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Tooth Decay: An epidemic in America’s poorest children

by Leah Rosenbaum Last April, Dr. Paul Reggiardo saw a patient who was referred to his dental office in Huntington Beach, California from the local emergency room. She was an eight-year-old girl with facial swelling, the soft tissue on her head puffy from infection. It was facial cellulitis, said Reggiardo, caused by an infected tooth. He sees multiple cases like this each year: an untreated … Continue reading Tooth Decay: An epidemic in America’s poorest children

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What’s in Your Genes: Newly approved genetic testing for disease risks

by Catherine Weiner figures by Michael Gerhardt A decade ago, the idea of analyzing your DNA from the comfort of your own home seemed like science fiction. Tests required several weeks, thousands if not millions of dollars, and a lab of highly specialized PhDs. Today, thanks to technical advances and companies like 23andMe, you can perform this analysis for $199. The U.S. Food and Drug … Continue reading What’s in Your Genes: Newly approved genetic testing for disease risks

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Potential repurposing of sleeping-sickness drug for autism

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is commonly characterized with impaired social interaction and communications. The cause of autism still remains unknown, yet theories have been proposed. One theory speculates that exposure to viral element or stress from other cellular dangers can trigger cells’ “danger response”, which involves purines. It is part of the self-defense mechanism but if not regulated properly, the response remains permanently … Continue reading Potential repurposing of sleeping-sickness drug for autism

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The war on malaria gets a new weapon: a toxic fungus

As mosquitoes develop resistance to insecticides used to control their populations, scientists have been developing new tools. The latest idea: infecting mosquitoes with a fungus genetically engineered to produce arachnid toxins. After infecting the mosquitoes with fungal spores, the bugs showed increase mortality within 2.5 days after exposure and fed less in the days before their death, compared to their healthy counterparts. Continue reading The war on malaria gets a new weapon: a toxic fungus

Human Lymphocyte

Turning the Immune System into an Equal Opportunity Cancer Killer

Results from a small clinical trial comprising 86 cancer patients have prompted scientists to rethink how different cancers are classified and treated. The drug being assessed was Keytruda, a recent addition to oncologists’ arsenal of cancer immunotherapy drugs.  Unlike traditional chemotherapies, which poison and kill cancer cells directly, cancer immunotherapy recruits the body’s own self-defense machinery to attack tumors.  Although our immune systems are very good … Continue reading Turning the Immune System into an Equal Opportunity Cancer Killer

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An Electrifying New Role for the Immune System in Heart Health

by Giulia Notarangelo figures by Rebecca Clements The human body fights off noxious intruders on a daily basis to maintain our health and prevent disease. The army of cells that is responsible for leading this fight is called the immune system. The immune system is comprised of a myriad of cells, each having their own defense strategy. Among these cells are the macrophages. As their … Continue reading An Electrifying New Role for the Immune System in Heart Health

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(2 x prime) + 1 = ? :The 200-year-old story of Sophie Germain and its 21st century legacy

by Qingbo Wang figures by Anna Maurer In 2014, the Fields Medal, often described as the “Nobel Prize of Mathematics,” was awarded to a Harvard alumnus and mathematician, Maryam Mirzakhani. The mathematics society celebrated not only her sophisticated theory of geometry and dynamical systems, but also the fact that she is the first female and Iranian to receive this prestigious prize. Although the news indicates … Continue reading (2 x prime) + 1 = ? :The 200-year-old story of Sophie Germain and its 21st century legacy