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Possibility for Future AIDS Vaccine

HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system and weakens your ability to fight incoming infections and diseases. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus currently has no cure but there are currently treatments which are able to help people with the virus to live a prolonged, healthy life.  Since there is no cure for HIV, the best way to approach preventing the spread of the virus is by vaccination; enabling the body to fight off the virus before it attacks the immune system.  Researchers in the USA have been working on developing a vaccine capable of inducing "broadly neutralizing" antibodies that can prevent HIV infections.  This new vaccine technique aims to immunize people with a series of different engineered HIV proteins as immunogens to "teach" the immune system to produce broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV. This in turn, will prepare the immune system to fight off an incoming virus which carries similar proteins to the HIV proteins. The group of

Where have I been?

First of all sorry that I have been M.I.A recently. It's been just over a month since I've last posted a science blog on here. Click here to see my latest blog post- :) Within the last month, I came down with the cold, gotten better then suddenly relapsing into another cold, which was 10 times worse than the previous one (imagine coughing continuously - ALL DAY!). Thankfully, I am feeling better now and I am trying to get back into my usual routine. So starting this week expect more regular posting from me! The funny thing is I have a post on how to prevent cold and flu - and I couldn't prevent it from myself! #NeedMoreImmunity #VitaminC The science of a "relapsing cold" Actually, a cold cannot relapse, you've most likely caught another cold virus (unlucky, I know). F.Y.I  a cold/flu is a virus, not a bacteria, so you won't and cannot be prescribed antibiotics for it.  This awesome video by ASAP science goes through the different type

Candy Floss Machines May Be The Future For Making Artificial Organs

For any medical reason, sometimes artificial organs are required to take place instead of the real organ in the human body. But making artificial organs, which have complicated and  intricate structures, aren't easy to make and there have been many methods which have been devised but don't work as efficiently.  Leon Bellan is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt University, who has been working with candy floss machines, getting them to spin out networks of tiny threads similar in size, density and complexity to the patterns formed by capillaries - the minuscule, thin-walled vessels that deliver oxygen and nutrients to cells and carry away waste. His main aim has been to make fibre networks that can be used as templates to produce the capillary systems required to create full-scale artificial organs. This research has been published in the Advanced Healthcare Materials  journal. Bellan and his colleagues have been successful in using their

One Paragraph on Diabetes and Psychiatric Disorders

A new report featuring in the February 2016 issue of  The FASEB Journal , scientists show that a gene called "DISC1," is believed to play a role in mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (and other forms of depression); influence the function of pancreatic beta cells which produce insulin to maintain normal blood glucose levels. Understanding how the different mechanisms  of diseases in the body is essential to be able to pick efficient therapies for patients. Bortell and colleagues decided to study the function of DISC1 by comparing 2 groups of mice. The first group was genetically manipulated to disrupt the DISC1 gene only in the mouse's pancreatic beta cells. The second group of mice was normal. The mice with disrupted DISC1 gene showed increased beta cell death, less insulin secretion and impaired glucose regulation while control mice were normal. The researchers found that DISC1 works by controlling the activity of a specific protein (GS

One paragraph on the Zika Virus | One Paragraph Science

W e haven't quite forgotten the ebola virus and a new virus has appeared under the spotlight; the Zika virus. The Zika virus is spread by mosquitos, similar in a way to malaria. However, unlike other mosquito-borne diseases, it is relatively unknown and little studied. The virus is currently showing an alarming rise in cases in Latin America and the Caribbean.  The virus has also  been associated with an alarming rise in babies born in Brazil with abnormally small heads and brain defects -- a condition called microcephaly.  Zika is spread by the same mosquito as the dengue virus: Aedes aegypti. Dengue is a serious disease but it doesn't usually kill people, whereas, Zika, is much more serious in that it is able to pass through a woman's placenta and impact the unborn child.  Since the Zika outbreak began in northeastern Brazil last spring, an estimated 500,000 to 1.5 million people have been infected. The resulting illness only lasts a few days. The symptoms consist

Women are less likely to get the flu than men, thanks to Estrogen

This blog post was previously titled: Females are less prone to influenza than males, thanks to Estrogen.  E strogen and its derivatives have been found to protect against respiratory infections such as influenza, in females more than males. This new study was published in the American Journal of Physiology-- Lung Cellular and Physiology. A virus usually works/makes you ill by invading a cell in your body and making and replicating itself within the host cell. After being released from the host cell, the virus can go on to infect other cells in the body and also other people.   The less a virus replicates, the less severe the infection and the lower the risk it will be spread onto other people. The researchers used human nasal epithelial cells (hNECs) from male and female donors- which are the main cells which the flu virus targets - and exposed the nasal cells to  17β-estradiol   (i.e estrogen) or select estrogen modulators (SERMs) (these include natural and synthetic comp

Healthy, Roasted Coffee Beans, Thanks to Science

Dan Perlman, a biophysicist, and K.C Hayes, a nutritionist,  have previously  developed the "healthy fats" blend in the Smart Balance buttery spread over twenty years ago; have now invented the parbaked coffee bean. This new method of roasting green coffee beans is meant to enhance the health benefits of coffee. Perlman developed the flour milled from parbaked beans to act as both a food ingredient and a nutritional supplement.  Many studies have proven that drinking coffee is good for you and I've written several posts on coffee in the past  here , here , here and here :) Perlman wanted to study a way to roast coffee beans but at the same time not loose its health benefits. When coffee beans are roasted at over  400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes -- the CGA content drops dramatically. One study found the decrease ranged from 50 to nearly 100 percent. Chlorogenic acid (CGA)is an antioxidant. CGA is thought to be beneficial in controlling sugar me