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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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Researchers Uncover Cellular Mechanisms for Attention in the Brain

  The brain controls the ability to pay attention and retain information.  The ability to generate attention in the presence of distractions is required for successful interaction in the world we live in today.  Attention in the brain has been heavily studied, but the cellular mechanism responsible for this phenomenon was unknown until the release of recent study results. Researchers at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine and the University of California conducted a study...

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Immensely high internal pressure in Herpes virus facilitates DNA ejection from capsid.

  A new study reveals a key mechanism for viral infection that has been highly preserved in viruses that release their genome into the cell nucleus without disassembling the capsid. The study was conducted by Bauer et al at Carnegie Mellon University on the Herpes Virus (HSV-1), one of the most studied viruses with this kind of an infection mechanism. For the first time, it brings into light the presence of high internal pressure of tens of atmospheres due to an extremely condensed genom...

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Bacteriophage Therapy

  Viruses tend to have a negative connotation to them when in a human health context. What many perhaps do not know is that there are viruses that only attack bacteria. These naturally occurring viruses are called bacteriophages. This article denotes a potentially new way of treating bacterial infections that may be used in the near future.  When bacteriophages were first discovered, they were thought to be very beneficial to treating infections as they do not target human eukaryotic cells...

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Gut Microbes Can Split a Species

  For many years, scientists have defined speciation as an evolutionary event by which a new species arises due to genetic drift. However, a new study suggests that species may diverge because of the microbes in their gut, not their DNA. Biologists Seth Bordenstein and Robert Brucker of Vanderbilt University studied this phenomenon in three different species of parasitic jewel wasps, tiny insects that drill into fly pupae and allow their eggs to feed on the host. 

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Eliminating PRRSV in Pigs

  Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is costing farmers millions of dollars each year. Upon infection, farmers need to cull their herds due to slowed growth and reproductive issues. Although there is a vaccine available, it is not an ideal solution for this particular disease. The vaccine will not eradicate the virus, only lesson the impact of the disease on farms. Scientists are trying to determine the transmission of the disease, in order to solve the problem. A transmem...

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The Unculturables

  Unculturable bacteria are not necessarily uncharacterizable. Microbiological techniques, like PCR and DNA sequencing of "housekeeping" genes, has allowed scientists to continue to gain understand about microbes, whether or not they are culturable. However, the ability to fight human infections and develop cures requires these unculturables to become cultured, so the microorganisms can be grown and studied in laboratory settings.  The question remains, why are these or...

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Gut microbes’ role in species divergence

  It is well known that gut microbes play an important role in the health of many organisms.  Seth Bordenstein and Robert Brucker, biologists at Vanderbilt University, were curious to see what other effects these microbes may have on an organism.  They studied the role of microbes in three related species of parasitic jewel wasps.  Two of the species, Nasonia giraulti and N. longicornis, are closely related, whereas the third species, N. vitripennis, diverged about 1 million years a...

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Biodiversity in marine viruses

  While it is understandable that the majority of research on bacteriophages involve human illness and food spoilage, there is an enormous amount of viruses that prey on bacteria in the environment that are still undiscovered. These environmental bacteriophages are very important since they can direct many significant changes in conditions of the natural world such as the flux of carbon and oxygen levels. 

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Macrophage Creation Pathway

  Stem cell research is not only one of the most controversial topics in science, but also one of the most advanced forms of research available.  A stem cell is a cell that can differentiate into a diverse range of cells as well as regenerate into more stem cells. In order for this research to take off, more needs to be discovered about the pathways these stem cells use.  Biologists at CalTech have been investigating this topic through macrophages which stem from unspecialized blood...

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To eat or to be eaten? The complex lives of Dictyostelium discoideum and Pseudomonas fluorescens

  Dictyostelium discoideum is a eukaryotic microbe that lives a unique lifestyle that involves changing from a unicellular to multicellular organism. Recent studies have shown that not only is it unique in this aspect, but it is unique in that it actually cultivates its own food supply, being dubbed the world’s “smallest farmer” amongst microbiologists. This article is based on a recent study led by Debra Brock at the Washington Universty of St. Louis. Dictyostelium discoideum...

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