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Keyword: immunology

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  • Soaring MERS Cases in Saudi Arabia Raise Alarms

    05/03/2014 5:59:41 PM PDT · by neverdem · 16 replies
    Science ^ | 2 May 2014 | Kai Kupferschmidt
    Scientists are scrambling to make sense of a sharp increase in reported infections with the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) virus. In April alone, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have reported over 200 new cases—more than all MERS-affected countries combined in the preceding 2 years. That has sparked fresh fears that the virus may be about to go on a global rampage. The World Health Organization expressed alarm at the new numbers, and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published an updated risk assessment on 25 April warning European countries to expect more imported...
  • Obesity is Inflammatory Disease, Rat Study Shows

    05/01/2014 3:12:41 PM PDT · by neverdem · 22 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Dec 5, 2013 | NA
    Scientists led by Dr David Fairlie from the University of Queensland, Australia, have found abnormal amounts of an inflammatory protein called PAR2 in the fat tissues of overweight and obese rats and humans. PAR2 is also increased on the surfaces of human immune cells by common fatty acids in the diet. When obese rats on a diet high in sugar and fat were given a new oral drug that binds to PAR2, the inflammation-causing properties of this protein were blocked, as were other effects of the high-fat and high-sugar diet, including obesity itself.Zucker Rat, a pet rat that has developed...
  • Researchers find source of new lineage of immune cells

    02/13/2014 8:39:38 AM PST · by neverdem · 6 replies
    Biology News Net ^ | February 12, 2014 | NA
    The elusive progenitor cells that give rise to innate lymphoid cells—a recently discovered group of infection-fighting white blood cells—have been identified in fetal liver and adult bone marrow of mice, researchers from the University of Chicago report early online in the journal Nature. Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are among the first components of the immune system to confront certain pathogens. They have a critical function at mucosal barriers—locations such as the bowel or the lung—where the body comes in direct contact with the environment. Yet they went undetected by researchers studying the immune system for a century. "Scientists tend to...
  • Study: Alcohol Can Boost Your Immune System

    12/26/2013 8:09:41 PM PST · by neverdem · 47 replies
    CBS News ^ | December 24, 2013 | NA
    ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – According to a new study, alcohol can boost your immune system. Researchers vaccinated animals and then gave them access to alcohol. Researchers found that the animals that had consumed alcohol also had faster responses to the vaccines.According to Medical News Today, the researchers hope this study leads to a better understanding of how the immune system works, and how to improve its ability to respond to vaccines and infections.Researchers were able to show other data to back their findings. According to UCR Today, moderate alcohol consumption has long been associated with a lower mortality rate.Moderate alcohol...
  • New Treatment for Gonorrhea Prevents Reinfection

    10/08/2013 3:17:32 PM PDT · by neverdem · 27 replies
    Scientific American ^ | September 25, 2013 | Rachel Feltman
    A nanoparticle-based cancer therapy has been found to thwart an antibiotic-resistant, sexually transmitted infection in mice A first step has been taken toward a treatment for gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease (STD) notorious for its high reinfection rates. This news comes within days of a troubling update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control that placed the STD on a list of “urgent threats”(PDF) in the fight against drug-resistant bacteria. According to the CDC, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacteria that causes the malady in humans—which can initially result in painful inflammation and discharge, and can cause infertility and even death if...
  • New function for a well-known immune messenger molecule

    08/30/2013 2:39:15 PM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies
    Biology News Net ^ | August 26, 2013 | NA
    The molecule interleukin-7 (IL-7) is an important immune messenger protein which ensures that a sufficient number of T cells are present in our body for immune defence. Researchers from ETH Zurich have now demonstrated that IL-7 has another important function: it enhances the drainage function of lymphatic vessels, which collect fluid that has leaked out of blood vessels into the body tissue and return it to the bloodstream. In the future, this finding could become useful for lymphedema patients, whose lymphatic drainage system does not work properly, resulting in fluid accumulation and tissue swelling. The predisposition to develop lymphedema may,...
  • Antigenic sugars identified for Chagas disease

    07/27/2013 12:39:57 AM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 23 July 2013 | Sonja Hampel
    The triatomine beetles that transmit Chagas disease are known as kissing bugs because they tend to feed on peopleÂ’s facesScientists in the US and Spain have synthesised the combinations of sugars from the surface of the Chagas disease parasite that trigger the human immune response to it. This could help establish better diagnostic tests for the disease, and even a vaccine.Chagas disease is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. The parasite is transmitted by contaminated food, blood transfusions and blood sucking beetles commonly known as kissing bugs. After a phase of acute local infection, the disease becomes chronic and can...
  • Women are more vulnerable to infections

    07/26/2013 11:17:15 PM PDT · by neverdem · 60 replies
    Nature News ^ | 26 July 2013 | Brendan Maher
    Public-health officials discount role of sex in people's response to flu and other infections. Sabra Klein came to the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Reproduction this week armed with a message that might seem obvious to scientists who obsess over sex: men and women are different. But it is a fact often overlooked by health researchers, says Klein, an immunologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. Her research on influenza viruses in mice, presented at the meeting in Montreal, Canada, helps explain why women are more susceptible to death and...
  • Asymmetrical glycans synthesized in lab

