COVID-19 Update – The Kinase Connection

Vaccines are a critical factor for stopping the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic as vaccines will help protect uninfected individuals, contribute to herd immunity, and restrict the spread of the virus. However, even after successful vaccines are developed it could take years to manufacture hundreds of millions of doses, to distribute them throughout the world, and to vaccinate [...]

How Likely Are Intelligent Aliens?

As the COVID19 pandemic surges into the summer months with no end in sight, it’s sometimes nice to forget about the virus completely and ponder other subjects, like the possible existence of intelligent alien life forms in our galaxy. As both a scientist and a long-time science fiction fan, I’ve often wondered about sentient alien [...]

Ginger As A Microbiome Modulator

Derived from the root of the flowering Zingiber officinale plant, ginger is a common spice that also has a long history as a medicinal botanical. Much of its medicinal effect has been attributed to a natural oil called gingerol that has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Inflammation and oxidation are risk factors that promote many [...]

Hayflick’s Lament Revisited

Many of us desire to live longer, but we also want to remain healthy and be physically and mentally strong. Diet, exercise, and lifestyle can contribute to health and longevity, but there is a limit to what even the healthiest of choices can do to stop the biological deterioration of our bodies over time. In [...]

Coronavirus Update – A Vaccine Primer

Vaccination is based on the concept of immune memory. When we encounter a new pathogen, we mount an immune response that helps us recover from the infection and also creates immune memory. This process typically takes 1-2 weeks to develop, so we often get sick before there is sufficient immunity to rid our bodies of [...]

One Small Step in the War on Plastic

“I want to say one word to you. Just one word. Plastics.” Maybe some of you remember those prophetic lines from the 1976 movie “The Graduate”. Since that time plastics have become both the boon and the bane of our modern world. They are a cheap and easily adapted material used in nearly everything from [...]

Coronavirus and the Host Response

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues to accelerate in the U.S. and many other countries. As a potential vaccine is likely over a year away, there is great interest in finding an effective antiviral drug. Numerous antiviral drugs were developed for other viruses and many of these are being tested. Additionally, there are many other existing drugs [...]

AI Finds New Antibiotic

AI Finds New Antibiotic The last decade has seen a significant rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria that has become a serious medical problem. Some bacterial strains are now resistant to multiple classes of antibiotics leaving little left to treat them with, and we need entirely new types of antibiotics to combat the surge in resistant bacteria. [...]

Coronavirus Update Part 2

With COVID-19 case numbers reaching nearly 80,000 and new cases popping up outside China in Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East, containment of the SARS-CoV-2 virus seems to be failing. There are many factors that make containment difficult including asymptomatic viral shedders, difficulty in screening to identify infected individuals, thousands of international travelers [...]

Go Mediterranean with Your Microbiome

The list of mental and physical attributes that decline with aging is long and well-known. Collectively our diminishing bodily functions contribute to increased frailty and more general inflammation. In the medical context, frailty includes not just weaker muscles and bones, but also reduced organ functions, decreased immunity, and cognitive decline. The combined negative changes can [...]