Finish your antibiotics completely, the future depends on it!


You’ve most likely had an infection that required treatment with antibiotics. At the time that you were prescribed antibiotics, you probably heard that familiar spiel about needing to take the entire course of antibiotics even if you feel better before finishing them. You might be wondering, why does it matter? Hopefully after reading this post you will be able to answer that question for yourself.

 As you might imagine, bacteria developing the ability to survive antibiotic treatment is bad news for us. This means that over time, our commonly used antibiotics are becoming less effective at killing bacteria. As bacteria evolves more antibiotic resistance, we may no longer be able to treat common infections unless we come up with another alternative treatment. It is important that we try to delay the evolution of antibiotic resistance as much as we can to buy time to develop other effective treatments. So what are the driving forces of bacterial evolution and what can we do about it? 

Continue reading “Finish your antibiotics completely, the future depends on it!”

Another One Bites the Dust: Kicking Asthma to the Curb


In 2016, the CDC reported that 8.3% of children have asthma. Asthma is a chronic lung disease in which airways become inflamed and narrowed. The cause of asthma is unknown, but scientists suspect that genetics, infections as a child, and exposure to certain allergens or viruses may have an impact on one’s development of asthma. There is no cure for this disease, although there are medicines that can help reduce an asthmatic person’s symptoms. (NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Previous research has shown that children who grow up on traditional dairy farms have an apparent protection from asthma due to high levels of microbial exposure (Ege et al 2011). The problem is that researchers have been unable to define the exact effect that these microbes have on the immune systems of dairy farm children. Stein et al (2016) developed a protocol that would hopefully bridge the gap of the causes and effects of the dairy farm lifestyle and immunity against asthma. Continue reading “Another One Bites the Dust: Kicking Asthma to the Curb”