Can viruses do good things?

Can viruses be beneficial? Did they aid the development of life on this planet? Can they be used in treating cancer? Can they protect plants against drought and cold temperatures? Can they protect against infection? Are they, in fact, essential for life on Earth? See the background and the research … Background: *Nuwer, R. (2020). Why the world needs viruses to function. BBC Future. *Quammen,…

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High-sugar diets: Discovering human impacts through animal models

High-sugar diets can have many negative effects. One way to pinpoint the physical changes they can cause in humans is to test their effects on animal models that share similarities with humans. Featured articles (these articles have been added to the Science Primary Literature database): *Alcántar-Fernández, J., González-Maciel, A., Reynoso-Robles, R., Martha Elva Pérez Andrade, de J Hernández-Vázquez, A., Velázquez-Arellano, A., & Miranda-Ríos, J. (2019)….

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Generalized Anxiety Disorder–an update

An update to the Generalized Anxiety Disorder–a sign of the times bibliography … Featured articles (these articles have been added to the Bibliography and to the Science Primary Literature database): *Carl, E., Witcraft, S. M., Kauffman, B. Y., Gillespie, E. M., Becker, E. S., Cuijpers, P., . . . Powers, M. B. (2020). Psychological and pharmacological treatments for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): A meta-analysis of…

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Hallucinogens, depression, and mental health

Featured article (this article has been added to the Science Primary Literature database): *Davis, A. K., Barrett, F. S., May, D. G., Cosimano, M. P., Sepeda, N. D., Johnson, M. W., . . . Griffiths, R. R. (2020). Effects of psilocybin-assisted therapy on major depressive disorder: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry, published online November 4, 2020. [PDF] [Cited by] “Importance:  Major depressive disorder (MDD)…

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Bacteriophages: basic science and applications

“We urgently need an alternative method to fight bacterial infection. One promising method for killing bacteria is to use bacteriophages: viruses that infect and kill bacteria … As a type of virus, phages cannot live and reproduce alone. Viruses need to invade a host cell, consume the host’s nutrients to make more copies of themselves, and lastly get out of the host cell – often by…

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Is Facebook hazardous to our well-being?

Is use of Facebook (and other social media sites) a genuine hazard to our physical and mental health? Are the purported benefits of digital social media outweighed by the risks? Past research has found negatives and some positives. “Prior research has shown that the use of social media may detract from face-to-face relationships, reduce investment in meaningful activities, increase sedentary behavior by encouraging more screen…

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