The Links between Gut Microbes and Human Disease

BY DEVORAH SAFFERN Our guts are composed of thousands of bacterial species, many of which are essential for physiological processes like digestion and fighting disease. Recent findings suggest that these microbes – the types of which are specific to each individual – are linked to several diseases that affect much of our population. Studying the…

Blood-based prion detection: a breakthrough?

BY YUSHA SUN Prion diseases are a group of infectious, mostly fatal neurological diseases that affect all animals, including humans. Prion diseases are caused by prions, infectious agents made from a conformationally altered form of the natural PrP protein. They are especially dangerous due to their ability to propagate in the body and brain indefinitely…

MicroRNAs: The Future of Cancer Treatments

BY SHARON WASHIO Existing treatments for cancer have varying levels of success depending on the type, location, stage of cancer, and more. Such options include chemotherapy, radiation, drugs, or surgery, but those afflicted must often keep an eye out for relapse even when the cancer seems to momentarily go away. Though improved pharmaceuticals and enhanced…

Jet-Lag and Implications with Cancer

By: Noah Beattie-Moss The circadian rhythm, a 24-hour oscillation of physiological processes based on the day/night cycle, is vital for maintaining homeostasis of the body. Long-term disruption of this rhythm can have serious side-effects, as it has been implicated in tumorgenesis and cancer development. Women who work night shifts have been shown to have a…

Widespread Workplace Discrimination Against People with Major Depressive Disorder Puts Employees in a Double-Bind

By Alison Herman In February 2016, the British Medical Journal released an expansive study of workplace discrimination against people with major depressive disorder (MDD) spanning 35 countries with a total of 834 participants. The analysis revealed anticipated and experienced discrimination against a majority of the study’s participants (62.5%). Both anticipated and experienced discrimination had a…

A mechanism of how alcohol consumption promotes human breast cancer

BY ALEESHA YE Alcohol has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer development. However, the exact mechanism through which ethanol promotes breast cancer is not well characterized. This experiment aims to delve deeper in the specifics of the mechanism, which can be generally described as follows: ethanol is converted to acetaldehyde, a toxic…

Current Status of Zika: Human Trials and DNA Vaccines

BY SHARON WASHIO The infamous Zika virus has been plaguing our lives and travel plans throughout the past year. Transferred widely by Aedes mosquitoes, the symptoms vary from nervous system disorders such as the Guillain-Barré syndrome, to even none at all. The true, insidious hazard of the virus lies in its ability to affect pregnancies…

Combating Bacteria: A New Approach to Multi-Drug Resistance

BY YUSHA SHUN Over the last decade, antibiotic-resistant bacteria have proliferated; according to the CDC, at least 90,000 deaths a year in the U.S. are due to bacterial infections, with a majority of these infections being resistant to some antibiotic. Alarmingly, hospitals and other health-care facilities have been the epicenter for the outbreak of drug-resistant…

Immunotherapy’s Rise Among Cancer Treatments

BY DEVORAH SAFFERN Most cancer patients are treated with chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery, but recent promising research has given hope to another option: immunotherapy. This approach allows the immune system itself to fight the cancer. Tumorous cells often prevent the immune system from attacking, or even make themselves undetectable to the body’s white blood cells….

Antibody therapy offers promising lead for sustained HIV control

BY NOAH BEATTIE-MOSS HIV/AIDS is a global pandemic, and has remained at the forefront of American consciousness since the 1980s, when hundreds of thousands of people, predominantly young gay men, passed away from the disease. Today, over 36 million people live with the disease worldwide, with over 1.2 million patients in the United States alone….

The Community Pharmacy as a Delivery Agent for Crucial Public Health Interventions

BY ALISON HERMAN The National Institute for Health Research’s Public Health Research programme in the UK recently conducted a meta-analysis to determine the role of community pharmacies as sites for crucial interventions related to the nation’s top public health priorities. Taking into account standards for quality, scientific replicability and accuracy, an independent research team selected 24…