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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Typhoid Mary case may be cracked, a century later

By Geoffrey Mohan



The revelations offer a hint at developing therapies that could potentially block the activity of the bacteria


JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) When Typhoid Mary died in 1938, in medical exile on a tiny New York island, she took untold numbers of Salmonella typhi to her grave. No one knew how the bacteria managed to thrive and not kill her.

A team of microbiologists from Stanford University and UC San Francisco has found a tantalizing clue: a bacterium strain similar to the one responsible for "healthy" carriers such as Typhoid Mary shows an ability to hack the metabolism of the cells sent out to defend from infection and heal trauma.

“Salmonella is adapted to infect mammalian hosts; in fact, salmonella typhi only infects humans," said Stanford microbiologist Denise Monack, lead author of the study published online Wednesday in the journal Cell Host and Microbe. "So it’s very interesting for me to try to understand why that is."

The trickery, revealed in experiments with mice, involves a receptor protein that affects how macrophages -- the body's Pac-Man gobblers of foreign pathogens -- get the energy required to survive. The team found that the bacteria tend to hang out with a mellower macrophage associated with the later stages of infection. Enough of the bacteria survive the more aggressive wave of attackers during the inflammatory phase of the immune response to settle in with the more placid anti-inflammatory cells, according to the study. Once inside, the bacteria essentially hack the genetic programming that sets off production of glucose for the host cell, and its own survival.

Mice infected with the salmonella strain typhimurium, known to cause symptoms of typhoid fever in rodents, showed increased activity of a protein known as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors, or PPAR-gamma, the study found.

The protein “controls the metabolic pathways in the macrophage and it allows the macrophage to bring in fatty acids to utilize them as a carbon source, for energy," Monack said.

Mice whose genes were altered to be deficient in production of the transcriptional protein were a lot like Typhoid Mary -- infected, but not sick. Six weeks later, levels of the tell-tale protein were nearly undetectable.

The revelations offer a hint at developing therapies that could potentially block the activity of the bacteria, Monack said.

Although typhoid fever is not the widespread killer it once was, the mechanisms of microbes that cause it offer critical insights into human pathology. Salmonella typhi also remains enough of an evolutionary puzzle to preoccupy Monack for some 25 years.

“There aren’t a ton of pathogens that hang out in macrophages,” Monack said. The bacterium that causes tuberculosis is another, she noted.  

Salmonella typhi is a young microbe by evolutionary standards, tracing back some 50,000 years. In that time, it has adapted and triumphed over competitors to dominate a remarkably narrow niche: human immune systems.


Evolutionary biologists believe invasion and genetic hijacking were how the earliest animal and plant cells acquired mitochondria -- the ubiquitous energy-generating organelle that is suspiciously similar to bacteria.

These days, typhoid fever strikes about 16 million people worldwide, killing about 600,000, predominantly in non-industrialized nations, according to the World Health Organization. About 75% of the 5,700 U.S. residents sickened annually by the bacterium contracted it after traveling to other countries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The illness can be prevented by vaccine and is treatable with antibiotics, although it is showing signs of developing resistance to multiple drugs, in a manner similar to the staphylococus bacterium.

But Americans largely view the disease through the story of Mary Mallon, the Irish immigrant cook who spread the bacterium throughout New York in the first decade of the 20th century. The earliest cases struck a family in Oyster Bay, Long Island, a popular site for estates and vacation homes for the well-heeled Manhattan elite. A Manhattan outbreak soon followed.

The germ theory of disease had been established for decades, and Louis Pasteur had pioneered the first rabies vaccination, but penicillin's discovery was still decades away, and the gaps in understanding pathogens were enormous.


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Medical professionals did not crack the case: that was left to George Soper, a sanitation engineer from Manhattan who had visited Ithaca, N.Y., during a raging typhoid outbreak in 1903, and had read of the work of microbiological pioneer Robert Koch, who had investigated typhoid fever outbreaks in Germany. Until Soper focused on Mallon as the common element in all the new outbreaks, no "healthy" carrier of typhus had ever been identified in the U.S.

Quickly dubbed Typhoid Mary in medical journals and the popular press, Mallon became infamous. Viewing the epidemiology campaign as persecution, Mallon had to be persuaded to cooperate with authorities. She eventually was quarantined to Riverside Hospital on North Brother Island, off the Bronx shores, from 1907-1910.

After her release, Mallon worked at a laundry, but eventually adopted an alias and returned to more lucrative domestic work, including cooking, in 1915. She was working as a cook at Manhattan's Sloane Maternity Hospital in 1915 when typhoid fever again broke out, and authorities tracked her down and arrested her, sending her back to North Brother Island, where she died in 1938.

About 3,500 cases of typhoid fever were reported in the 1909 outbreak. How many could be traced to Mary Mallon is unknown, although reasonable estimates of deaths directly tied to her hover around 50. The first large-scale vaccination program began in 1909, in the U.S. Army, but it would be decades before widespread vaccination and improvement in food and water sanitation would push the disease into an obscure niche in the United States.

Riverside Hospital was closed shortly after Mallon's death. Its ruins remain visible on the island, now a designated bird sanctuary. 

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© 2013, Los Angeles Times Distributed by MCT Information Services



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