Is a Herpesvirus Messing with MS?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a puzzling and complex autoimmune disease. During MS the immune system attacks cells in the brain causing damage to and loss of the myelin protein that is produced by cells called oligodendrocytes. Myelin acts as an insulating sheath around nerve cells (like the rubber coating on electrical wires), and damage to [...]

Hey, 98.6, It’d Be Good to Have You Back Again!

Everyone knows that the normal human body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius), but it’s really more complicated than that single number. This temperature number was originally established in the mid-1800s based on millions of temperature measurements on thousands of people. The canonical 98.6 number is actually an average value with the normal [...]

Can You Catch Type 1 Diabetes?

There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Type 2, known as adult onset diabetes, usually occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin, though in some cases it results from low production of insulin. In contrast, type 1 diabetes exclusively results from insufficient insulin production by the pancreas and is sometimes [...]

Is It Time to Time Our Daily Eating?

Animals, including humans, evolved to coordinate bodily biochemistry and metabolism with the daily cycles of sleep and wake, light and dark. For humans, hunting and feeding were daylight activities followed by long periods of dark and sleep. Only in recent evolutionary history have we mastered our environment to allow prolonged waking periods with constant access [...]

To Sleep, Perchance to Get Healthier

A good night’s sleep is one of those precious commodities that is often difficult to obtain in our hectic, modern lives. Between work and family, not to mention binge watching your favorite series, getting enough sleep each day can be challenging. We stay up too late, we rise too early, and often we don’t sleep [...]

How Old is Your Dog Really in Human Years?

The common metric is that each dog year equals 7 human years, but a new study suggests that the correlation is not that simple, at least for Labrador retrievers. To evaluate relative dog age, the researchers examined epigenetic changes in dog DNA and compared them with similar age-related changes in human DNA. Epigenetic changes refer [...]

Measles – A Killer of Immune Memory

Measles was once a very common childhood disease that was rampant worldwide. Measles is caused by the Rubeola virus, is spread via respiratory droplets in coughs and sneezes, and is considered one of the most contagious viruses. Disease begins with high fever, red, watery eyes, coughing, and sore throat, followed a few days later by [...]

Red Wine is Fine for Your Microbiome

The role of the human microbiome in health and disease is under massive investigation by scientists world-wide, especially the gut microbiome. There are great individual differences in the composition of the gut microbiome, which is defined as the number of different types of bacteria present and the relative quantities of each type.  Certain difference in [...]

Good News about Papillomavirus-Induced Cancer

The idea that cervical cancer might be caused by a human papillomaviruses (HPVs) was first proposed by Professor Harald zur Hausen, a German physician and virologist, in 1976.  Subsequent research over the next two decades confirmed this hypothesis and led to a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for Dr. zur Hausen in 2008. We [...]

A New Factor in Pancreatic Cancer?

Around 60,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year. Unfortunately, about 75% of the newly diagnosed will live less than 1 year, leading to around 45,000 deaths per year. Overall, the 5-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is only 9%. A big reason for this low survival rate is [...]