Colonies of Burkholderia pseudomallei on Ashdown agar after 96 hours incubation at 37ºC
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Melioidosis: Über-neglected and potentially über-dangerous

Melioidosis is so unknown and underfunded that to call it a “neglected tropical disease” would be an euphemism. In most of the world melioidosis is seen as an “imported disease” and correct diagnosis often depends on analyzing the patient’s last vacation destination. However, a recently published Nature Microbiology study suggests that the global distribution of melioidosis’ causative agent Burkholderia pseudomallei is significantly vaster and the … Continue reading Melioidosis: Über-neglected and potentially über-dangerous

Surface of Pluto

Pluto Who? Astronomers Find Evidence for “New” Ninth Planet

It sounds like it belongs in a sci-fi B movie from the 1950s, but a growing body of evidence suggests that “Planet Nine” is the ninth planet in our solar system…if it actually exists.  Astronomers Konstantin Batygin and Michael Brown recently observed that the orbits of several small, rocky objects beyond Neptune were arranged in an unexpected manner.  In fact, their alignment is so strange … Continue reading Pluto Who? Astronomers Find Evidence for “New” Ninth Planet

094. CRYSTALS - ovoid colllage  14

Crystaleyes

One of our Instagram followers won a print of this beautiful image! Be sure to follow us on Instagram @SITN_Harvard for your chance to win some SciArt. This beautiful contribution from Don Pottle is best described by the legend himself: “A few years ago, I was asked by a maker  of  contact lenses to examine a few samples of used contact lenses.  There was a suspicion of … Continue reading Crystaleyes

Barack_Obama_looks_at_the_moon_and_Venus

Can Obama’s Plan Cure Cancer?: Shooting the moon one patient at a time [Editorial]

by Steph Guerra During his last State of the Union address, President Obama announced a new national effort for ‘a moonshot’ to cure cancer. He wants “America to be the country to cure cancer once and for all.” Still reeling from the premature loss of his son to brain cancer, Joe Biden is set to spearhead this major push for federal cancer research funding. Cancer … Continue reading Can Obama’s Plan Cure Cancer?: Shooting the moon one patient at a time [Editorial]

Personalized-Nutrition

Illuminating the Link Between Weight Loss Success and Personal Genetics and Medical Histories

Know anyone who has made a complete commitment to a weight loss diet and not seen any results? Recent research suggests that generic diets that work for some may not work for everyone based on differences in individuals’ genetics and medical histories. In lieu of generic diets, some researchers propose a more personalized approach to nutrition, one that takes into account individuals’ unique characteristics to … Continue reading Illuminating the Link Between Weight Loss Success and Personal Genetics and Medical Histories

T cells (immune cells) attacking a cancer cell. This image is licensed by Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Oncolytic viruses- A one of a kind FDA approval

by Nishita Parnandi figures by Krissy Lyon One of the biggest challenges in treating cancer is to specifically target the cancerous site in a tissue without killing the surrounding normal cells. The use of oncolytic viruses is a new cancer treatment that is excellent at achieving just that. An oncolytic virus named ImlygicTM manufactured by Amgen recently received the stamp of approval from the FDA … Continue reading Oncolytic viruses- A one of a kind FDA approval

Mouse embryo

Gene editing emerges as a new therapeutic strategy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Advances in gene editing technology have spurred considerable progress towards a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).  Although the disease is rare – affecting roughly 1 in 5,000 male births – its consequences are devastating: patients are confined to wheelchairs at an early age and often succumb to heart or respiratory failure in their twenties or thirties.  No treatments are currently available, but three separate … Continue reading Gene editing emerges as a new therapeutic strategy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Cover Image

Brain tricks to make food taste sweeter: How to transform taste perception and why it matters

by Jessleen K. Kanwal figures by Brad Wierbowski Imagine for a moment that you are unable to taste or smell anything.  For many patients undergoing chemotherapy, this is an everyday reality of their daily fight against cancer.  Chemotherapy kills fast-growing cells in the body in an effort to eradicate tumors.  Taste receptor cells located on our tongue are also fast-growing, regenerating every 2 weeks.  Thus, … Continue reading Brain tricks to make food taste sweeter: How to transform taste perception and why it matters

vaccines-and-syringe

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? Searching for a verdict in the vaccination debate

by Vivian Chou figures by Daniel Utter If you have been following the 2016 US presidential elections, you are, in all likelihood, aware of the controversy surrounding mandatory childhood vaccination. Vaccines have risen to the limelight in recent years, but their history is much longer than that. Ever since the first vaccination was scientifically documented in 1798 [1], they have reshaped the landscape of human … Continue reading To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? Searching for a verdict in the vaccination debate

Chemotherapy_bottles_NCI

New Directions for Cancer Therapy: Targeted Medicine

by Zachary Hauseman figures by Michael Gerhardt The cure for cancer: something we all hear about but never seems to arrive. It’s easy to get frustrated about decades and decades of research while thousands of people still succumb to the disease daily [1]. However, recent cancer treatments offer exciting potential for the field of cancer therapeutics in the future. Cancer is a complicated illness that … Continue reading New Directions for Cancer Therapy: Targeted Medicine