Month: July 2018

A Horror Story: How Leeches Helped Uncover a Terrible Truth About Antibiotic Resistance

This story[i] knocked my socks off.   Read on if you like horror stories. Dr. Joerg Graf at the University of Connecticut is a specialist in the microbiome of leeches, which contains only two major types of bacteria.  In 2011 though, one of his graduate…

Omega 3s – The Controversy…or Another Judy Rant

I’m back raving and ranting about bad science writing. (And here, you thought I’d said my piece a few weeks ago, when I carried on about fake news in science!) Sorry.  I need an outlet to vent, and this is it.  Lucky you. A…

Phages and Autoimmune Diseases

Last month I wrote about bacteriophages (phages, for short) and Parkinson’s Disease.  If you remember, a phage is a virus that kills bacteria.  Those researchers found an abnormally high number of phages had killed off good Lactobaccillus in PD patients: ““The depletion of Lactococcus…

GMO Probiotics?

A corollary truth to the conclusion of my last post, “Mother Nature knows best,” is that tinkering with her finely tuned system can cause massive changes downstream.  There’s definitely a biological butterfly effect to consider. (For those not familiar, the Butterfly Effect is defined…

Do Our Helminths Make Us Human?

I have written before about the work of Dr. Jamie Lorimer, of Oxford University.  I was very excited yesterday when a friend sent me his newest paper, which examines the history of the helminth/human relationship[i] A few favorite parts to share with you:  When…

Preventing C.Difficile with Probiotics

A simple study for today’s post but also, a really, really, REALLY important one. Researchers at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia did a meta-analysis, covering 6,851 patients,  looking at whether or not giving a multi-strain probiotic reduces the incidence of Clostridia difficile infection (C.diff)…

Good Bacteria, Bad Bacteria and Disease

A very interesting article appeared today in The Conversation[i] about research just published in Nature Communications. It is written by the paper’s senior author, Dr. Claire Steves, of King’s College in London.  Using the more-than 2700 medical profiles in the TwinsUK cohort (a group…

Eating Fiber During Pregnancy…Likely a Really Good Idea

Ok,  on Tuesday I promised you a markedly less depressing post next time.  So here goes!  (And please note irresistibly cute, happy photo of little piglets included…) A funny little coincidence this morning…. (But first, a quick primer on fiber, which I talk about…

Some Remarkable Antibiotic Facts

Late last week, there was a little review of the evils of antibiotic use in pregnant woman and babies in the Australian version of The Conversation.[i]  An incredible statistic:  apparently half of Australian infants get at least one round of antibiotics by their first…