Spotlight On: Obesity

Credit: iStock Obesity, broadly defined as “a condition characterized by the excessive accumulation and storage of fat in the body,” has long been recognized as increasing the risk of human disease and death. Hippocrates, often called the “father of medicine,” noted in the fifth century B.C. that “sudden death is more common in those who … Continue reading Spotlight On: Obesity

Spotlight On: Cystic Fibrosis

Credit: iStock Cystic fibrosis is a progressive genetic disease caused by mutations, or changes, in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. Cystic fibrosis is most common in people of Northern European ancestry, but it occurs in people of all races and ethnicities. People who inherit a mutated CFTR gene from both of their … Continue reading Spotlight On: Cystic Fibrosis

Spotlight On: Enzymes

Credit: iStock Proteins have lots of important functions in the body. One of them is to work as biological catalysts, which means they cause chemical changes or reactions in other substances. This group of proteins, called enzymes, bring about changes in the body while they remain unchanged themselves during the process. Learning the origins of … Continue reading Spotlight On: Enzymes

Spotlight On: Diabetes

Credit: iStock We hear a lot about diabetes, but you may wonder what exactly it is. Diabetes mellitus (its full name) is a chronic disease caused by dysregulation of the endocrine system. Diabetes affects how our bodies turn food into energy. There are three main types of the condition: type 1, type 2 and gestational. … Continue reading Spotlight On: Diabetes

Spotlight On: Asthma

Credit: iStock Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the lungs of people of all ages. Asthma causes repeated episodes of coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and airflow obstruction. Unfortunately, there is no cure for asthma, but it can be managed to help people with the condition lead a normal and healthy life. Interestingly, asthma … Continue reading Spotlight On: Asthma

Spotlight On: Blood Clotting and Hemophilia

Credit: iStock When you play sports outside, you may accidently fall and scratch your knee or elbow, shedding a few drops of blood. Usually this is not a reason to be concerned. You wash your cut with some water, apply an anesthetic spray or ointment and stick on a bandage. The reason most of us … Continue reading Spotlight On: Blood Clotting and Hemophilia

Spotlight On: Alzheimer’s Disease

Credit: iStock As we age, the risk of developing dementia increases. Dementia is basically losing the ability to think and remember clearly, though it is a general term, not a specific disease. There are many diseases that fall under the umbrella term of “dementia.” One of the most common is Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease was … Continue reading Spotlight On: Alzheimer’s Disease

Spotlight On: Insulin

Credit: iStock Sugar is one of the most important fuels our bodies use to produce energy and survive. However, too much sugar can cause damage to our organs. Our bodies naturally produce a hormone called insulin that helps regulate how much sugar is circulating in our blood at any given time, even when we eat … Continue reading Spotlight On: Insulin

Spotlight On: Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Credit: iStock Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic, progressive condition that leads to issues with the digestive system, specifically the intestines. This makes it difficult for these organs to absorb nutrients and fluids from your diet so your body can meet its needs. It is not entirely known what causes inflammatory bowel disease, but factors … Continue reading Spotlight On: Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Spotlight On: Amino Acids

Credit: iStock Proteins are a crucial, key component in almost every biological process in the body. Our genes serve as an instruction manual that guides the generation of proteins. But you might not know much about amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Units of amino acids called polypeptides allow your body to make the … Continue reading Spotlight On: Amino Acids