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COVID-19 Update – Variations on a Theme

The news is filled with alarming stories about new variants of SARS-CoV-2 that were isolated in recent weeks. These variants are versions of the original SARS-CoV-2 virus that have acquired mutations. Mutations are a natural and regular occurrence that happens when the parental viral genome replicates during the process of making progeny viruses. In an …


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The Gut-Brain Connection

Our gastrointestinal system is teeming with diverse bacteria that collectively comprise our gut microbiome. These bacteria contribute to our digestive capability as well as more broadly influencing our overall health and wellbeing. As the bacteria in our gut digest our food they produce and excrete their own biomolecules that we call metabolites. Bacterial metabolites can …

COVID-19 – Are We Nearing the Endgame?

I suspect that everyone has heard the highly encouraging news this week from two vaccine manufacturers, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. Both companies released the first phase 3 trial preliminary results this week and based on these early data each of their vaccines is highly effective after 2 doses. In the case of Pfizer’s vaccine, the initial …

Nobel for CRISPR

I just wanted to add my congratulations to the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry winners, Drs. Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier. Only the 6th and 7th women to receive the Chemistry Nobel Prize, Doudna and Charpentier received the award for making the bacterial CRISPR/Cas9 system into the most powerful genetic tool of the 21st century. …

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