(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It may surprise many of you to know that some vaccines currently being used are actually composed of a living virus that actively replicates in your body in order to generate immunity. I’ve written about one of these live vaccines before on this site: the oral polio vaccine (OPV). These are effective vaccines that mount a long-term adaptive immunity to the pathogen in question. This is done by immune cells that break down the virus and present small parts known as antigens to immature immune cells, which then mature in response to the antigen and are then capable of mounting an immune response to this same challenge in the future.
A recent paper to come out has shown one way that these live but attenuated viruses can be capable of generating such an effective immune response in vivo. Read on to see a potentially novel mechanism in generating an adaptive immune response to cytopathic viruses. Continue reading
Mentoring a Demography trainee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have another post up over at Gradhacker titled Picking a Good Mentor. I hope that this advice helps those of you searching for a graduate mentor as this is a major decision for students and is extremely important for making the most of your graduate experience.
- Picking a Good Mentor (insidehighered.com)
Zombies are after your brains! (Photo credit: Scott Beale)
Maybe it’s the Halloween spirit and all the zombies I’ve been seeing everywhere, but this week I can’t help but write about two very different kinds of microbes that infect the brain. I’ve already covered a virus that causes encephalitis and meningitis, and many bacteria can cause septic meningitis. However, the two organisms in the news this week that are causing fatal brain infections are neither a virus or bacteria, and much less common. The first is Naegleria fowleri, a warm-water dwelling amoeba; the second is Exserohilum rostratum, a nearly ubiquitous fungus found in the soil and on plants. These organisms normally live in very different environments but both have the unusual ability to infect the brain under very specific circumstances with fatal outcomes.
Click through to read more about these miniature brain-invaders and how they got into human brains in the first place. Continue reading
Hello readers! I have another article posted at Gradhacker today titled “How to make the most out of a rotation once you’re there.”
This was written as a direct result of my first year in graduate school. I don’t hide the fact that I had an extremely difficult time with rotations and finding a lab that suited me. Thankfully though, I did learn a lot that first year and want to share what I took away from this experience in the hopes of helping others make it through similar situations. So head over to Gradhacker to check out my most recent article, I hope that some of you find it helpful.