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Latest David Artis Stories

2013-11-04 10:39:08

It's well established that humans maintain a symbiotic relationship with the trillions of beneficial microbes that colonize their bodies. These organisms, collectively called the microbiota, help digest food, maintain the immune system, fend off pathogens, and more. There exists a long and growing list of diseases associated with changes in the composition or diversity of these bacterial populations, including cancer, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and even autism. Inflammatory bowel disease...

Good Bugs Gone Bad: Beneficial Microbes Kept In Their Place By Gut Immune Cells
2012-06-06 12:57:26

Good microbes that promote normal health can 'turn bad' if found outside the intestine The healthy human intestine is colonized with over 100 trillion beneficial, or commensal, bacteria of many different species. In healthy people, these bacteria are limited to the intestinal tissues and have a number of helpful properties, including aiding in the digestion of food and promoting a healthy immune system. However, when it comes to commensal bacteria, location is key. While commensal...

2012-03-26 13:21:06

When poet Walt Whitman wrote that we "contain multitudes," he was speaking metaphorically, but he was correct in the literal sense. Every human being carries over 100 trillion individual bacterial cells within the intestine -- ten times more cells than comprise the body itself. Now, David Artis, PhD, associate professor of Microbiology, along with postdoctoral fellow David Hill, PhD, from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and collaborators from The...

2011-08-15 12:39:33

Penn researchers identify a target that could combat allergies of early childhood A pandemic of ailments called the "allergic march" -- the gradual acquisition of overlapping allergic diseases that commonly begins in early childhood -- has frustrated both parents and physicians. For the last three decades, an explosion of eczema, food allergies, hay fever, and asthma have afflicted children in the United States, the European Union, and many other countries. What causes the march and how to...

2010-03-11 14:40:19

Millions of people in both the developing and developed world may benefit from new immune-system research findings from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. The Penn Vet researchers, studying how the immune system operates, have discovered a previously unidentified cell population that may be the body's double-edged sword, fighting off parasitic infections but also causing the harmful immune responses that can lead to allergies and asthma. This cell population, termed...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'