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Biology Explained

The Grave Effects of the Graveyard Shift

The Grave Effects of the Graveyard Shift

The Grave Effects of the Graveyard Shift

The World Health Organization keeps an extensive list of possible and known human carcinogens that includes the usual suspects such as tobacco smoke, asbestos, UV radiation and processed deli meats and hotdogs. ...

The Good, the Bad and the Strange of Physical Pain

The Good, the Bad and the Strange of Physical Pain

The Good, the Bad and the Strange of Physical...

Most people struggle with pain at some point in their life, and when it gets bad enough it can be a debilitating condition. However, while pain has its obvious and sometimes devastating downside, our ability to feel physical pain is also part of maintaining our health. For a time, physicians even...

5 Tips to Chat Up the Next Scientist You Meet

5 Tips to Chat Up the Next Scientist You Meet

5 Tips to Chat Up the Next Scientist You Meet

Maybe you’ve been in this situation before: You’re at a dinner party, or on a cross-country flight, and find yourself seated next to a scientist. Perhaps she’s researching the latest cancer therapy or on the hunt for an elusive subatomic particle, and you’re left tongue-tied.  ...

Flower Power: How an Ingredient in Beer Could Fight an Epidemic

Flower Power: How an Ingredient in Beer Could Fight an Epidemic

Flower Power: How an Ingredient in Beer Could...

It’s no secret that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a variety of health benefits, but other types of plants may also play a role in keeping disease at bay. Research suggests that the humble flower of Humulus lupulus, known colloquially as hops, might punch well...

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.  ...

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