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  • John Carlin and his wife Martha
  • flu death in 1918
  • mass grave
Your search has returned 224 articles:
  • Feature

    A gut-brain link for Parkinson’s gets a closer look

    Martha Carlin married the love of her life in 1995. She and John Carlin had dated briefly in college in Kentucky, then lost touch until a chance meeting years later at a Dallas pub. They wed soon after and had two children. John worked as an entrepreneur and stay-at-home dad. In his free time, he ran marathons.

    Almost eight years into their marriage, the pinky finger on John’s right hand...

    12/07/2018 - 09:00 Health, Neuroscience, Microbiology
  • Reviews & Previews

    Two new books explore the science and history of the 1918 flu pandemic

    The U.S.S. Leviathan set sail from Hoboken, N.J., on September 29, 1918, carrying roughly 10,000 troops and 2,000 crewmen. The ship, bound for the battlefields in France, had been at sea less than 24 hours when the first passengers fell ill. By the end of the day, 700 people had developed signs of the flu.

    The medical staff tried to separate the sick from the healthy, but that soon...

    12/07/2018 - 07:00 Health, History of Science, Microbiology
  • News

    A 5,000-year-old mass grave harbors the oldest plague bacteria ever found

    A long-dead Scandinavian woman has yielded bacterial DNA showing that she contracted the earliest known case of the plague in humans.

    DNA extracted from the woman’s teeth comes from a newly identified ancient strain of Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes plague, the oldest ever found. The woman’s bones, which date from 5,040 to 4,867 years ago, were found nearly 20 years ago in a...

    12/06/2018 - 11:00 Genetics, Anthropology, Microbiology
  • News

    An acid found in soil may make a disease killing deer less infectious

    An acid found in rich humus soil breaks down the misfolded brain proteins — called prions — that cause chronic wasting disease.

    When concentrations of humic acid similar to those found in soils were applied to diseased elk brain tissue, chemical signatures of the infectious prions were nearly erased, researchers report online November 29 in PLOS Pathogens. That suggests that the acid...

    11/30/2018 - 06:00 Toxicology, Animals, Microbiology
  • News in Brief

    Gut bacteria may guard against diabetes that comes with aging

    Losing one variety of gut bacteria may lead to type 2 diabetes as people age.

    Old mice have less Akkermansia muciniphila bacteria than young mice do, researchers report November 14 in Science Translational Medicine. That loss triggers inflammation, which eventually leads cells to ignore signals from the hormone insulin. Such disregard for insulin’s message to take in glucose is known as...

    11/19/2018 - 10:55 Microbiology, Physiology, Immune Science
  • News

    Eating less protein may help curb gut bacteria’s growth

    Humans and other animals may have a way to control the growth of gut microbes: Eat less protein.

    That’s because protein contains nitrogen. And, it turns out, the amount of nitrogen in the diet of mice governed the growth of bacteria in the animals’ large intestine, researchers report October 29 in Nature Microbiology. The finding may help researchers learn how to manipulate the types and...

    11/02/2018 - 06:00 Microbiology, Ecology, Physiology
  • Reviews & Previews

    If you want to believe your home’s bug free, don’t read this book

    Never Home AloneRob DunnBasic Books, $28

    As I write this in my basement office, a sticky trap lies beneath my desk catching whatever insects wander by. Its current haul is pretty typical: a cricket, a spider and some small flies. But as Rob Dunn writes in his intriguing new book, Never Home Alone, I’m missing a lot if I think that’s all that lurks beneath my slippers.

    Dunn has...

    10/30/2018 - 11:08 Animals, Ecology, Microbiology, Science & Society
  • News in Brief

    Why some people may be more susceptible to deadly C. difficile infections

    An intestinal pathogen that causes severe and sometimes life-threatening diarrhea is an opportunist that grows like gangbusters under the right conditions. Now, scientists may have discovered the opportunity that Clostridioides difficile waits for.

    In mice, a disruption of the mix of microbes in the gut sets the stage for C. difficile infections. Such upsets allow the pathogen to...

    10/24/2018 - 14:00 Microbiology, Health
  • 50 years ago, the safety of artificial sweeteners was fiercely debated

    Safety challenged —

    Americans consume 8,000 tons of artificial sweeteners every year …confident that the chemical sweeteners are safe. Manufacturers insist that they are; the sugar industry … insists they are not.… [B]oth camps swamped FDA with detailed evidence pro and con. — Science News, October 26, 1968

    Update

    Let’s not sugarcoat it: The debate isn’t over. Fifty years ago,...

    10/19/2018 - 06:00 Nutrition, Health, Microbiology
  • News

    Speeding up evolution to create useful proteins wins the chemistry Nobel

    Techniques that put natural evolution on fast-forward to build new proteins in the lab have earned three scientists this year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry.

    Frances Arnold of Caltech won for her method of creating customized enzymes for biofuels, environmentally friendly detergents and other products. She becomes the fifth woman to win the Nobel Prize in chemistry since it was first awarded...

    10/03/2018 - 18:46 Chemistry, Microbiology