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 […]

The Season of the Prize

The Nobel Prize season starts today with the 2019 award in Physiology or Medicine. This year’s prize goes to three individuals, two Americans and a Brit, for their work on how the body maintains homeostasis during changes in oxygen levels. Drs. William G. Kaelin Jr. (Harvard University), Peter J. Ratcliffe (Oxford University), and Gregg L. […]

Is There Life On Mars?

The Red Planet has fascinated almost anyone who’s ever scanned the nighttime sky and wondered about the universe beyond our tiny planet. Science fiction has long proposed advanced civilizations on this planet from H. G. Well’s “The War of the Worlds” (1897) through Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom series (1912-1941) to classic golden age syfy such […]

Polio – Another Step Backwards

Briefly last week there were headlines about a small number of polio cases found in the Philippines, a country declared polio free in 2000. While a few cases in another country may not seem very alarming, these cases starkly reflect a global public health failure. Polio is a very contagious viral infection that is usually […]

Obesity – Are Ultraprocessed Foods the Culprit?

Polls have shown that weight loss is the most common New Year’s resolution. The average weight of Americans has steadily increased over the last several decades with an estimated 71% of us now classified as overweight and nearly 40% of us considered obese. Fad diets and multiple theories abound, often with little or no basis […]