All news from Epidemiology

Second Plague Pandemic: A New Approach to Old Questions

When many moderns think of the plague, the uproarious "Bring Out Your Dead" skit by Monty Python probably comes to mind. But in medieval Europe, the Second Plague Pandemic was no laughing matter: it was a particularly deadly series of disease outbreaks that began in the 14th century with the Black Death.

The Black Death, which reached Europe in October of 1347, killed upwards of 30% of European populations and was responsible for far-reaching social, economic, and political consequences that likely changed the course of history. Now, in a truly fascinating multi-disciplinary study, a pan-European group of researchers has attempted to clarify several outstanding questions related to the spread of plague throughout Europe in the 14th century.

Light-induced Changes in Photosensory Proteins

Researchers from Charité — Universitätsmedizin Berlin have been able to demonstrate how, on a molecular level, a specific protein allows light signals to be converted into cellular information. Their findings have broadened our understanding of the way how plants and bacteria adapt to changes in light conditions, which regulate essential processes, such as photosynthesis. Their research has been published in the current issue of Nature Communications

Using a Virus to Speed up Modern Computer: Biological Templating

In a groundbreaking study, researchers have successfully developed a method that could lead to unprecedented advances in computer speed and efficiency. Through this study, researchers Desmond Loke, Griffin Clausen, Jacqueline Ohmura, Tow-Chong Chong, and Angela Belcher have successfully developed a 'biological templating' method to engineer a better type of memory using a virus.

Infections in Children Linked to Mental Illness: Study

A new study shows that the infections children contract during their childhood are linked to an increase in the risk of mental disorders during childhood and adolescence. This knowledge expands our understanding of the role of the immune system in the development of mental disorders.

Medicaid Improves Access to Care, But Effects Vary by Race

Medicaid is an important tool to reduce insurance-related health disparities among Americans, according to Penn State researchers. Among a national sample of previously uninsured Americans, enrollment in Medicaid was found to lead to a substantial reduction in out-of-pocket costs, increased prescription drug utilization, and improved access to  as compared to individuals who remained uninsured