How the Experimental Ebola Serum Is Being Grown Inside Tobacco Plants

For years, scientists have been looking for cheaper and faster ways to make vaccines, including tinkering with what sounds like an unlikely source: Tobacco plants. In fact, the highly experimental serum given to the two American Ebola patients was created using this novel technique. Here's how it works. » 8/07/14 2:36pm 8/07/14 2:36pm

Your Future Flu Vaccines Could Be Grown Inside a Tobacco Plant

Finally, some good news about tobacco and your health. No, there is no nicotine involved, but there will be lots and lots of virus-like particles. Tobacco plants could be one of the fastest and most effective ways of making the seasonal flu vaccine—much faster than the current method using chicken eggs. » 4/24/14 7:10pm 4/24/14 7:10pm

​The Flu Shot Is Less Effective in Men With High Testosterone

For years, Sabra Klein has been trying to start a conversation about sex. The Johns Hopkins immunologist studies why women have stronger immune systems than men—a phenomenon that underlies the fact that women are three times more likely to develop autoimmune diseases—but are also better protected by vaccines. The… » 12/23/13 3:00pm 12/23/13 3:00pm

Setting the Record Straight: Debunking All the Flu Vaccine Myths

It’s that time again — that time when dozens of spurious articles pop up all over the web touting all the dangers of the flu vaccine. Articles on unreliable, alarmist, misinformative sites like Natural News, Mercola, chiropractic blogs and other such sites rail against the “toxins” in the vaccine, or claim the flu… » 10/31/13 9:40am 10/31/13 9:40am

When the Next Flu Pandemic Hits, Keep Your Smartphone to Yourself

At the end of World War I, tens of millions of people died in just a few short years. But these deaths had nothing to do with the bullets and bayonets that had taken so many lives in battle. It was, instead, the Spanish Flu, which killed off about 5% of the world's population from 1918 until 1920. Were a similar… » 10/14/13 2:59pm 10/14/13 2:59pm

Self-Assembling DNA Could Make You Immune to Cigarettes

Nicotine, the reason why people smoke, chew or snort tobacco, is hard to quit. The American Heart Association says nicotine is about as addictive as heroin or cocaine, which explains why your cig-sucking coworkers get so grumpy and antsy leading up to a smoke break. Since quitting is so difficult and relapsing is so… » 7/05/13 2:30pm 7/05/13 2:30pm

Tattoos Might Be the Best Way to Deliver a Cancer Vaccine

If you've ever considered getting a tattoo, it's probably for aesthetic purposes. That's all well and good, but in the near future getting a tattoo might be the best way to deliver vaccines, so if you go in for a new ink job you could also protect yourself from any number of diseases, including some cancers. » 2/12/08 3:10pm 2/12/08 3:10pm