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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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The very real danger of alfatoxins
Food products, especially harvested grains, need to be stored carefully. Proper management means storing...
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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,...
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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...
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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...
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Mutations in influenza H5 HA can render droplet transmission ability

  Influenza viruses are a great threat to humans and have very well proven their pandemic nature such as the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. They contain the protein haemagglutinin (HA) which determines the host range by identifying specific receptors such as sialic acid linked to galactose by α2,6-linkages in humans. Recent studies at UW-Madison and University of Tokyo by Yoshihiro Kawaoka have identified a reassortant H5 HA/H1N1 virus that can be transferred through droplet transmission in a fe...

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Gut Microbes

  According to a study conducted at Illinois University, headed by Kelly Swanson, gut microbiomes are able to flourish in certain types of diets in any species. These microbes start to develop at birth and will cause different effects on the body depending on the microbe's arrangement. Theses microbes have been known to affect the immune system and are linked with metabolic issues, such as obesity in both animals and people. To see if gut microbes are similar to other microbes of different spe...

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Weakened Immune Systems lead to Increased Virulence of Malaria parasite

  A recent Penn State experiment studied the effects of weak immune systems on the virulence and aggressiveness of a malaria parasite in mice. The study involved disabling a key immune molecule, CD4 receptors, with an antibody and then infecting these mice and a control group with an uncompromised immune system with the malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi. It lasted 21 weeks and each week, the parasite was taken from one mice and transferred to another previously uninfected mouse. They froze the...

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A Shot in the Arm for New Antiobiotics

      The ability of bacteria to develop resistance to antibiotics has posed as an ongoing obstacle for the medical community.  Antibiotic resistance becomes evolutionarily favorable when the resistant microbes are able to thrive within a community.  This in turn creates a pressure to maintain these mutated microbes and weed out the susceptible ones.  Since mutated organisms are less fit, when resistance is no longer needed the original strain can thrive once again.  ...

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Gut Bugs Could Explain Obesity-Cancer Link

  Obesity is associated with increased risks of certain types of cancers, such as colorectal and liver cancer. The mechanism behind this relationship in humans is still unknown, but recent research has shown that gut microbiota may play a role. Scientists at the Cancer Institute of the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research in Tokyo studied the relationship between gut microbes and the development of liver cancer using lean and obese mice. By exposing the mice to a cancer-causing chemical shortly...

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Vitamin c helps control gene activation

  It turns out that vitamin C is a switch for gene activation inside mouse stem cells. A recent study that was conducted by UC San Francisco researchers made it possible to help guide normal development in mice, humans and animals, improving results of in vitro fertilization and growing healthy stem cells in the near future. What happens is that vitamin C assists a specific group of enzymes called “Tet” which are activated during the early stages of fertilization and development. This...

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How Your Cat is Making You Crazy

  Zombies seem to be all the rage recently in the entertainment industry. Obviously, Hollywood generally avoids keeping things “scientific” for entertainment purposes, but could it be possible to be controlled by another biological organism? Well, a Czech Scientist named Jaroslav Flegr sure thinks so. Flegr came to this idea when he noticed that he would do dangerous acts, like crossing the street, without thinking twice about it. He made the connection when he read about how a flatwor...

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Gut microbes may put barrier between species

  A recent study, conducted by Professor Seth Bordenstein of Vanderbilt University, proposed that two species of jewel wasp, Nasonia giraulti and Nasonia Vitripennis, remain separate species largely because of microbe interference, not lethal incompatibility in DNA, as many biologists believed.

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The microbial communities surrounding radioactive waste dumps

  Growing interest in nuclear power is often hindered by the question of what to do with the radioactive byproducts. One solution is to bury them. In Mol, Belgium, at the HADES research center, scientists have discovered communities of microbes living in the clay surrounding structures that house nuclear waste. Some species of microorganisms are known to have detrimental effects on the materials used for these structures. Researchers have delved hundreds of meters underground in search of wha...

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A New Reason Why Red Meat, and Some Energy Drinks, May Be Bad for Our Heart

  We have heard that Red meat is bad for our health, and we know that the high cholesterol content of the meat is what causes atherosclerosis by accumulating in blood vessels. But a new study has found that bacteria in our gut may in fact contribute to heart disease risk. Although this is quite confounding as we have never heard of the involvement of bacteria in heart health, Stanley hazen, the section head and a biochemist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio had published that L-Carnitine in red meat...

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