Tag Archives: virus

Could Natural Defenses Help Cure Antibiotic Resistance?

[First posted on Island Press Blog] Untreatable gonorrhea is now a reality—and a sign of a growing threat to public health. Last month, the World Health Organization reported that some strains of the sexually transmitted disease are completely resistant to antibiotics. That means that unless something changes, when the inevitable college student ends up at Student Health […]

Bacteriophages to the Rescue

[First published in The Scientist] Earlier this year I gave a presentation to public-health students undergraduates about options for controlling pests and pathogens that didn’t depend on industrial-age chemicals such as antibiotics and pesticides. When I asked if they’d ever heard of phage therapy—the use of bacteria-attacking viruses to fight infection—I was met with blank stares. […]

Achoo misinformed?

When flu is on the rise, so too is the quantity of information and misinformation spread about in coffee shops, school cafeterias, or online. Kids tell their friends that the vaccine is lethal, and websites warn of government conspiracies. (I know, mild stuff compared with the fake-news and falsehoods flying around the airwaves.) Aside from […]

Anti-vaxxed?

In light of the fuss over Robert Di Niro and the movie Vaxxed; if anyone needs reminding of the value of vaccines, take a look at this diagram of 20th Century Death (click here for a larger version and slide on over to the right. These are estimates as they say but even so the numbers are humbling.) […]

The new outdoors: mosquitoes and ticks oh my

Cross-posted from Island Press With more and more cases of Zika virus being reported, some experts are calling for the use of DDT to combat the mosquitoes that transmit it. We asked Emily Monosson, author of Unnatural Selection and Evolution in a Toxic World to weigh in on the proposed use of pesticides, and what else we can do to […]

Rapid evolution, not all that bad?

In case you missed it, there’s some positive news on the rapid evolution front. We all know that HIV the virus that causes AIDS is a master of evolution. Rapidly evolving in response to both drugs and the human immune response. Yet after battling it out over several decades at the cost of too many human lives, […]

Courtesy Cornell Creative Machines Lab

Robot Evolution: about as rapid as it gets?

This isn’t exactly evolution in response to chemicals – but could be argued that it is a rapidly evolving system! I wrote this article for AEON Magazine, a thoughtful and interesting online journal; but it touches upon some of the earliest “in silico” and then more recent attempts to understand the processes of evolution. In a […]