Navigation Links
Learning to love bacteria: Stanford scientist highlights bugs' benefits

Bacteria are bad. Mothers and doctors, not to mention the cleaning product industry, repeatedly warn of their dangers. But a Stanford University School of Medicine microbiologist is raising the intriguing idea that persistent bacterial and viral infections have benefits.

Stanley Falkow, PhD, the Robert W. and Vivian K. Cahill Professor in Cancer Research, is publishing his thoughts on this topic in an essay in the Feb. 24 issue of the journal Cell, in which he asks, "Is persistent bacterial infection good for your health?" The essay is based on a talk he was invited to give at Cambridge University in November.

Falkow points out that the medical community and those who fund medical research focus on curing disease. He wonders if this single-mindedness might distract researchers from appreciating the beneficial contributions of micro-organisms to the body.

"Organisms that cause disease are usually considered in the context of harm and epidemics and so on," said Falkow. "But the fact is that a great number of organisms that infect humans come in and set up housekeeping as it were. There are no clinical symptoms of anything wrong and people take the organisms with them to their graves."

It's not that the organisms in question - such as the bacteria that cause pneumonia or meningitis - are innocuous, he said. It's just that most of the individuals do not get disease from being infected.

The best recent example of this, said Falkow, is H. pylori. First identified only 25 years ago, the organism earned researchers last year's Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for being implicated as a cause of ulcers and stomach cancer.

As is typical in the world of microbiology, though, it's not a simple equation: being infected = ulcers or cancer. At least 80 percent of the world's population is infected with H. pylori yet has no overt symptoms.

What makes the study of H. pylori even more perplexing is that as such advances as c
'"/>

Source:Stanford University Medical Center


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Learning to fight an adversary that wont stay down
2. Bird Brains Show How Trial and Error May Contribute to Learning
3. Learning how SARS spikes its quarry
4. Learning and memory stimulated by gut hormone
5. Learning the language of DNA
6. Learning during sleep?
7. Same mutation aided evolution in many fish species, Stanford study finds
8. First real-time view of developing neurons reveals surprises, say Stanford researchers
9. Stem cells from brain transformed to produce insulin at Stanford
10. Stanford gut check shows diversity of intestinal ecosystem
11. Young Blood Revives Aging Muscles, Stanford Researchers Find
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/23/2014)... ripping open a dinner roll, a fuel cell catalyst ... hydrogen molecule. Now researchers have captured a view of ... its hydrogen feast. The view confirms previous hypotheses and ... better for alternative energy uses. , This study is ... hydrogen halves end up in the structure of a ...
(Date:4/23/2014)... of a unique rhythmic sound, recorded for decades in ... Antarctic minke whale ( Balaenoptera bonaerensis ). First described ... thought it sounded like a duck, the bio-duck sound ... Ocean, but its source has remained a mystery, until ... researchers deployed acoustic tags on two Antarctic minke whales ...
(Date:4/23/2014)... Buenos Aires yesterday, Argentina joins the European Molecular ... The move strengthens the ties between the European ... Argentinian scientists access to EMBL,s world-class facilities and ... since its inception, fostering excellent life science research ... core of EMBL,s mission," says EMBL Director General ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Halving hydrogen 2Halving hydrogen 3Halving hydrogen 4Scientists identify source of mysterious sound in the Southern Ocean 2Scientists identify source of mysterious sound in the Southern Ocean 3
... believe the scientific consensus on global warming more than ... University researcher. The findings, published in the September ... challenge common perceptions that men are more scientifically literate, ... claim they have a better understanding of global warming ...
... Washington State University researchers have discovered the mechanism by which ... The finding clears the way for a suite of discoveries, ... injuries. "We know that brain activity is linked to ... neuroscientist and lead author of a paper in the latest ...
... and crises are related to each other by more than ... For example, earthquakes, homicide surges, magnetic storms, and the U.S. ... a theoretical framework presented in the journal CHAOS , ... The researchers who developed this framework contend that these four ...
Cached Biology News:Women more likely than men to accept global warming 2WSU researchers discover key mechanism behind sleep 2Improving crisis prediction, disaster control and damage reduction 2
(Date:1/15/2014)... 2014 More than 5 million Americans ... in 3 seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another ... figures have shocked many Americans into looking for ways ... these tragic age-related cognitive disorders. Jonathan Weisman, president of ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... Freeslate, Inc ., the leading provider of ... one of India’s top five pharmaceutical companies, has received ... for high throughput solid form screening. , Lupin, ... range of quality, affordable generic and branded formulations and ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... Histogen, Inc., a regenerative medicine company developing ... simulated embryonic conditions, today announced that they have entered ... for physician-dispensed aesthetic products containing Histogen’s proprietary multipotent cell ... an amendment to the existing license between Histogen and ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... DIEGO and BETHESDA, Md. ... are joining together with two institutes from the National ... reliable tools for bringing safer, more effective treatments to ... the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Biohack Pure Offers 5 Tips for Increasing Memory in 2014 2Lupin Selects Freeslate’s CM Protégé PharmD System to Accelerate Polymorph Screening for Drug Development 2Lupin Selects Freeslate’s CM Protégé PharmD System to Accelerate Polymorph Screening for Drug Development 3Histogen and Suneva Medical Expand License for Cell Conditioned Media-based Aesthetic Products Internationally 2Histogen and Suneva Medical Expand License for Cell Conditioned Media-based Aesthetic Products Internationally 3Organovo Announces Collaboration with National Institutes of Health 2Organovo Announces Collaboration with National Institutes of Health 3
... Nov. 21 Trubion Pharmaceuticals Inc.,(Nasdaq: TRBN ... chief,executive officer and chairman of Trubion, is scheduled ... Capital Markets Healthcare Investor,Conference to be held at ... to present Nov. 27, 2007, at 2:30 p.m. ...
... Michele,Garufi, Chairman and CEO of NicOx (Eurolist: COX), will ... and development programs and the,status of ongoing alliances at ... November 26, 2007:, - At the 19th Annual ... US Eastern Time (21:00 Central European Time - 20:00 ...
... Pharmaceuticals, Inc.,(Nasdaq: SGXP ) announced today that the company ... Grey, president & chief,executive officer of SGX Pharmaceuticals, will provide ... as follows:, -- 19th Annual Piper Jaffray Health ... 2007 at 11:30 AM Eastern Standard Time at The Pierre ...
Cached Biology Technology:Trubion Pharmaceuticals to Present at the Lazard Capital Markets Healthcare Investor Conference 2NicOx to Present at Financial Conferences in New York on November 27, 28 and 29 2SGX Pharmaceuticals to Present at Two Upcoming Investor Conferences 2