Zika virus can cross the placenta, intended to protect the developing fetus, and appears to lead to a high percentage of miscarriages and to babies born with thin brain tissue and inflammation in brain cells, at least in mice.
Mice are not little people, of course, or every disease would have been cured by now and every chemical would be toxic, but it's a starting point for understanding the role of zika in birth defects beyond vague epidemiology.
Recently, two armies were pitted against each other, with harpoon-like appendages covered in poison. They went two war, stabbing each other and rupturing victims like water balloons.
It was all mathematically predictable, at least over time. In a one-off scenario, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl, though in over 90 other instances where a team in the playoffs was down by 19 after three quarters, they lost. Knowing the math could lead to new, targeted therapies to fight infections.
But dueling bacteria would not be the infectors in that scenario; they'd be the remedy.
The number of theoretically possible fatty acids with the same chain length but different structures can be determined with the aid of the famous Fibonacci sequence.
The ability to calculate the number of possible fatty acids is of great importance for their chemical analysis (‘lipidomics’) and a new paper states the number of possible fatty acids with increasing chain length rises at each step by a factor that agrees with what is called the ‘Golden Ratio’
. The Golden Ratio is essentially a ratio that is the midpoint between asymmetry and symmetry, when "the whole is to the larger as the larger is to the smaller". In numerical terms, it is 1.618.
Many viruses face a choice after they have infected their hosts: to replicate quickly, killing the cell in the process, or to become dormant and lie in wait. HIV, herpes, and a number of other human viruses behave this way and, in fact, even the viruses that attack bacteria – phages – face similar decisions when invading a cell.
What causes a virus to choose dormancy over immediate gratification? Prof. Rotem Sorek and his group in the Weizmann Institute’s Department of Molecular Genetics have now discovered that, during infection, viruses secrete small molecules into their environment that other viruses can pick up and “read.” In this way, they can actually coordinate their attack, turning simple messages into a fairly sophisticated strategy.
A paper in Sexually Transmitted Infections details a cheap way to kill off gonorrhea in the mouth - alcohol-containing mouthwash.
Gonorrhea is caused by bacteria and curb the growth of the bacteria responsible. Gonorrhea of the mouth has become more common among primarily gay men as fear of AIDS has declined. That disease is quite treatable today and so fear of it has declined, meaning a decline in condom use.
Gonorrhea is also treatable, with antibiotics, but those heighten the risk of the emergence of antibiotic resistant strains of Neisseria gonnorheae, the bacteria responsible for the infection, so concern is high.
If gay men won't use condoms, maybe they'll use mouthwash
A new paper links specific types of intestinal bacteria in the development of colorectal cancer - in animal models, at least. Finding it in humans is another matter.
But if such a link is ever found, and currently these findings are only exploited by people selling something, it could lead to dietary-based therapeutic interventions which may be able to modify the composition of the gut microbiome and reduce
Thanks to savvy marketing by food corporations who are looking for health halos to put over their food, consumer demand for food products formulated without synthetic additives has increased.
There is a big drawback, demonstrated by Chipotle and others who are hoping to make themselves look healthier when selling junk food - it still has to be safe to eat. Additives, synthetic or not, are needed for food safety reasons, so food product developers are faced with the challenge of developing more "natural" additives that can produce comparable in safety results with synthetic versions.
Pigs are a main livestock species for food production worldwide and is also widely used as an animal model in biomedical research. Today we know that the many types of bacteria that inhabit the gut are important for health and disease. Knowledge of the genes of these bacteria and their function therefore constitutes the first step towards a more comprehensive understanding of how bacteria in the gut affect health and disease.
An international consortium of researchers from INRA (France), University of Copenhagen and SEGES (Denmark), BGI-Shenzhen (China) and NIFES (Norway) has now established the first catalog of bacterial genes in the gut of pigs. This achievement is published in the latest issue of Nature Microbiology.
Researchers have found an association between migraines and microbes that reduce nitrates. Analyzing data from the American Gut Project, they found that migraine sufferers harbored significantly more microbes in their mouths and guts with the ability to modify nitrates compared to people who do not get migraine headaches.
Nestle, the world's largest food company, has decided to embrace optimizing our microbiome, which consists of trillions of bacteria living in the digestive system and which has been linked to depression, multiple sclerosis, autism - you name it, and someone is claiming their product will fix it.