Pour some sugar on me

Pop quiz: Name the four major macromolecules essential for life. Go ahead, we’re waiting. The four are DNA, proteins, fats, and glycans. According to Dr. Emanual Maverakis, Associate Professor- Departments of Medical Microbiology & Immunology and Dermatology at the University of California, Davis, glycans are the least understood. He notes that “the study of glycans, or glycomics, is about 20 years behind other fields. One reason for this lag is scientists have not developed tools to rapidly identify glycan structures and their attachment sites on people’s cells. Well, get on it because research has shown glycans play a big role in the development of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune pancreatitis. Scientists, put down your Candy Crush, pick a theme song (Pour some sugar on me or Sugar Sugar) and let’s get a move on.

Precision medicine + diabetes

Time to break down diabetes into more subtypes than the amount of Wilford Brimley parodies there are on YouTube. Ok that might be an exaggeration because there are a TON, but Swedish & Finnish researchers are making an argument that we should probably have more than just the current two subtypes. They propose keeping Type 1 as its own thing, but expanding Type 2 into four clusters that are more descriptive of their causes. The basic breakdown is: Cluster 1, severe autoimmune (the former Type 1;) Cluster 2, severe insulin-deficiency; Cluster 3, severe insulin-resistant; Cluster 4, mild obesity-related; and Cluster 5, mild age-related. According to researcher Leif Groop, this is “a real step towards precision medicine. In the ideal scenario, this is applied at diagnosis and we target treatment better.” Increasingly patient-centric approaches will always get a thumbs-up from us.

Good immune system? Blame it on the dog

It’s easy to blame things on the dog. Chewed furniture? Yep. That mystery puddle on the floor? Sure. Being a slobbery, disgusting vehicle for germs entering the house? Definitely. But as you’re wiping dog snot off your windows for the billionth time, look on the bright side: the microbes brought into the house by dogs are actually helping our immune systems. Kids who grow up in households with dogs are less likely to develop autoimmune diseases and allergies – potentially due to the diversity of bacteria brought into the house by Fido. What about cats, you ask? All we know for sure is cats couldn’t care less if you get sick. Here are the 5 most popular dog breeds IN THE WORLD!