Tag: health

  • A Nobel Prelude

    The Lasker Foundation was created in 1945 by Mary and Albert Lasker to recognize and honor advances in medical science. Albert was an advertising executive and Mary was a powerful national advocate for medical research funding. Mary was especially ardent about cancer research, and her lobbying efforts helped pass the National Cancer Act in 1971. […]

  • Microbes and Aging

    The human digestive tract, primarily the colon, typically contains between 300 to 1000 different bacterial species, collectively known as our gut microbiome. Studies from the last 20 years have repeatedly shown important connections between the composition of our gut microbiome (i.e. the number of different species and the relative quantities of each species) and various […]

  • Move Over COVID, Influenza Is Coming to Town

    Seasonal influenza sweeps around the world year after year infecting millions of people across the Northern and Southern hemispheres. In a typical year, influenza causes 30-40 million cases in the United States with an average of 37,000 deaths per year from 2010-2019. However, because of the COVID-19 precautions (masks, social distancing, lockdowns, and cancellation of […]

  • Our Viral World

    If the COVID-19 epidemic has taught us anything, it’s that for all our scientific and medical advances, the human race is still very vulnerable to novel viruses. These novel viruses lurk in wild animal populations and can spread to people who come in contact with infected animals. Alternatively, wild animal viruses can infect domestic animals […]

  • COVID

    Here is an outstanding YouTube video on COVID science and vaccination created by one of my Texas A&M colleagues, Dr. Andrew Dessler. He developed it to show to his new students in his fall classes, but everyone should check it out.

  • Dangerous Vocations

    Accidents happen. Even in laboratories where safety is a priority they occur despite our best (and sometimes not so best) efforts to keep ourselves and our co-workers protected from injury and disease. Scientists working with infectious agents are particularly at risk even though there are numerous physical and procedural requirements in labs to ameliorate the […]

  • Calculating Dementia

    There is an old adage that you “can’t beat Father Time”. No matter what we do the aging process eventually brings a steady decline in our bodily functions as we endure decreased strength and muscle mass, reduced bone density, stiffer joints, and diminished elasticity in our blood vessels and arteries. However, perhaps no age-related decline […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]