Category: Uncategorized

  • Viruses, Viruses Everywhere

    The 1918 influenza pandemic killed nearly 50 million people worldwide. Almost exactly 100 years later SARS coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) exploded into human populations leading to the COVID-19 pandemic that so far has infected nearly 400 million people and killed close to 6 million people. The COVID pandemic, in addition to being a horrendous medical crisis, has […]

  • Rabies – A TrueScience Public Service Announcement

    Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a stark reminder about the dangers of rabies in their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). After two consecutive years with no rabies deaths in the United States, there were five deaths in 2021, including a 7-year old child. Four of the recent […]

  • Multiple Sclerosis – The Search Narrows

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a serious autoimmune disease that affects about 3 million people worldwide and over 900,000 in the United States. The disease symptoms are quite varied but typically begin between the ages of 20-40. Symptoms can include vision problems, impaired hearing, decreased taste and smell, headaches, weakness and fatigue, muscle tremors or pain, […]

  • HIV 2022 – The Battle Continues

    In 1982, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) coined the term Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) to describe a new disease that had appeared in the United States. Initially mysterious in its cause, AIDS was quickly shown to result from infection with a newly discovered virus (a discovery that eventually earned Dr. Luc Montagnier the 2008 […]

  • The Origins of Life

    As we contemplate the beginnings of a new year, an interesting paper by Wimmer et al. in Frontiers in Microbiology reexamines the beginnings of the first biochemical compounds. We know the Earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago and that life originated about 3.8 billion years ago, but a key question has always been how […]

  • Seasons Greetings

    As we approach the end of 2021 I want to wish everyone happy holidays and best wishes for 2022. I haven’t posted much lately as I’ve been hard at work reviewing the final proofs for my upcoming book on virology. In the book, I explore the science, history, and social impact of viruses. Anyone interested […]

  • Did Nature Put a “HEX” on Babies?

    Pheromones are chemical compounds released by animals that trigger specific reactions in the recipient, such as mating behavior or aggression. These chemicals are in essence a form of nonverbal communication that is widespread from insects to mammals. However, while the existence of pheromones is well established in animals, it remains controversial for humans. Humans with […]

  • Eliminating Cervical Cancer

    In 1976, Harald zur Hausen, a German physician and researcher, first proposed that human papillomaviruses (HPVs) were the cause of cervical cancer. This hypothesis was controversial as the few known HPVs all caused benign skin warts. Additionally, many scientists believed that herpesviruses were implicated in cervical cancer and that the poorly studied HPVs were unlikely […]

  • Viruses and Brain Disease

    Humans may produce upwards of 100,000 proteins. Each different type of protein normally folds into a unique shape (its tertiary structure) that is essential to its function. Proteins can misfold due to mutations that change the amino acid sequence of the protein leading to a defective protein. Alternatively, sometimes a wild-type protein (the normal protein) […]

  • Cognition and MicroRNAs

    In a previous blog (Calculating Dementia), I wrote about an online health and lifestyle questionnaire that could predict your risk of dementia over the coming 5 year period. The algorithm behind the questionnaire was based on data from about 50,000 men and women in Canada. However, the algorithm didn’t take into account family history or […]