Herpes simplex virus infections are an enormous global health problem and there is currently no viable vaccine. For nearly three decades, immunologists’ efforts to develop a herpes vaccine have centered on exploiting a single protein found on the virus’s outer surface that is known to elicit robust production of antibodies. Breaking from this approach, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have created a genetic mutant lacking that protein. The result is a powerfully effective vaccine against herpes viruses.
“Sweet potatoes from all over the world naturally contain genes from the bacterium Agrobacterium. Researchers from the University of Ghent and the International Potato Institute (CIP) publish this discovery on the website of PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).”
The implications of this mean that sweet potatoes can be thought of as natural GMO’s.
HOW MICROBES DEFINE, SHAPE — AND MIGHT EVEN HEAL US by Rob Knight.
We’re already starting to link our microbes to a wide spectrum of specific diseases, from the obvious — like infectious diseases and inflammatory bowel disease — to surprising ones such as multiple sclerosis, autism, and depression. Continue reading How microbes define, shape — and might even heal us | ideas.ted.com
“We tend to forget that modern humanity is largely sheltered from the last vestiges of wild untamed Earth and that our way of life bears little resemblance to how our ancestors lived during 90 percent of human history. We have lost nearly all trace of these former selves—and, worse, have marginalized the few remaining humans who retain their hunter-gatherer identity. In Tanzania, tribes of wandering foragers called the Hadza, who have lived for thousands of years in the East African Rift Valley ecosystem, tell us an immense and precious story about how humans, together with their microbial evolutionary partners, are adapted to live and thrive in a complex natural environment.”
In an editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine Aseem Malhotra, Tim Noakes and Stephen Phinney attack the idea that exercise is beneficial in terms of weight loss.
Whilst they are careful to state that exercise has many benefits weight loss doesn’t appear to be among them and that efforts would be better spent addressing poor diet rather than encouraging people to do more exercise. Continue reading You can’t outrun a poor diet- British Journal of Sports Medicine