The Human-Tuberculosis Arms Race

by Sanjana Kulkarnifigures by Corena Loeb The bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) has been infecting humans for thousands of years. Today, TB, which is thought to have originated in Africa and evolved alongside human hosts, is found across the globe and causes 1-2 million deaths annually, making it the second leading infectious disease killer after COVID-19. As new COVID-19 variants keep emerging, we can observe the … Continue reading The Human-Tuberculosis Arms Race

Antibiotic Persistence and Resistance

by Molly Sargen Antibiotics are drugs that kill or inhibit the growth of microbes, including bacteria and fungi. These drugs work by blocking essential processes like protein production, DNA replication, and cell division. After Alexander Fleming’s serendipitous discovery of Penicillin, antibiotics became a central feature of medical care. Today, antibiotics are used to treat a wide variety of infections and prevent new infections during invasive … Continue reading Antibiotic Persistence and Resistance

Life as We Know Itch: How our body creates this irritating sensation 

by Garrett Dunlapfigures by Xiaomeng Han What do a homemade sweater, a new laundry detergent, and a mosquito all have in common? All of these things have the potential to cause the uncomfortable, and sometimes maddening, sensation of itch. In fact, itching can be the result of many different things, including allergies, insect bites, illness, medication, and dry skin. But what exactly is an itch, … Continue reading Life as We Know Itch: How our body creates this irritating sensation 

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

COVID-19: from treatment to prevention

by Apurva Govande figures by Tal Scully COVID-19, the disease caused by the newly discovered virus SARS-CoV-2, is a national emergency. We need a vaccine to prevent severe outcomes of disease, to successfully combat future outbreaks of this virus, and to ensure that businesses and schools can safely reopen. Until one is available, healthcare professionals can mitigate symptoms while deploying existing drugs that may show … Continue reading COVID-19: from treatment to prevention