Lipstick on the Pig

The rise of antibiotic resistance regularly prompts calls for another look at phage therapy, a phenomenon that dates back at least to the 1960s. Although resistance rates have skyrocketed in the intervening decades, phage therapy remains decidedly earthbound. Bacteriophage are viruses that infect and (often) kill bacteria. Phage therapy was intensively pursued in the 1920s. Read More …

Gastroenterology: Is there really a link between gut bacteria and depression or is this just fancy pop science?

The evidence for a link between gut bacteria and depression/anxiety disorders is compelling. The gut microbiome of clinically depressed patients is substantially altered[1], and gut disorders such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease show both an altered microbiome and an increased risk of depression[2] . We also know that recurrent antibiotic use, which inevitably disrupts the gut microbiota[3] , Read More …

Is it beneficial for our immune system to expose ourselves to bacteria?

“Beneficial” is not quite the word I would use. “Co-dependent” is a bit more accurate. Imagine a tug of war, our immune system on one side and bacteria on the other. Our bodies put just enough energy into our immune systems to ensure that there is an even match – that there is a stable Read More …

Are Phase I clinical trials ethical?

All clinical trials in the US and most other countries are approved by an Institutional Review Board, which must find the trial to be ethical. The basis for determining the ethical nature of a trial is the Nuremberg Code, adopted after the horrors of Nazi experimentation on humans were revealed. The principal tenets of the Read More …