February 27, 2015

7:57 PM | UPenn Webinar – ‘Mickey’s Got Measles’
Today, I attended the webinar, Mickey’s Got Measles, through the Live Faculty Lecture Series offered at the University of Pennsylvania. Today’s lecture focussed on the epidemiology of Measles, Herd Immunity, and Trends in Immunization was presented by Alison Buttenheim. Given the recent outbreak of Measles that puts 2015 well ahead of year-to-date infection numbers, it was […]
10:23 AM | A look back at Peter Medawar
Peter Medawar, Nobel Laureate and Director of the MRC National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in the 1960s, was born 100 years ago on 28 February. Here Frank Norman, Head of […]

February 25, 2015

2:00 PM | New dual-targeting antibody neutralizes HIV
DNA that encodes this antibody can provide prophylactic protection.

February 24, 2015

4:16 PM | Bubonic Plague Linked To Climate Change In Asia
Credit: L. Sabetelli / Wellcome, CC BYThe Black Death struck Europe in 1347, killing 30-50% of the European population in six violent years. It wasn’t a one-off epidemic: it signaled the start of the second plague pandemic in Europe that lasted for hundreds of years and only slowly disappeared from the continent after the Great Plague of London in 1665-1666. read more

February 23, 2015

11:07 PM | LEAP Study: Eating Peanuts Early Prevents Peanut Allergy In High-Risk Infants
New evidence finds that the majority of infants at high-risk of developing an allergy to peanuts are protected from peanut allergy at age 5 years if they eat peanut frequently starting within the first 11 months of life. read more
9:56 PM | African-Americans May Not Trust Flu Vaccines
A survey asking if people took a flu vaccine revealed some interesting statistics - if their physician specifically recommended it, they were far more likely to have gotten one and vaccination rates among African-Americans was a low 62 percent.90 percent of patients received vaccination if their physician advocated for it compared to 58 percent of patients whose physician did not, the results showed. Vaccination rates in European-Americans were 93 percent and in Asian-Americans 84 […]

February 19, 2015

5:24 PM | Intrinsic biochemical noise in individual cells, traditionally...
Intrinsic biochemical noise in individual cells, traditionally considered as harmful to signal transduction, improves NF-kB oscillation and entrainment, whereas cellto-cell variability in NF-kB natural frequency creates population robustness. Together, the two types of transcriptional noise enable signal entrainment over a wider range of dynamic inputs. A thorn in the side of many biochemical measures, intrinsic biochemical noise improves oscillation and entrainment of a key signalling protein […]
3:00 AM | Unnatural Selection: How We Are Changing Life, Gene by Gene
By Emily Monosson Synopsis: Gonorrhea. Bed bugs. Weeds. Salamanders. People. All are evolving, some surprisingly rapidly, in response to our chemical age. In Unnatural Selection, Emily Monosson shows how our drugs, pesticides, and pollution are exerting intense selection […]

February 18, 2015

12:30 PM | Space – It’ll Mess You Up
Biology concepts –  undulipodia, primary cilia, motile cilia, ependyma, spaceflight, pathology, osteopenia, radiation damage, osteoblast/osteoclast, osteocytes, No one wanted the elation of the moon visit to turn to disaster as a moon germ spread through-out the world and killed every living thing. So they moved the astronauts from splashdown to airstream. What a bummer that would have been to go all Andromeda Strain…. although it might have saved us from Watergate.Going into […]

Finetti, F., Paccani, S., Rosenbaum, J. & Baldari, C. (2011). Intraflagellar transport: a new player at the immune synapse, Trends in Immunology, 32 (4) 139-145. DOI: 10.1016/

Conroy, P., Saladino, C., Dantas, T., Lalor, P., Dockery, P. & Morrison, C. (2014). C-NAP1 and rootletin restrain DNA damage-induced centriole splitting and facilitate ciliogenesis, Cell Cycle, 11 (20) 3769-3778. DOI: 10.4161/cc.21986

Troshichev, O., Gorshkov, E., Shapovalov, S., Sokolovskii, V., Ivanov, V. & Vorobeitchikov, V. (2004). Variations of the gravitational field as a motive power for rhythmics of biochemical processes, Advances in Space Research, 34 (7) 1619-1624. DOI: 10.1016/j.asr.2004.02.013

