Immunology v. Ferrari: What the oldest endurance race in the world has in common with immunity

by Haim Moorefigures by Rebecca Senft How familiar are you with your immune system? You might be aware of its role in protection from external threats, but what if I told you that it does a lot more behind the scenes? New research is shedding light on how your immune system carries out several unexpected functions in your body, including repairing wounds post-injury and controlling … Continue reading Immunology v. Ferrari: What the oldest endurance race in the world has in common with immunity

Insights from the Past: Lampreys give teeth to theories of vertebrate immune system evolution

by Aleks Prochera figures by Jovana Andrejevic Imagine wading through the fresh waters of the Paleozoic era over 300 million years ago. You bump into various ancient marine creatures from fishes adorned with horseshoe-shaped shields to aquatic scorpions the size of a modern-day seal. Around you, however, there also exists an unseen world teeming with microbes: viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Despite their deceivingly microscopic size, these organisms pose a … Continue reading Insights from the Past: Lampreys give teeth to theories of vertebrate immune system evolution

How Proper Dieting Can Restrict the Clock of Aging

by Aditya Misra and Shreya Mathurfigures by Wei Wu and Jovana Andrejevic 117 million U.S. adults have one or more preventable chronic diseases related to diet, such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. In an effort to prevent this outcome for themselves, an estimated 45 million Americans try to be healthier by taking up a diet and spending upwards of a … Continue reading How Proper Dieting Can Restrict the Clock of Aging

Six Ways Our Cells Can Turn Against Us

by Catherine Weiner figures by Elayne Fivenson Every cell in our bodies is constantly on the edge of danger. Our DNA, the molecular blueprints that tell our cells how to function, brought us to life. But it is also just one error away from catastrophe. Our cells are constantly fighting to preserve this fragile balance, for if they fail, they send us down a path … Continue reading Six Ways Our Cells Can Turn Against Us

Pain works differently between the sexes

For a long time, scientists did not often carefully consider sex as a variable in their research, and often worked with only male or only female animals depending on the ease of housing and handling these animals. In 2016, the NIH began requiring grant applications to justify the choice of sex of experimental animals, as part of a growing movement to consider sex as a … Continue reading Pain works differently between the sexes

Extracellular DNA, in Plant Health and Hardship

by Sophia Swartz figures by Abagail Burrus It was only three weeks into the fall semester, and I was starting to sniffle. When I had woken up that morning with a tell-tale tickle in the back of my throat, I had tried to deny the obvious. However, by the end of the day, sneezing and sore, I surrendered to my cold and trudged to my local CVS. … Continue reading Extracellular DNA, in Plant Health and Hardship

Shark and camel blood contains small disease-fighting molecules

Bleeding sharks for science? That’s commonplace for Helen Dooley, a researcher at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Over the past decade, investigators have come to realize the value of shark, llama, and camel blood. Blood from these animals contains molecules called antibodies that can specifically recognize and destroy foreign substances, such as bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells. While human blood, and blood from … Continue reading Shark and camel blood contains small disease-fighting molecules