Bacteria are ubiquitous. While most are benign, they inhabit every surface we touch. They're on our companion animals, as well as all over our food and loved ones. Perhaps the scariest is Yersinia pestis — the cause of the black plague – which killed 60 percent of Europe during a 14th century outbreak. So, can it return?
The key to preventing Alzheimer's Disease may lie in the North Atlantic island of Iceland. Its relatively homogeneous population has been a treasure trove for genetic researchers looking for mutated genes that either increase or decrease the disease's risk.
Of all the nasty things floating around out there just waiting around to kill us, viruses are the nastiest. You've all heard of smallpox, rabies, Spanish flu, polio, AIDS and Ebola. But emerging viral infections are seriously scary.
Prions are the smallest and possibly the most dangerous of all infectious pathogens. They are also unique in that they contain no genetic material at all — just proteins. But as guest writer Steve Schow describes, those proteins can do some horrible things if they get into your brain.
Good dental hygiene can prevent periodontal disease and tooth loss. And according to recent research, it just might also be a means of preventing rheumatoid arthritis, by eliminating a bacterium whose products incite the immune system to attack the joints.
Two new articles on disease transmission – one by Steve Schow, PhD, and the other by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Mark Johnson – shed light on an important, overlooked topic: how infections spread from animals to humans.
In the battle against antibiotic resistance, here's an interesting proposal: salted doorknobs [in hospitals, or elsewhere] could fight super bug infections. Intrigued? So are we. Bummed you didn't think of it first? So are we.
Regardless of our brain's natural security, some pathogens still get in. One is called Cryptococcus neoformans, a fungus that can be found in the excrement of flying tree rats, like pigeons and bats. After being inhaled into the lungs, the fungus makes its way into the brain using a clever mechanism.
Regardless of where one falls on the HPV vaccine debate, there's good news from Australia. New research shows that men who are unvaccinated for HPV are receiving protective benefits from the women who are vaccinated.
Plagues, like tuberculosis and leprosy, have devastated mankind for millions of years. Steve Schow, Ph.D., a 40-year veteran of biomedical research and an amateur medical historian, examines some of the most deadly diseases. In a 10-part series written for ACSH, he asks: What's next? Part One: Going Back to Neanderthals.
"Every night on the television news now is like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation," lamented the former vice president in his opening remarks for the Climate & Health Meeting. After all these years, he still has a warped penchant for apocalyptic exaggeration.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan recently announced their intention to "cure, prevent or manage all disease within our children's lifetime." But if that's their goal, then perhaps their initial funding ought to be aimed at fighting the underlying cause of so much of the world's suffering – poverty.