Archives for April, 2008

Better news from the art world

You may recall the case of geneticist Robert Farrell, who had been initially charged with bioterroism for sharing generally-harmless strains of bacteria with a colleague, SUNY-Buffalo art professor Steven Kurtz. Farrell plead guilty to a reduced charge last fall and received a fine and probation. Now the verdict is in for Kurtz; more after the…

Via Razib, Obama on vaccines: “We’ve seen just a skyrocketing autism rate. Some people are suspicious that it’s connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it.” –Barack Obama, Pennsylvania Rally, April 21, 2008. and Clinton: I am committed to make investments to find the…

Sacrificing health for art

I realize art is, of course, subjective. I know what I like; sometimes I can explain why, and sometimes I’m not sure what it is about a piece that draws me to it. Certainly good art evokes emotion and can stir controversy and push limits. And like the notorious virgin Mary/elephant dung uproar, an undergrad…

This is the sixth of 6 guest posts on infection and chronic disease. By Courtney Cook Kidney stone disease affects approximately 5% of Americans. While several risk factors are well-established, including genetic predisposition, metabolic diseases, lifestyle, and diet, there are still questions over the actual mechanism of calcium stone formation. Many cases do not have…

This is the fifth of 6 guest posts on infection and chronic disease. By Whitney Baker My previous blog post examined the idea of an infectious etiology for obesity by a group of possible infectious agents. While these pathogens have been associated with obesity in humans or animals, their causative role in human obesity has…

This is the fourth of 6 guest posts on infection and chronic disease. By Ousmane Diallo Last week in class we tackled an interesting topic, the role of Mycobacterium Avium Paratuberculosis (MAP) in the genesis of Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). The authors Saleh E. Naser (oops the name means in Arabic ‘The…

This is the third of 6 guest posts on infection and chronic disease. Does chronic IL-6 levels lead to epigenetic changes in DNA methylation that contribute to this pathway? By Matthew Fitzgerald How can infection be a carcinogen? How do infectious diseases lead to cancer, if at all, is still a highly debated area of…

This is the second of 6 guest posts on infection and chronic disease. By Rachel Kirby In light of April being Autism Awareness Month it is only natural that certain topics be brought about in the media. Until now I was not aware of the controversy behind the “risk factors” of autism. Let’s begin with…

This is the first of 6 guest posts on infectious causes of chronic disease. By David Massaquoi Is this the Beginning of the end of antibiotic resistant problem or just another scientific false hope of eradicating microorganisms that have co-existed with humans for millions of years? In the days before antibiotics, some researchers saw bacteriophages,…

Student posts, assignment #2

My students are back with their second writing assignment, which I’ll be posting for the next few days. As I mentioned previously, constructive comments on their posts are appreciated, but keep in mind that they’re students doing this as an assignment and still learning–and comments that I feel are over the top (or attacking me…