Monthly Archives: August 2012

A pathogenic pathway, from cigarette smoke to biofilms

Yet more new evidence has been released underlining just what a bad idea smoking is for your health. Cigarette smoke contains not only the highly addictive psychoactive drug nicotine, but also at least 69 carcinogens, and is already known to … Continue reading

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Nerve growth factor: not just for nerves anymore

The male ejaculate, semen, is an eclectic mix of proteins, chemicals and hormones, all in a nicely fluid solution ideally suited to transporting spermatozoa during the process of reproduction. While many seminal fluid components and their corresponding biological functions have … Continue reading

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Genetic reactions to peer pressure

When it comes to the standard peer pressure issues, such as drugs, sex and alcohol, I can be a very stubborn person. For example, I don’t like the effects of drinking alcohol in substantial volumes, so if someone actively encourages … Continue reading

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The (genetic) answer to the polar bear (evolution) question

When did polar bears evolve to form a separate and distinct species from their relatives, the brown and black bears? Researchers from China, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Singapore, Canada, Mexico and the USA have recently collaborated to address this very question … Continue reading

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Helpful skin bacteria take charge of local immune responses

Humans have evolved a symbiotic relationship with ‘good’ bacteria over the millions of years that both have been around. The gut is the most heavily colonised spot, where bacteria assist in the digestion process and help to regulate immune function, … Continue reading

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