Author: vulgavis

Call for Papers! BMC Oral Health Collection: Something in the Water – Fluoridation and Caries

Water fluoridation is a measure to prevent caries, a disease of significant public health importance. Caries, when not managed, result in pain and discomfort for individuals and have further implications for the health and well-being of the affected individual, such as retarded growth and development of pre-school children. The huge cost of managing caries has significant impact on the allocation of public health funding. Different management strategies have been employed to prevent caries. Behaviour based interventions to reduce individual’s exposure to caries’ risk factors such as a reduction in sugar consumption, have limited success. Public water fluoridation is a...

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How can we, as mentors, help undergraduate researchers with depression?

CC0 licensed, Pikwizard Depression among undergraduates Nearly one in four undergraduates report having depression. As such, we can expect that students with depression enter our research labs as undergraduate researchers. In fact, data that we have collected across a total of 62 research-intensive (R1) institutions, master’s granting institutions, and primarily undergraduate institutions revealed that 35% of undergraduate researchers report that they have struggled with depression. Nearly one in four undergraduates report having depression. The mentor’s role A recent study that I conducted with graduate student Logan Gin and colleagues found that students with depression experience unique challenges in undergraduate...

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What determines where flukes are found in the Scottish Highlands?

Red deer stag in Scotland. Image credit: We know that the environment is important for determining where species – both hosts and parasites – can live and thrive. But characteristics of hosts – such as their age, immune response, or sex – are also important for determining infection and disease. When more hosts become involved – for example with vector-borne diseases and other complex lifecycle pathogens – the complexity of these interactions only increases. Sometimes the intermediate host habitat is the best predictor of disease and other times it’s the host immune system that is important for predicting...

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Fathers’ mental health: why is it important?

Putting fathers’ mental health into perspective Becoming a father is an extremely important life event for a man. Fathers can experience new emotions, feelings, and changes initiated by the transition into parenthood. Some evidence shows that around 10% of new fathers experience depression, and yet this is still little understanding about this let alone appropriate support. Most new mothers perceive the father to be a crucial source of support. Poor paternal support can exacerbate maternal mental health problems. However, many fathers feel alienated and have little knowledge about how they can support their partner at this time. These days,...

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Teaching disease ecology – in the time of COVID-19

I never imagined that I will be teaching Disease Ecology in the middle of a pandemic. Granted, we often have pandemics, but rarely one where millions get infected and hundreds of thousands die. I’ll be honest, I was in denial up until Trevor Bedford realized that there have been community transmission in Washington State undetected for at least 6 weeks. I deluded myself that COVID-19 would not get to the US until the CDC announced that we will have to focus on mitigation and not containment. Since then, everything has been a blur. The Stay-at-Home order announced by Washington...

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