New England Vampires
Week of September 25

vampiresWe have good reason to be afraid of covid19, but it’s not nearly as dramatic as the vampire panic of two centuries ago. The vampire fear was driven by an outbreak of tuberculosis which back then was called consumption because its victims slowly wasted away from loss of appetite, coughing up blood and difficulty breathing. People didn’t know that the bacterium that caused TB spread through droplets from coughs, sneezes and spit. Instead, some believed the dead became vampires that fed on living relatives which seemed plausible since they were the ones who got sick... More »

Could Alcoholism Be Controlled With a Switch
Week of September 18

alcoholism Why is it so hard for some people to control their drinking? Twenty percent of adults will drink heavily in their lifetime and only half will cut back even in poor health. So why do they do it? We’ve guessed without much evidence the reasons: genetics, brain chemistry, society and culture. But new research now points to brain circuitry as a biomarker to identify people predisposed to alcoholism... More »

Bacteria's Role in Colorectal Cancer
Week of September 11

colorectal cancerWhile many of the bacteria in our gut keep us healthy, some, like certain strains of E. coli, produce toxins that may lead to colorectal cancer also called CRC. Researchers discovered that this toxin causes mutational signatures in cells that line the colon, the same type found in colorectal tumor cells... More »

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