Category Archives: Biotechnology

The cost of heath care for vaccine preventable diseases

A recent study stated that total cost to the U.S. health care system for vaccine treatable diseases was estimated to be almost 9 billion dollars,  just for 2015 alone. The study also estimated that over 7 billion dollars of that cost was … Continue reading

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New life forms discovered on earth!

These are not aliens, but a newly recognized type of bacteria found in the deepest regions of earth. In class, we divide bacteria into categories depending on their growth and energy requirements.  One such division depends on where the bacteria derive their … Continue reading

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Great TED Talk about the human Microbiome by Rob Knight

Rob Knight is a pioneer in studying the human microbiome, and his TED Talk “How Our Microbes Make Us Who We Are” was all about just how important the microbiome is, how antibiotics may be altering important aspects of how … Continue reading

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Fecal transplants as standard operating procedure?

I tell my students that humans are essentially a donut.  Around the outside of the donut, we have our wall (skin/epidermis)  which separates the outside and inside. We humans know and expect to find bacteria there. But what people don’t … Continue reading

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You say nugget, I say smeat!

Yes it is called shmeat. But what is it? Technically, it is meat cells grown in a test tube. Yes, meat in a test tube. But you ask, what ARE meat cells? Meat cells  are muscle cells that have been developed … Continue reading

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Get the worms?

We have been discussing allergies and asthma in class for some time. We know that the immune responses that cause allergies and asthma are the same as those that respond to a helminth  infection; infections with roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and flukes. … Continue reading

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GATTACA is here?

In the movie Gattaca (note: title is written in DNA bases), people live in a future world where everyone is genetically tested: potential children are selected through preimplantation genetic diagnosis to ensure they possess the best hereditary traits of their parents. … Continue reading

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Bacteria to save the day!

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill reminds us of the potential consequences of the need to rely on oil as our energy source. I know that I am responsible for the spill as much as BP is. I drive a … Continue reading

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