Milestones

The incredible advances in HIV treatment

February 6, 2018
In the early 1980s, patients began experiencing unusual diseases. The patients, otherwise healthy, were falling ill with diseases usually only present in people with compromised immune systems. The underlying cause? Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS. Although today knowledge of AIDS, and its precursor HIV, is widespread, the disease caused panic in the 1980s. Seemingly unrelated groups of people, including drug users, gay men, and patients with hemophilia, were affected. There were no HIV treatments, and the condition remained poorly understood even as it continued to spread. Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is a virus that interferes with the human… continue reading »

Nobel Laureate Barry Marshall risks life to prove link between peptic ulcers and bacteria

January 15, 2018
Dr. Barry Marshall is an Australian physician who won the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with J. Robin Warren for proving that most peptic ulcers are caused by a bacteria called bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) which led to breakthroughs in the study and treatment of stomach cancers. Determination led to break the mythology of a disease Before the 20th century, the ulcer was not a respectable disease. “You’re under a lot of stress,” doctors would say. However, Dr. Barry Marshall had a different theory: that ulcers are in fact caused by a bacteria infestation, not stress, but… continue reading »

Milestones

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Emil von Behring: Recipient of the first Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

January 11, 2018
In the modern era, diphtheria is a largely unnoticed disease. Although it infected 100,000 people as recently as 1980, deaths caused by diphtheria declined to 2,100 (out of 4,500 total cases) by 2015. These incredible results are due, in large part, to the work of German scientist Emil von Behring. Diphtheria is a debilitating bacterial disease that can spread through the air or through contact with an infected object or person. Before widely available vaccines and treatment, it primarily affected children. A person infected with diphtheria experiences severe symptoms, most iconically an intense swelling of lymph nodes in the neck.… continue reading »

Vitamin C plays role in combatting the “Achilles’ heel” of cancer stem cells

December 7, 2017
The most effective way to eradicate cancer is by destroying cancer stem cells, because these cells are programmed to create more copies of themselves. Cancer cells universally tend to have encoded instructions to quickly break down sugar, or glucose, in cells in order to rapidly grow and multiply. These instructions are known as a glycolytic phenotype, and they enable tumor cells to remain aggressive and take over normal tissues. As described Oncotarget, Volume 8, Issue 40, researchers have tried to combat cancer by reducing the ability of cells to release their chemical energy, making it difficult for the cancer stem… continue reading »

2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine reveals what makes the biological clock tick

December 7, 2017
Why do you get tired at night? What makes the biological clock tick? It’s hardly a surprise to discover that people get tired, and the idea of an internal “biological clock” has been around for some time. This clock helps humans, and other organisms, match their activities to the time of day—activities that include essential processes such as sleeping and eating. The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded on October 2nd to three Americans, Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Robash, and Michael W. Young, “for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm.” For the first time,… continue reading »