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Gut Check

Thousands of species of bacteria, viruses and fungi live on and in our bodies. Microorganisms teem in every pore and crevice, from mouth to stomach to intestines to colon.

Inside Job

Carnivores eat their prey from the outside, author David Quammen writes in his 2012 book Spillover. Pathogens attack from within and are no less deadly. They enter our bodies unseen when we breathe, have sex, take a drink of water or just walk in the woods.


Last fall, the nation was riveted to the story of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old California woman afflicted with inoperable brain cancer. She captured the media spotlight when she moved to Oregon to access lethal drugs under Oregon’s death-with-dignity law. Maynard had chosen to die before the tumor took her autonomy.

It’s a Library, Metaphorically Speaking

Neither Jennifer Fox nor Robbie Allen is a poet. But when explaining their work to others, these scientists often rely on that pillar of poetry, the metaphor. That’s because for most people, picturing needles in haystacks, keys in locks, and spaceships in docks is a lot easier than getting a clear image of high-throughput screening, combinatorial chemistry, 3D virtual screening or other esoterica in the field of drug discovery.

Closing in on Cholera

In the life of Bo Park, there’s a quirky connection between her early childhood in South Korea and her pharmacology research at Oregon State University: fish.