General biology

Category archives for General biology

An interesting new paper is just out today in PLoS ONE. You recall the announcement a few years back that soft tissue that resembled organic tissue had been isolated from a Tyrannosaurus femur. This started off a huge controversy in the field (and beyond)–researchers disagreeing with each other whether the structures seen were indeed blood…

Balance is a tricky thing to find in area, and medicine is notorious for its trade-offs. A drug that may make you well in the long run may also have side effects that make taking the medicine difficult. Even drugs that we often think of as typically innocuous, such as antibiotics, can have an enormous…

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 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,…

Early this week, grant application; yesterday and today, IRB and IACUC for another project. But once again, fellow Sbers are keeping me busy reading about stories I’d like to be writing on; see yet again Mike on E. coli O157:H7–everything old is new again; Ed on a new study showing yet again how amazing bacteria…

1980 marked a milestone in infectious disease epidemiology: the World Health Organization declared the smallpox virus eradicated in the wild. However, while smallpox currently exists only in frozen stocks, poxviruses as a class certainly haven’t disappeared. A related virus, monkeypox, regularly causes illness in Africa, and even spread half a world away in the American…

In this NY Times article on parents who are opting out of vaccinations, one mom notes her objections: “I refuse to sacrifice my children for the greater good,” said Sybil Carlson, whose 6-year-old son goes to school with several of the children hit by the measles outbreak [in San Diego]. The boy is immunized against…