Tagged: Genetics

5 on Friday

1)Parasitic Worms – A treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases? Research was published this week showing that infection with a parasitic worm reduces inflammation and restores the mucus-secreting ability of intestinal cells in mice with a genetic defect that is also present in some who suffer from Crohn’s disease. This mucus secretion is key for health because it protects the gut from harmful bacteria. The researchers concluded that the worms actually help by influencing the microbiome in the intestine of the mice. The interest in this area of research stems from the Hygiene Hypothesis, which I previously blogged about. While controversial,...

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5 on Friday

I’m coming off a post-conference science high right now (thanks to the awesome presenters at the Association for Otolaryngology 2016 Midwinter Meeting), and am excited to share this weeks “5 on Friday!” LOCAL EVENT: How do cells process information? Johns Hopkins University’s Project Bridge hosts its 15th Science Café with speaker Dr. Cynthia Wolberger addressing the topic “Ubiquitin is Everywhere: How Cells Process Information.” Come join in on the discussion Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 7pm at Homeslyce (336 N. Charles, Baltimore MD). Learn more about Project Bridge from their blog. R2d2, friendly droid or ‘selfish’ DNA? Researchers at the National...

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Buzzwords in Science: Mutations – The crazy world of mutants and deadly mutations!

A buzzword that is commonly heard in science news across the medical spectrum is “mutations”. If you’ve read any sort of medical news report in the last decade,  you’ve likely heard the word “mutation” more times than you can count. But for such a prolific word that has undoubtedly made its way into the public sphere, very few people truly know what this means. So let’s take some time to understand mutations. First off, let’s dispel some myths that probably don’t need any dispelling. Most people have undoubtedly heard of X-men before and their version of mutants and mutations. So...

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Navigating the World of Genetic Testing

What can your DNA say about you? Do you get your eye color from your mother, your height from your father, and could you be at risk of a certain type of cancer? If you want to find out, one way is to have your DNA analyzed through a genetic test. Traditionally, a genetic test is deployed by a healthcare professional when they suspect a genetic cause of a person’s disease or ailment, and usually these tests will look at either a single gene (a part of your DNA that is used to make a protein with some function in...

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Let your kids play in the dirt, or don’t – they might be screwed either way.

The hygiene hypothesis has been a sexy but controversial topic in all the health sciences since its conception in the late 1980’s. The hypothesis being that developed countries have higher incidences of allergy because they are generally cleaner. Sounds simple but 20+ years later, it’s one of the most debated theories in the field. It started with an observation by David Strachan that, in a longitudinal study of individuals from birth to age 23, the incidence of hay fever was inversely correlated with the number of children in the household. In other words, the kids that got hay fever, which...

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