Richard Harris http://wmra.org en Like All Animals, We Need Stress. Just Not Too Much http://wmra.org/post/all-animals-we-need-stress-just-not-too-much Ask somebody about stress, and you're likely to hear an outpouring about all the bad things that cause it — and the bad things that result. But if you ask a biologist, you'll hear that stress can be good.<p>In fact, it's essential.<p>For example, the adrenal glands of all animals have evolved to pump out <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079864/">stress hormones</a> in unexpected situations — the hormones spur action and increase fuel to the brain, helping the animal react to danger appropriately. Wed, 09 Jul 2014 07:32:00 +0000 Richard Harris 42497 at http://wmra.org Like All Animals, We Need Stress. Just Not Too Much Smallpox Virus Found In Unsecured NIH Lab http://wmra.org/post/smallpox-virus-found-unsecured-nih-lab Scientists cleaning out an old laboratory on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Md., last week came across a startling discovery: vials labeled "variola" — in other words, smallpox.<p>Under international convention, there are supposed to be only two stashes of this deadly virus: one at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and another at a similar facility in Russia.<p>The CDC swooped in to collect the vials and carted them off to a secure lab at its Atlanta headquarters.<p>In a statement Tuesday, the agency said scientists did indeed find smallp Tue, 08 Jul 2014 17:52:00 +0000 Richard Harris 42463 at http://wmra.org Smallpox Virus Found In Unsecured NIH Lab Quick DNA Tests Crack Medical Mysteries Otherwise Missed http://wmra.org/post/quick-dna-tests-crack-medical-mysteries-otherwise-missed Researchers are developing a radical way to diagnose infectious diseases. Thu, 05 Jun 2014 21:17:00 +0000 Richard Harris 40964 at http://wmra.org Quick DNA Tests Crack Medical Mysteries Otherwise Missed Measles Hits Amish Communities, And U.S. Cases Reach 20-Year High http://wmra.org/post/measles-hits-amish-communities-and-us-cases-reach-20-year-high Members of Amish communities in Ohio traveled to the Philippines for heartfelt reasons: They were there on service projects to help less fortunate people. Unfortunately, they came home with unwelcome hitchhikers: measles viruses.<p>Those travelers hadn't been vaccinated against this highly contagious disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. Thu, 29 May 2014 18:28:00 +0000 Richard Harris 40616 at http://wmra.org Measles Hits Amish Communities, And U.S. Cases Reach 20-Year High Experimental Malaria Vaccine Blocks The Bad Guy's Exit http://wmra.org/post/experimental-malaria-vaccine-blocks-bad-guys-exit <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrNL27eWKOI</p> Thu, 22 May 2014 18:21:00 +0000 Richard Harris 40296 at http://wmra.org Experimental Malaria Vaccine Blocks The Bad Guy's Exit Medicine Needs More Research On Female Animals, NIH Says http://wmra.org/post/medicine-needs-more-research-female-animals-nih-says Many potential new drugs look like they could be big winners — at least when judged by how well they work in mice or other lab animals. Over the years, there have been a number of promising cancer "cures," possible Alzheimer's treatments, and candidate drugs for holding back the ravages of various degenerative diseases.<p>But, time after time, these great promises fade away once the potential treatments are tried in people. There are lots of reasons for that. Thu, 15 May 2014 18:18:00 +0000 Richard Harris 39948 at http://wmra.org Medicine Needs More Research On Female Animals, NIH Says If Polar Bears Can Eat A Ton Of Fat And Be Healthy, Why Can't We? http://wmra.org/post/if-polar-bears-can-eat-ton-fat-and-be-healthy-why-cant-we If you were a bear and wanted to make a go of it in the frozen North (think polar bear, of course), what would you need to survive?<p>White fur would help, to help you sneak up on prey. Also plenty of body fat to stay warm. Thu, 08 May 2014 16:44:00 +0000 Richard Harris 39621 at http://wmra.org If Polar Bears Can Eat A Ton Of Fat And Be Healthy, Why Can't We? Even Penguins Get The Flu http://wmra.org/post/even-penguins-get-flu When you think of bird flu, you may conjure up images of chickens being slaughtered to stem an outbreak, or of migrating ducks, which can carry flu viruses from one continent to the next. Well, it's time to add penguins to your list of mental images.<p>Yes, <a href="http://www.penguinworld.com/types/adelie.html">Adelie penguins</a>, which breed in huge colonies on the rocky Antarctic Peninsula, also harbor a version of the avian influenza virus, according to a <a href="http://mbio.asm.org/">study published</a> in the journal, <em>mBio</em>.<p>Fret not. Tue, 06 May 2014 04:03:00 +0000 Richard Harris 39493 at http://wmra.org Even Penguins Get The Flu Family Tree Of Pertussis Traced, Could Lead To Better Vaccine http://wmra.org/post/family-tree-pertussis-traced-could-lead-better-vaccine Whooping cough was once one of the leading killers of babies around the world. Now that it's largely controlled with a vaccine, scientists have had a chance to figure out how the disease came into being in the first place.<p>That story is told in a <a href="http://mbio.asm.org/content/5/2/e01074-14.full?sid=b438c0ee-50da-448f-8c94-4f7d08dd7700">study</a> published online this week in the journal <em>mBio</em>. Fri, 25 Apr 2014 20:41:00 +0000 Richard Harris 39058 at http://wmra.org Family Tree Of Pertussis Traced, Could Lead To Better Vaccine First Embryonic Stem Cells Cloned From A Man's Skin http://wmra.org/post/first-embryonic-stem-cells-cloned-mans-skin Eighteen years ago, scientists in Scotland took the nuclear DNA from the cell of an adult sheep and put it into another sheep's egg cell that had been emptied of its own nucleus. The resulting egg was implanted in the womb of a third sheep, and the result was Dolly, the first clone of a mammal.<p>Dolly's birth set off a huge outpouring of ethical concern — along with hope that the same techniques, applied to human cells, could be used to treat myriad diseases.<p>But Dolly's birth also triggered years of frustration. Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:14:00 +0000 Richard Harris 38645 at http://wmra.org First Embryonic Stem Cells Cloned From A Man's Skin