What Does Vector Mean In Biology?

In the field of medicine, the term “vector” has traditionally referred to any “organism that does not cause disease itself, but which spreads infection by conveying pathogens from one host to another.” An example would be how certain species of mosquitoes serve as vectors for dengue fever or malaria.

Therefore, vectors are agents of disease or transporters of parasites. As a conduit, the vector gets no benefit and sometimes loses fitness because of the arrangement. Studying vectors allow scientists to know more about the life cycle of parasitic and infectious diseases, helping us in controlling and ultimately preventing them from spreading.

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Distinguishing the biological vector from the mechanical one is important. While the former works on the host animal by having pathogenic organisms develop and multiply before being transmitted to the next host, a mechanical vector is an animal vector not essential to the life cycle of the parasite.

When used in gene therapy, a virus itself may serve as a vector if it has been re-engineered and used to deliver a gene to its target cell. In this sense, it is better known as the “cloning vector,” as it becomes the vehicle for delivering genetic material such as DNA to a cell.

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Captain Martin Lloyd Sanders, Ph.D., is an officer in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. He has rendered more than 12 years of service in occupational safety and health. For more on Captain Sanders’ work and interests, visit this page.


Their Contribution To Society: Making The Workplace Safe For Persons With Disabilities (Pwds)

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) recognizes that persons with disabilities (PWDs) are “key actors in the transformation of our world.” As such, their economic contributions as workers should be protected. This starts with making the workplace considerate and responsive to their needs.

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The United States Department of Labor, meanwhile, takes fervent steps to protect the livelihood of the disabled. Nondiscrimination laws for the disabled are in place, and reasonable accommodation of the needs of the disabled is often expected in the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) are basic legislation to this end.

The U.S. also has an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to enact protections for the disabled. The agency implements the law stating that no disabled person should be refused employment on the basis of disability.

The law defines explicitly “reasonable accommodations” of disabled workers through the following means: making facilities friendly and accessible, allowing flexible schedules such as part-time work, providing assistive technology, modifying policies, and adjusting work positions.

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The employer is expected to have a dialogue with the employee outlining the latter’s needs and company provisions answering to such. Summarily, this move takes to heart the stipulation in OSHA for employers to create a safe and hazard-free environment for their employees. This obligation extends not only to employers of PWDs. Every employer is expected to fulfill this. Furthermore, the Labor Department conducts workplace inspections to ascertain that such laws are followed.

Captain Martin Lloyd Sanders, Ph.D., is an officer in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), and has rendered more than 12 years of service in the occupational safety and health. For similar reads, click here.



Joining the ranks: How to get into the U.S. military

If you are interested in entering the United States military as an officer or enlisted member, there are a number of eligibility requirements to abide by. The rules can be confusing as there are different regulations are governing enlisting and officer programs, but here are basic guidelines to keep in mind.

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To join the enlisted ranks, in general, one must be a U.S. citizen or a Green Card holder. Non-citizens must speak, read, and write English fluently and currently live in the country.

In addition, one must be in good health, between 17 to 40 years of age (different branches have different age requirements), have a high school diploma (some offices will accept a GED), and pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. In the Air Force and Navy, the minimum test score is 50, while it is 45 for the Coast Guard, 32 for the Marines, and 31 for the Army.

To join as an officer, one must also have attended college. Officers are managers of the military, and most officer programs are very competitive, with many who qualified have master’s or higher degrees.

If there are conditions that may disqualify a specific candidate, a recruiter may ask a military command to overlook them through a waiver, which includes medical, mental health, criminal, education, moral, and age. Note, however, that there are no guarantees that one will obtain a waiver.

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Captain Martin Lloyd Sanders, Ph.D., is an officer in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), where the Surgeon General had appointed him as Chief Scientist. He has had more than 12 years of service in the field of occupational safety and health. Read similar articles here.