A Battle Against ‘Superbugs’ in a New Medical Era

Have you heard of “superbugs?” Superbugs are bacteria that have gained the superpower to survive in the presence of antibiotics—medicines developed to slow or kill the growth of bacteria. Antibiotics are widely used to treat infections and to prevent infections after surgery. Because antibiotics are effective and convenient, doctors prescribe them often, which may lead … Continue reading A Battle Against ‘Superbugs’ in a New Medical Era

Spotlight On: Inflammation

Working at a medical school, I hear the word “inflammation” in our students’ classes at least once a day. When people begin learning about inflammation, they usually ask a common question: Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Inflammation is part of the body’s normal response to injury or infection. The four classic … Continue reading Spotlight On: Inflammation

Unusual Allergies: Water, Exercise, Sun and Cold

As a graduate student rotating through medical clinics, I once heard a patient say, “Good morning, I think I am allergic to water.” At the time, the idea of a water allergy seemed absurd to me. But as the human body constantly tries to adapt to a rapidly changing world, unusual allergies are cropping up … Continue reading Unusual Allergies: Water, Exercise, Sun and Cold

Food, Friend or Foe: How Our Gut Recognizes Good from Bad

Think about the last time you ate an apple—from the apple’s perspective. Pulverized in your mouth and dunked in a cauldron of stomach acid, the fruit slowly passed through the intestine before its final, unceremonious exit. Digestion is a wild, wacky journey. Scientists study how the body can both absorb life-sustaining nutrients and keep out … Continue reading Food, Friend or Foe: How Our Gut Recognizes Good from Bad

Spotlight On: Tuberculosis

If you’ve ever volunteered or worked in a hospital, nursing home or laboratory, you may remember having a tuberculosis (TB) skin test. But did you fully understand what TB is and why the tests are necessary? Though TB may not seem to be a major health concern in the U.S., this cunning disease remains a … Continue reading Spotlight On: Tuberculosis