Advice from a professional science writer

Talking about science is incredibly important, yet sometimes risky business. Take the Italian astronomer and physicist Galileo (1564–1642), for example. In 1633, Galileo was put on trial for publishing an idea that, at the time, was considered highly controversial: The Earth revolves around the Sun. Galileo’s writing ticked off the Catholic Church, who clung to their belief that the Earth lay at the center of the universe. Galileo was charged with heresy, sentenced to a lifetime of house arrest, and had his publications banned from the public.

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Science can be…


The effects on the microbiome were more pronounced than eating a high-fibre diet.

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Researchers at Stanford University have found that consuming fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha tea creates a rich diversity in the gut microflora, thereby diminishing inflammation. The research study was published in the journal Cell.

A team of immunologists led by Justin Sonnenburg tracked 36 healthy adult participants over the course of ten weeks. Each individual was randomly assigned to be in the fermented food group or given a high-fiber diet. …


The dressing is powered by nanotechnology

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Wounds are an ideal environment for microorganisms to thrive. Their presence can easily overwhelm immune defenses at the site of the breach, resulting in infections characterized by tell-tale signs such as pain, swelling, redness, and pus. The saying “time heals all wounds” goes for most healthy individuals. But for those with underlying conditions such as diabetes, wounds can linger and become chronic. In this state, the skin cannot heal, significantly elevating the risk of more severe infections.

Researchers at the University of Rhode Island have developed a new technology for monitoring chronic and acute…


It uses a chemical in sweat as “fuel”

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Fingertips have thousands of sweat-producing glands, churning out anywhere from 100 to 1,000 times more sweat than other parts of the body. Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, have developed a way of harnessing this perspiration as an energy source to power wearable medical sensors. This innovation is a leap towards a future of practical, convenient, and accessible health monitoring technologies, empowering individuals to take control of their health and wellbeing effortlessly.

Researcher Lu Yin led a team of researchers that designed tiny biofuel cells capable of utilizing lactate-a chemical…


It might also protect against closely related coronaviruses

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Over 940 million people around the world have been fully vaccinated. But, as the World Health Organization warns, the global pandemic is far from over. The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants that are more contagious and cause more severe, potentially fatal infections point to a genuine threat that dangerous new mutants could start to take over and undermine existing pandemic countermeasures.

A recent study could provide a light at the end of the tunnel. A team of immunologists led by Tyler Starr at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle has identified…


It makes people more neurotic

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Exposure to toxic chemicals in childhood could have unlikely effects on personality, and behavioral traits in adulthood, says a new study by psychologists at the University of Texas at Austin. Coming into contact with lead could make individuals less friendly and sociable, less diligent, and more neurotic-traits that could have knock-on effects on their mental health and general wellbeing.

Data from the study was featured in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and detailed the analysis of a cohort of over 1.5 million people across the U.S. and Europe. These rigid personality…


Biodegradable plastics aren’t any better

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Microplastics-tiny fragments of plastic, less than five millimeters in diameter-pollute our environment and, according to scientists, also adversely affect animal health. Research also points to a connection between the ingestion of microplastics present in food and water and its toll on the human immune system.

We are consuming about a teaspoon of microplastics on a weekly basis, estimate scientists. Once ingested, these particles get red-flagged by macrophages, specialized immune cells that “gobble up” and eliminate invading pathogens and foreign bodies.

In an article featured in the journal Cell Biology and Toxicology, immunologist Eliseo Castillo and…


It’s a 100x faster than the currently-used technique

Jialing Zhang demonstrates using the MasSpec Pen on a human tissue sample. Photo credit: Vivian Abagiu/Univ. of Texas at Austin.

Researchers have developed the first diagnostic “pen” that acts as a guide for surgeons, helping them distinguish cancerous tissues from healthy ones in real-time. This technology, named the MasSpec Pen, is over 100 times faster than current methodologies for checking whether surgeons have successfully removed all the malignant tissues, giving patients the best chances of positive outcomes.

University of Texas at Austin researcher, Livia Schiavinato Eberlin, who led the team of innovators that created the MasSpec Pen said: “These results show the technology works in the clinic for surgical guidance,” adding that…


Researchers find antibody-producing cells in recovered COVID patients

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Does getting vaccinated, or having recovered from COVID, provide life-long protection against the coronavirus? Most likely, says research by immunologists at Washington University in St. Louis, who found antibody-producing cells against the virus residing in the bone marrow of individuals who had previously tested COVID-positive.

This discovery supports the theory that immune responses after exposure to SARS-CoV-2 are robust enough to confer sustained, potentially decades-long protection against the pathogen. In addition, this finding also indicates that vaccines may create a similarly durable shield against COVID in the long run.

Antibody-producing bone marrow…


But having dentures can reverse the risk

Man putting in his teeth
Man putting in his teeth
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Age, genetics, and the presence of underlying medical conditions have all been considered critical risk factors for developing dementia. But what about the number of teeth a patient has lost?

A growing body of research has begun slowly connecting the dots between tooth loss and cognitive decline, with scientists offering several possible explanations to explain this phenomenon. Losing teeth can affect the types of food that can be chewed comfortably, potentially creating nutritional deficiencies that affect brain health. …

Tara Fernandez

Cat person, PhD-qualified Cell Biologist & Science Writer. Interested in trends and emerging technologies in the biopharma industry.

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