Germs

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Back To School? More Like Back To Germs

Like clockwork, September brings a return to school -- and right after, the amount of respiratory infections handled by doctors goes way up. Although this increase is common, it doesn't have to affect you. After all, for the most part, getting sick is preventable. All one needs to do is understand how these infections are spread and then employ the necessary hygiene steps to stay safe. Granted, they are not perfect but can significantly reduce the risk of having to stay home to heal.
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Could the Right Germs Make You Live Forever?

It's an age-old search: the secret to eternal youth. For centuries, the dream of a single factor that may increase our lifespan has been at the forefront of many legends, excursions, and of course, advertising campaigns. The answer, however, may lie not in water, food or lifestyle, but in our relationship with germs.
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5 Ways to Avoid Holiday Germ-Giving

Bad gift-giving, whether material or microbial, should never happen. While there may never be a means to prevent waking up to a disappointing present under the tree, you can minimize the possibility of sharing infection. Hopefully, with these five steps, you can set aside the worry and focus on the spirit of the holiday season.
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Viruses Are Perfect Gift Wrappers

In the microbial world, gift wrapping -- better known as cellular packaging -- is also considered to be an art. All germs perform some aspects of packaging but the masters are without a doubt the viruses. Viruses are unique from all other germs in that they don't start to thrive until they have entered a host cell.

Why Germs Are Better Environmentalists Than You

While we only recycle a quarter of our human-made waste, germs recycle almost everything cellular. This week, a group of researchers from different corners of the globe discovered that bacteria can even recycle genetic material (DNA), making them the ultimate environmental champions.
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Meet the Germs That Infect Your Water

The incidence of waterborne infections from the home water supply is rare but this trend of infection due to biofilm formation in the plumbing is showing up not only in the home but also in our travels and in our healthcare leaving many either infected or worse.
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Tips for Staying Healthy During the Holiday Party Season

Stay home when you are sick. It's the right thing to do for everyone, including you, because when your immunity is low you can pick up other germs more easily... yuck. Steep some tea, pour a bowl of soup, crank up the vitamins and rest, allowing your body to heal. Don't let stress undermine a quick recovery and try and enjoy your forced time out.
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Lice. Not Nice.

Nobody ever tells you about lice. Seriously, though, there should be a handbook that they give you when your child goes into any kind of childcare or school facility warning you of the perils you will face as a parent. Then, at least, you will be fully educated and may actually decide that the person homeschooling their child on your street may just actually have the right idea. Kids are gross.
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Your Smartphone Could Help Fight Disease

Through the use of a common smartphone, we may be even closer to germs than ever, with the ability to not only see them, but also help researchers and medical professionals with applications ranging from disease diagnostics to helping in the fight against global health threats such as malaria.
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How Germs Make Electricity From Human Waste

With an increase in population and the continuing threat of the end of the fossil fuel era, researchers have looked in other directions to help keep the lights on. In particular, one incredibly abundant resource on the planet, dead organic material collectively known as biomass has been identified as the future or renewable energy.
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Germs That Could Save Your Sight

There will never be a time when we are not at risk from one of the long list of microbial threats. However, we are learning how to work with good germs, such as Lactobacillus, Bdellovibrio, and Micavibrio, as allies in the fight. These small defenders deserve our attention and respect.
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Breast Milk: Fights Off Infection While Feeding Babies

This week, a team from The University of Western Australia published a paper that revealed how breast milk is not only a great source of nutrition, but also may help to fight off infections. But while breastfeeding continues to gain scientific backing, this does not mean that it is the only choice.
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How Germs Can Keep Your Motor Runing

The use of germs to produce biofuels has been in exploration since the mid-1990s, but finding the right organisms is a difficult task. The horse rumen has a vast array of environmental bacteria and ...something else. Could this be the treasure trove scientists are looking for?

Meet the New Strain of Flu: H7N9

Much like any new offering from Stephen King, which requires time to determine its place in his legacy, the new H7N9 flu requires more than just a few weeks to determine its place in the historical records of infectious disease.
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Lose Weight By Eating More...Worms?

New research suggests obesity might be an autoimmune condition caused by an imbalance in the microbiota of the gut. Good germs could help to keep obesity at bay, while bad germs could lead to increased weight gain, even without the person eating more.