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Foundations of Science

The Goldilocks of the Elements: Why Iron Levels Have to Be ‘Just Right’

The Goldilocks of the Elements: Why Iron Levels Have to Be ‘Just Right’

The Goldilocks of the Elements: Why Iron Levels...

Iron is an essential part of the biologic operating manual for organisms from single-celled bacteria up to complex human beings. But iron also has a dark side: Because of its capacity to turn molecules into free radicals that can damage cell membranes and DNA, too much iron can be as dangerous as...

A Superbug Problem: When Routine Surgeries Turn Dangerous

A Superbug Problem: When Routine Surgeries Turn Dangerous

A Superbug Problem: When Routine Surgeries Turn...

You go in for an elective knee replacement surgery, hoping to be able to climb the stairs again without pain, and end up with more than you bargained for: a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus (also referred to as S. aureus, Staphylococcus, or staph...

Get to Know the T-Team: The Immune System’s Special Defenders

Get to Know the T-Team: The Immune System’s Special Defenders

Get to Know the T-Team: The Immune System’s...

In our immune system — the body’s security force against infection — T-cells are like the “special-ops” team. These elite defenders are tailored to fight specific pathogens. But T-cells are not only fascinating for their germ-busting abilities. They’re also actively involved in the development of...

Inside a Cytokine Storm: When Your Immune System is Too Strong

Inside a Cytokine Storm: When Your Immune System is Too Strong

Inside a Cytokine Storm: When Your Immune...

The vast majority of people who suffer severe complications from influenza are elderly or have compromised immune systems. In fact, almost 90% of people who die as a result of a flu infection in the United States are over 65, an age when the immune system’s ability to fight infection begins to...

How to Deal Dangerous Proteins a Knockout Blow

How to Deal Dangerous Proteins a Knockout Blow

How to Deal Dangerous Proteins a Knockout Blow

In the genteel game of croquet, the goal is deceptively straightforward: to hit your ball through a series of hoops before your opponent does. However, anyone who has picked up a mallet knows the sport can get downright cutthroat. A strong player with the right strategy can hit her opponent’s...

May the Best Cell Win: How Scientists Choose One Champion Out of Millions

May the Best Cell Win: How Scientists Choose One Champion Out of Millions

May the Best Cell Win: How Scientists Choose...

Making cells in the lab may not sound too dramatic, but under the microscope, what scientists call cell-line development can be even more competitive than the most cutthroat reality-show contests.  ...

Inside the X-(Chromosome) Files

Inside the X-(Chromosome) Files

Inside the X-(Chromosome) Files

In honor of Mother’s Day, let’s take a closer look at the “female” sex chromosome: The X.  ...

Treating Disease with 'Precision Medicines' that Target Specific Patients

Treating Disease with 'Precision Medicines' that Target Specific Patients

Treating Disease with 'Precision Medicines'...

When people talk about curing cancer, an oncologist’s reaction likely is: What kind of cancer? If you answer “breast cancer,”  the oncologist will likely want to know which of its many varieties do you mean?  ...

 Could Diversity in Clinical Trials Be the Key to Understanding Liver Disease? 

Could Diversity in Clinical Trials Be the Key to Understanding Liver Disease? 

Could Diversity in Clinical Trials Be the Key...

In a New Yorker article about how evolutionary psychology findings are usually based on surveys of undergraduates, Anthony Gottlieb wrote, “American college kids, whatever their charms, are a laughable proxy for Homo sapiens.”  ...

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