Fitts, R., Trappe, S., Costill, D., Gallagher, P., Creer, A., Colloton, P., Peters, J., Romatowski, J., Bain, J. & Riley, D. & (2010). Prolonged space flight-induced alterations in the structure and function of human skeletal muscle fibres, The Journal of Physiology, 588 (18) 3567-3592. DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.2010.188508

Rimmer J, Patel M, Agarwal K, Hogg C, Arshad Q & Harcourt J (2014). Peripheral Vestibular Dysfunction in Patients with Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia: Abnormal Otoconial Development?, Otology & neurotology : official publication of the American Otological Society, American Neurotology Society [and] European Academy of Otology and Neurotology, PMID:


February 17, 2015

2:49 AM | Added Sex Benefit: It Makes Us Less Prone To Disease Over Time
There are many hypotheses about genetic advantages of sexual reproduction but none have been proven in humans. The researchers of a new study say they have done so, showing how humanity’s predispositions to disease gradually decrease the more we mix our genetic material together. That's right, sex leads to less disease, at least for a species. Obviously sleeping around individually is going to get you sent to a clinic. read more

February 15, 2015

6:00 PM | What Does Your Gut Microbiome Have To Do With Your Immune System?
The bacteria living in your gut have more to do with your immune system than you might think. ShutterstockYour intestines are home to many different kinds of bacteria (and some non-bacterial organisms as well). Together they’re called the “gut microbiome.” They come from the food you eat – and whatever else gets into your mouth. Bacteria start colonizing your gut at birth. read more

February 13, 2015

3:28 PM | Immune ‘traffic jam’ from viral infection
Immune complexes formed during an active infection can clog the receptors needed for therapeutic antibodies to work The post Immune ‘traffic jam’ from viral infection appeared first on Lab Land.

February 11, 2015

8:32 PM | Immunology – Aquaman style
I almost split a seem the first time I saw this cartoon several years ago.
2:30 PM | What Californians Of 2015 Share With 1991 Religious Fundamentalists
In this century, vaccine denial is primarily located in progressive hotbeds of states like California, rooted in distrust of science. It's an embarrassment for Democrats, who pride themselves on being more scientific than Republicans, to see that right-wing states like Mississippi and Alabama have negligible exemption rates while supposedly more educated places like California, Washington and Oregon lead the charge in bringing back dangerous infectious diseases. read more

February 10, 2015

1:30 PM | What Was Sweating Sickness, The Plague Of The Tudors?
Don't look so worried Cromwell, she's just asleep. BBC/Company Productions LtdBy Derek Gatherer, Lecturer at Lancaster University.In the first episode of BBC historical drama Wolf Hall, based on Hilary Mantel’s novel of the same name, Thomas Cromwell returns home to find his wife and two daughters have all died during the night, victims of a pestilence – the “sweating sickness” – that is scything through the Tudor world. read more

February 09, 2015

3:27 PM | Skin Wounds: How Epithelial Cell Sheets Force Them To Close
Skin provides an essential protective barrier against foreign materials and pathogens and helps the body retain various fluids and electrolytes. When that barrier is damaged, the consequences can be devastating. Ulcers, bleeding and bacterial infections may result and the chances of these occurring increases the longer wounds remain open. Fortunately, epithelial cell sheets are self-repairing. The moment the integrity of the barrier is compromised, cellular mechanisms are initiated to […]

February 06, 2015

9:26 PM | 5 Important Things To Know About Bird Flu
Bird flu: Livestock and farmers most at risk. ShutterstockBy Derek Gatherer, Lancaster University read more

February 03, 2015

6:17 PM | Scientists find the genetic trigger for immune system response
Mitochondria are the “powerhouse of the cell.” We all learn in biology that they have seemingly one function in the body, converting food and oxygen into energy. Well that might not be the case anymore; the thousands of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) molecules present in each cell have been identified in an unexpected relationship with the innate immune response. […]

West AP, Khoury-Hanold W, Staron M, Tal MC, Pineda CM, Lang SM, Bestwick M, Duguay BA, Raimundo N, MacDuff DA & Kaech SM (2015). Mitochondrial DNA stress primes the antiviral innate immune response., Nature, PMID:

4:21 PM | Of The 3 Types Of Potential Malaria Vaccines, 2 Might Be Bad Ideas
David Jones, CC-BY By Joel N. Shurkin, Inside Science(Inside Science) - In nature — the rule goes — everything is connected to everything else, so it is possible that when you combine two methods of preventing a deadly disease, bad things can happen. read more
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