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The Truth is in Here

Welcome to TrueScience. I am a professional scientist in the biological arena, and the fundamental goal of my profession is to seek truth, understanding, and knowledge. We don’t always get it right, but we always strive to reach the absolute truth even if progress is slow and incremental. We are taught to follow the evidence …

Move Over COVID, Influenza Is Coming to Town

Seasonal influenza sweeps around the world year after year infecting millions of people across the Northern and Southern hemispheres. In a typical year, influenza causes 30-40 million cases in the United States with an average of 37,000 deaths per year from 2010-2019. However, because of the COVID-19 precautions (masks, social distancing, lockdowns, and cancellation of …

Let There Be Light

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a genetic disease where cells in the retina called rods and cones slowly die off leading to diminished sight or complete blindness. Rod and cone cells, collectively called photoreceptors, absorb light and convert it to electrical signals. The electrical signals are transmitted through other intermediate cells and eventually pass to retinal …

Our Viral World

If the COVID-19 epidemic has taught us anything, it’s that for all our scientific and medical advances, the human race is still very vulnerable to novel viruses. These novel viruses lurk in wild animal populations and can spread to people who come in contact with infected animals. Alternatively, wild animal viruses can infect domestic animals …

Dangerous Vocations

Accidents happen. Even in laboratories where safety is a priority they occur despite our best (and sometimes not so best) efforts to keep ourselves and our co-workers protected from injury and disease. Scientists working with infectious agents are particularly at risk even though there are numerous physical and procedural requirements in labs to ameliorate the …

Calculating Dementia

There is an old adage that you “can’t beat Father Time”. No matter what we do the aging process eventually brings a steady decline in our bodily functions as we endure decreased strength and muscle mass, reduced bone density, stiffer joints, and diminished elasticity in our blood vessels and arteries. However, perhaps no age-related decline …

Polio – The End of an Era?

What do polio and smallpox have in common? These are both dreaded viral diseases that science has (smallpox) or soon will (polio) completely eliminate from the planet through vaccination. Unlike many viruses that lurk in animal reservoirs, only humans are the natural hosts for both of these viruses. Smallpox virus and poliovirus persist by spreading …

This Little Piggy

Organ transplants have become a staple of modern medicine with 9 types of transplants approved in the United States: cornea, heart, kidney, liver, lung, pancreas, skin, trachea, and vascular tissue. These transplants are usually highly successful at both extending and improving the quality of life in the recipients, with about 40,000 performed yearly in our …

Epigenetics and Stress: “The moving finger writes; and, having writ, moves on.” – Omar Khayyam

There is a well-known connection between early life stress (ELS) and depression that develops in adolescence or the adult years. Individuals with severe ELS suffer from an up to three-fold higher incidence of depression as adults, a risk seen both in humans and in animal models. What has remained mysterious is the mechanism by which …