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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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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...
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Recent evidence from rover Curiosity suggests life may have existed on Mars years ago

  If you ask most people is microbes could survive on Mars, they would answer  "no".  Yet recent evidence from the rover Curiosity suggest that life (microbes) may have existed billions of years ago, when analysis of rock drillings showed traces of some of the most fundamental elements for life (sulfur, hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, etc), in addition to water covering the planet's surface. 

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The Constant Battle of the Common Cold

  Ever wonder why no matter how hard you try to stay healthy and get plenty of rest, you always seem to get a cold just as winter comes around. One factor of the common cold, recently discovered by Ellen Foxman of Yale University, may be out of your control; the weather. The article, Colder Viruses Thrive in Frosty Conditions, further explains how colder temperatures have been shown to be a reason for the flare up and spread of the common cold.

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Diet-Induced Alterations of Host Cholesterol Metabolism Are Likely To Affect the Gut Microbiota Composition in Hamsters.

  While it has been well established that the gastrointestinal microbiota plays a role in the regulation of host metabolism, little is known about the connections between the composition of the gut microbiota and its effect on host metabolic pathways and processes. This is a valuable area of research, as changes in the host gut flora have been linked to various health problems. This knowledge calls for a better understanding of the bacterial patterns and functions associated with and contributing...

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New Technology Allows Crops to Take Nitrogen from the Air!

  The University of Nottingham, located in England, has developed a new technology that would allow all of the crops in the world to take in nitrogen from the air instead of from fertilizers.  During nitrogen fixation, a plant processes nitrogen (which is taken up by the fertilizer and soil) and then converts it into ammonia, which is a form of nitrogen that the cell can utilize. With the conversion of ammonia, the cell adds glutamate, which then creates glutamine. This process is extensive a...

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The Microbes in Our Bodies are as Unique as We Are

  In a world of bacteria, the tiny microbes that inhabit the human gut can reveal a lot about an individual.  The human body houses such a high amount of microbes that it significantly outnumbers the number of human cells a person has.  Recently, scientists have sought to better understand the vast number of microbes in the colon, in order to use this information to better human health. The American Gut Project is dissecting thousands of stool samples to truly understand what microbes...

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Inflammatory Response Turned off for Allergic Asthma and CODP Patients

  Inflammation is a type of immune system response to injury or irritation.  This response is problematic to the individuals who have asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), though.  Asthma is a lung disease that causes inflammation and narrowing of the bronchi of the lungs, which makes it hard for people with asthma to breathe.  COPD is also a lung disease which causes poor air flow to the lungs due to inflammation, also making it hard for the individual to breath...

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A Community of Microbes Help Protect Plants from Disease.

  The immune system of animals is extremely complex and helps defend against a plethora of diseases. Plants, on the other hand, are not as lucky when it comes to defense. Plants have a few systems to stop chemicals and diseases from moving in, but overall are very susceptible to infection. Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found that many plants are relying on microbes in the soil to defend themselves against diseases and pathogens.

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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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