaches to eliminate them. Fortunately, researcher Jaroslaw Drelich from Michigan Technological University has recently found that copper can be used to treat such microbes. In this method nanoparticles of copper can be embed into vermiculite, which is an inert compound often used in potting soil. For prelim...

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Biofilm matrix gene expression in B. subtilis

  In a recent paper that was published by the Gourse Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison,discusses the biofilm matrix gene expression in Bacillus subtilis. A biofilm matrix is made up of multicellular communities that stick to many types of surfaces in different environments, and the production of extracellular matrix enables the formation of these communities. Once the biofilm matrix forms, the flagella motility is inhibited by the organism. On a molecular level, the eps and tapA-sipW...

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Compound Produced by Ocean Microbes Could Treat Anthrax and MRSA

  Researchers at the University of California - San Diego have found a microbe in the Santa Barbara Bay that may produce a compound that could be used to treat anthrax and MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) while conducting research. The microbe belongs to the Streptomyces family and is found in the sediment close to the shores of Santa Barbara, California. The compound it produces, called “anthracimycin”, was novel in structure, which was solved...

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Methamphetamine use can lead to deathly fungal infection

  According to available data, it is estimated that there are about 350,000 people in the US who are regular methamphetamine abusers.  The drug’s ability to impact the central nervous system as a stimulant might do more harm than what is known.  Recent studies have shown that injecting methamphetamine accumulates greatly in the lungs.  This information, combined with a fungus, Crytptococcus neoformans, can lead to a lethal combination.  

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Microbes can influence evolution of their hosts

  A new study shows that our microbial companions may play a significant role in the process of our evolution. Evolution can be defined as the change in the gene frequency of a population over time. Key to the process of evolution is natural selection. Natural selection is when certain heritable traits impart a greater chance of survival and reproduction for individuals that have said traits than individuals without, under prevailing environmental conditions. A new twist on these concepts is the h...

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