The Beyonce of Octopuses and The OctoKing on Why Octopuses Needed a Publicist

Sy Montgomery (Soul of an Octopus) and Warren Carlyle (founder of OctoNation) on octopuses taking over the media, the origins of OctoNation, why octopuses needed a publicist and some of the secrets of octopus from their new book Secrets of the Octopus that accompanies the National Geographic TV series. First of a two-part interview about...

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Cultivating Early Immune System Ontogeny across a Shifting Landscape (Infographic)

(image) The human body has been bombarded by environmental insults since conception. The prenatal immune system facilitates the generation of tissues and organs and is a versatile medium for communication with the outside world, which largely constitutes endogenous maternally-derived solutes. As the fetus matures, characterized by an elaboration of physical and chemical barriers, this prepares...

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Beyond Nourishment: Breastfeeding versus Formula and its immunological effects

Since the beginning of Homo sapiens as a species, breastfeeding has been the main feeding practice for newborns. The earliest documented cases of neonatal breastfeeding date as far back as 2000 BC, and the importance of this practice has been well understood for centuries as a primary source of nutrition for infants. Alternative feeding practices...

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Vaccinating children: evidently not a walk in the park

Four years ago in March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) a global pandemic. Nations scrambled to develop and secure vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) – competing for supplies, intensifying political rivalries, and hoarding in the name of nationalism. As adults engaged in this frenetic...

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Navigating the Hormonal Highway: What Has Puberty Taught Us About the Sex-Bias in Autoimmunity?

Growing pains, painful acne, menstruation, pubic hair, and voice cracks – these are some of the physical changes many of us can remember as we unavoidably stepped into teenhood. Puberty marks a crucial period in sexual maturation characterized by alterations in the composition and levels of our sex hormones which drive sex-specific changes in physical...

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Immunology in utero – the immunology of pregnancy

Introduction Historically, it was thought that successful pregnancies require a dampening of the maternal immune system for fetal growth and survival, not unlike the need to suppress host immunity following organ transplant. However, we now understand that this is not exactly accurate. Although not often considered, the immune system is crucial in the protection of...

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On Guard with Gardasil: vaccines against cancers caused by HPV

While a “cure” for cancer remains elusive, prevention of some cancers is within our grasp. It is estimated that 30 – 50% of cancer cases are preventable through risk-reducing measures. One simple method involves just two shots of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine during childhood. This vaccine not only protects against HPV infections, but also...

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Unlocking Hope: Progress in Understanding and Treating Inborn Errors of Immunity

David Vetter, popularly known as the “boy in the bubble”, was born with Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID). As one of the most severe cases of primary immunodeficiency, SCID impairs the growth and operation of immune cells that protect against infection. Although seemingly healthy initially, infants born with SCID are at heightened risk of severe...

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