The genetic factors responsible for a cat's stripes might help researchers understand disease resistance in humans.
kennymatic via Flickr
September 20, 2012 Different lineages of cat with the same coloration got their looks in unique ways. The genetic variants that determine those patterns come from different mutations in the same genes. And that has some scientists thinking there may be more to the genes than meets the eye.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/161484592/161502076" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Bacteroides species are some of the most common bacteria in the human gut.
Enviornmental Health Perspectives
July 15, 2012 Aging people who cook with vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins at home have more kinds of gut bacteria, than those eating a bland nursing home diet, says a new study. Researchers say that in addition to digestion, these bacteria might also increase immune and cognitive functions during aging.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/156745291/156829966" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
June 13, 2012 The human body contains about 100 trillion cells, but only maybe one in 10 of those cells is actually human. The rest are from bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms. Now, scientists have unveiled the first survey the "human microbiome," which includes 10,000 species and more than 8 million genes.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/154913334/154943986" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Maybe the kids would be healthier if Mom skipped this sometimes.
March 23, 2012 The so-called hygiene hypothesis is right. Scientists say they've figured out how exposure to germs in infancy reduces the risk of allergies and other immune system problems.
Even in the remote Faroe Islands, some children have high levels of perfluorinated compounds in their blood. The chemicals may interfere with the immune system.
January 24, 2012 Researchers found that children whose blood contained high levels of chemicals used in nonstick coatings and stain-resistant fabrics were less responsive to vaccination. The finding suggests, but doesn't prove, that these chemicals may make some children more vulnerable to infectious diseases.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/145745691/145759486" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Dr. Ralph Steinman of Rockefeller University died Friday, three days before he was named a winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for "his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity."
October 3, 2011 The three scientists who won this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine opened important windows on how the immune system works to defend against microbial invaders and refrain from attacking animals' cells.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor