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Biology Explained

The Goldilocks of the Elements: Why Iron Levels Have to Be ‘Just Right’

The Goldilocks of the Elements: Why Iron Levels Have to Be ‘Just Right’

The Goldilocks of the Elements: Why Iron Levels...

Iron is an essential part of the biologic operating manual for organisms from single-celled bacteria up to complex human beings. But iron also has a dark side: Because of its capacity to turn molecules into free radicals that can damage cell membranes and DNA, too much iron can be as dangerous as...

Get to Know the T-Team: The Immune System’s Special Defenders

Get to Know the T-Team: The Immune System’s Special Defenders

Get to Know the T-Team: The Immune System’s...

In our immune system — the body’s security force against infection — T-cells are like the “special-ops” team. These elite defenders are tailored to fight specific pathogens. But T-cells are not only fascinating for their germ-busting abilities. They’re also actively involved in the development of...

Inside a Cytokine Storm: When Your Immune System is Too Strong

Inside a Cytokine Storm: When Your Immune System is Too Strong

Inside a Cytokine Storm: When Your Immune...

The vast majority of people who suffer severe complications from influenza are elderly or have compromised immune systems. In fact, almost 90% of people who die as a result of a flu infection in the United States are over 65, an age when the immune system’s ability to fight infection begins to...

May the Best Cell Win: How Scientists Choose One Champion Out of Millions

May the Best Cell Win: How Scientists Choose One Champion Out of Millions

May the Best Cell Win: How Scientists Choose...

Making cells in the lab may not sound too dramatic, but under the microscope, what scientists call cell-line development can be even more competitive than the most cutthroat reality-show contests.  ...

Inside the X-(Chromosome) Files

Inside the X-(Chromosome) Files

Inside the X-(Chromosome) Files

In honor of Mother’s Day, let’s take a closer look at the “female” sex chromosome: The X.  ...

How the Placebo Effect Can Cloud Clinical Trial Results

How the Placebo Effect Can Cloud Clinical Trial Results

How the Placebo Effect Can Cloud Clinical Trial...

When researchers design a clinical trial, they can’t ignore the powerful—and often bizarre—placebo effect. ...

Medicine’s 2-Way Dance: What a Drug Does to the Body and What the Body Does to a Drug

Medicine’s 2-Way Dance: What a Drug Does to the Body and What the Body Does to a Drug

Medicine’s 2-Way Dance: What a Drug Does to the...

We all know that a tremendous amount of brain power, time and resources goes into creating a new medicine. While much attention is given to the “discovery” aspect of translating scientific insights into new therapies, an equally important part of the process involves studying how a potential new...

The ‘Immortalized’ Cells That Sparked an International Incident and Their Role in Producing Medicines

The ‘Immortalized’ Cells That Sparked an International Incident and Their Role in Producing Medicines

The ‘Immortalized’ Cells That Sparked an...

Proteins are the rock stars of biological molecules. They allow cells to carry out crucial functions like growth and differentiation, and enable cells to adapt to changing environments. Because dysfunction in certain proteins can cause disease, manipulating proteins is also the foundation of...

Little Ms. Excitable and Mr. Naïve: Meet Some Varied ‘Cell States’

Little Ms. Excitable and Mr. Naïve: Meet Some Varied ‘Cell States’

Little Ms. Excitable and Mr. Naïve: Meet Some...

They get excited. Sometimes they’re a little chatty. And they’ve been known to be naïve.  ...

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