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Posts tagged with "Infectious Diseases"

  • Animal Testing

    Time For Better Microbiome Research

    The microbiome needs no introduction – it has been several years since you could pick up a biomedical research journal and not run into an article on possible connections of human gut bacteria and disease. There were thousands of such papers last year alone. But it’s a very hard field to work in. You can… Read More
  • Current Events

    Coronavirus

    As the world knows, we face an emerging virus threat in the Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak. The problem is, right now there are several important things that we don’t know about the situation. The mortality rate, the ease of human-human transmission, the rate of mutation of the virus (and how many strains we might be… Read More
  • Cancer

    Evading Chemotherapy, Bacteria-Style

    One of the key advantages bacteria have (versus our strategies to outwit them) is their fast turnover. Bacterial generations come along so quickly that advantageous mutations can spread through a population much faster than we can deal with the changes. And it gets worse: there are many bacterial species that actually increase their mutation rates… Read More
  • Biological News

    Bacteria Behind Yet Another Disease

    There are a lot of things in human medicine that make sense broadly, but not in detail. We understand why a thing could happen, but not exactly how it happens. A case in point in alcoholic liver disease. It makes perfect sense that longterm alcohol abuse would damage the liver – it’s the front line… Read More
  • Infectious Diseases

    Tone It Down!

    I’ve had a number of people ask me about the news stories the last few days which keep saying that there’s a a “cure for HIV” coming. This all goes back to a Maryland company, American Gene Technologies, and a gene therapy they’re working on called AGT-103T. This is an attempt to use a lentiviral-based… Read More
  • Biological News

    The Secret Life of the Insulin Receptor

    You’d think that we would understand the workings of something like the insulin receptor by now, wouldn’t you? I worked in the metabolic disease area for several years, and I can give you the canonical version of its activities as it relates to insulin levels and glucose handling out in the canonical tissues (muscle, adipose). Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    A New Infectious Mechanism for Alzheimer’s?

    We have another entry in the “Is Alzheimer’s caused by infectious disease?” drawing, and it’s a good one. A large multicenter team reports that Porphyromonas gingivalis, which is the key pathogen in gingivitis (gum disease) may be the actual causative agent in Alzheimer’s, which is a bold claim indeed. But they have… Read More
  • Biological News

    Quinine’s Target

    Every “history of pharmaceuticals” article ever written probably mentions quinine, and well they should. (I certainly reserved an entry for it while writing my own chemical history book). It’s a classic example of a natural product drug, one that was not known to the classical Mediterranean world but was only appreciated by Europe… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Artemisia Comes Through Again

    Here’s an unusual twist for you. Many readers will be familiar – to their regret, most likely – with the story of T*ring Pharmaceuticals (name redacted slightly in order to not defame a great scientist whose name was tacked on to this outfit for no reason other than advertising). Their first idea was to go… Read More
  • Biological News

    Rewiring Bacteria

    Earth is basically a bacteria planet, despite humankind’s naked-eye-level profile. They’ve been here unfathomably longer than we have, they live in plenty of places where we can’t survive, and their biomass far outranks ours. This paper will show you just how adaptable the little creatures are. Wild-type E. coli (like many other… Read More
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