Month: June 2019

Scientists to be proud of

(Photo by Steve Johnson from Pexels) If enhancing diversity is generally perceived as progress in science, objections are still raised for the fact that this may represent a process of ‘social engineering’ that artificially favors certain individuals and not others – as underlined by the controversy on the suspended CERN physicist Alessandro Strumia. Science can be a highly serendipitous process, where inventions and discoveries may occur at the intersection of pure chance and intent. In a research environment where the interpersonal exchanges are more complex, and draw from a wider array of experiences and backgrounds, successful outcomes may be...

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Fleas are ready for a climate change

I need to make a confession. Fleas were not my favorite parasites by far. When the phone was ringing some ten years ago and questions about fleas kept coming – I was not amused. Why? The questions were simple, just asking “what are the fleas on dogs and cats these days?”. Holding a title of the veterinary parasitologist at the University of Sydney, Australia, I felt obliged to respond. So I did. It is the cat flea – was my answer. Ten years ago a thought was spreading that the fleas on dogs and cats are being replaced by...

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Highlights of the BMC Series: May 2019

BMC Oral Health – Big toenail and hair samples as biomarkers for fluoride exposure These days, we are exposed to a number of sources of fluoride, including water (naturally occurring or added artificially), food that has been exposed to fluoride (particularly through the use of pesticides) and dental products (toothpaste, mouthwash etc). High levels of fluoride exposure can lead to a number of health problems, for example, skin conditions, such as acne; heart problems; high blood pressure and osteoarthritis. The degree of fluoride exposure can be measured using biomarkers, substances that can be used to examine changes in the...

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Mermithid nematodes to control malaria transmission

Female Anopheles mosquito In malaria endemic Africa, chemicals are intensively used to control mosquitoes. Malaria is a vector-borne disease transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes. These mosquitoes reproduce in collections of natural or artificial water. Houses surrounded by stagnant water containing larval Anopheles mosquitoes In most districts of Sub-Saharan Africa, urbanization is anarchical or not well planned. Many districts are wetlands and floodable locations; there is no plan of modern urbanization and houses are built anarchically. Therefore, during the rainy season most houses are surrounded by stagnant waters, which favor Anopheles mosquito proliferation. High amounts of mosquito larval breeding sites...

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Could estrogen be the reason for a female survival advantage after injury?

It is well known from previous studies that females have a survival advantage over males and it is not restricted in particular regions or ethnicities. For example, a study found Japanese women outlive Japenese men by six years. However, it is not known what causes females to have this survival advantage. Understanding the mechanism of a female survival benefit could ultimately improve trauma care outcomes. There have been conflicting studies on whether the sex of a person has an impact on the outcome of injury. Some have shown females to have an advantage over men, while others a disadvantage,...

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