    07/26/2013 11:03:21 PM PDT · by neverdem · 8 replies
    Nature News ^ | 25 July 2013 | Richard Johnston
    Method uses core carbohydrate to build variations of ubiquitous but enigmatic biomolecules Scientists have demonstrated a new method for synthesizing glycans, a class of crucial but elusive carbohydrates. The technique opens the way to a comprehensive study of glycans, one of four key macromolecule groups in biology — along with proteins, nucleic acids and lipids — and the least studied of them. The results could also lead to a better understanding of the outer shells of viruses. Glycans are made of sugar molecules, which can form simple chains or more elaborate, branching arrangements. They are ubiquitous in the living world....
  • Genetic test fingers viral, bacterial infections: Method could help doctors treat children's fevers

    07/24/2013 12:29:45 AM PDT · by neverdem · 4 replies
    Science News ^ | July 16, 2013 | Tina Hesman Saey
    By differentiating between bacterial and viral fevers, a new test may help doctors decide whether to prescribe antibiotics. Fevers are a common symptom of many infectious diseases, but it can be difficult to tell whether viruses or bacteria are the cause. By measuring gene activity in the blood of 22 sick children, Gregory Storch, a pediatrician and infectious disease researcher at Washington University in St. Louis and colleagues were able to distinguish bacteria-sparked fevers from ones kindled by viruses. The activity of hundreds of genes changed as the children’s immune systems responded to the pathogens, but the team found that...
  • Interspecies Transplant Paves the Way for Diabetes Therapy

    07/20/2013 1:38:27 PM PDT · by neverdem · 24 replies
    Voice of America ^ | July 20, 2013 | Jessica Berman
    Researchers have come closer to the “Holy Grail” of treatment for people with type 1 diabetes. They have successfully transplanted insulin-producing islet cells from one species into another without the use of immunity-suppressing drugs. In the future this could provide an unlimited supply of tissue to treat people whose bodies cannot produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that delivers glucose - a form of sugar that the body uses for fuel - to cells for energy. Since the immune systems of people with type 1 diabetes attack and destroy the islet cells that produce insulin, many...
  • Cancer - A cure just got closer thanks to a tiny British company - and the result could change...

    07/15/2013 8:32:52 PM PDT · by neverdem · 15 replies
    Independent (UK) | 14 JULY 2013 | STEVE CONNOR
    Exclusive: Cancer - A cure just got closer thanks to a tiny British company - and the result could change lives of millions That's the complete title. Here's the link.
  • Rare mutation prompts race for cholesterol drug

    07/15/2013 12:16:26 AM PDT · by neverdem · 22 replies
    NY Times via Columbus Dispatch (OH) ^ | July 14, 2013 | Gina Kolata
    She was a 32-year-old aerobics instructor from a Dallas suburb — healthy, college-educated, with two young children. Nothing out of the ordinary, except one thing. Her cholesterol was astoundingly low. Her low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, the form that promotes heart disease, was 14, a level unheard-of in healthy adults, whose normal level is over 100. The reason: a rare gene mutation she had inherited from both parents. Only one other person, a young, healthy Zimbabwean woman whose LDL cholesterol was 15, has ever been found with the same mutation. The discovery of the mutation and of the two women with...
  • New wonder drug matches and kills all kinds of cancer — human testing starts 2014

    07/11/2013 11:38:50 AM PDT · by GrandJediMasterYoda · 93 replies
    Ny Post ^ | 7/11/13 | By MICHAEL BLAUSTEIN
    New wonder drug matches and kills all kinds of cancer — human testing starts 2014 By MICHAEL BLAUSTEIN Last Updated: 2:03 PM, July 11, 2013 Posted: 12:55 PM, July 11, 2013 Stanford researchers are on track to begin human trials of a potentially potent new weapon against cancer, and would-be participants are flooding in following the Post’s initial report on the discovery. The progress comes just two months after the groundbreaking study by Dr Irv Weissman, who developed an antibody that breaks down a cancer's defense mechanisms in the body. A protein called CD47 tells the body not to "eat"...
  • Bacterial molecules may prevent inflammatory bowel disease

    07/13/2013 5:53:23 PM PDT · by neverdem · 34 replies
    Science News ^ | July 9, 2013 | Jessica Shugart
    Common compounds produced by gut microbes quench colitis in mice Common molecules made by bacteria in the gut may act as chill pills for the immune system. Molecules secreted by intestinal bacteria work to prevent misplaced immune attacks in inflammatory bowel diseases like colitis, a new study finds. “It is a huge advance,” says Sarkis Mazmanian of Caltech. “This opens up the notion that a very easy and potentially very safe therapy for inflammatory bowel disease could exist.” Decades of research have hinted that microbes play a role in immune-related diseases such as obesity, allergy, inflammatory bowel disease and colon...
  • Mom's Antibodies May Cause Some Autism

    07/13/2013 2:50:19 AM PDT · by neverdem · 17 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 10 July 2013 | Emily Underwood
    Enlarge Image Monkey business. Young rhesus monkeys that receive human antibrain antibodies in utero act oddly in social situations. Credit: Nancy Collins/Creative Commons "Antibrain" antibodies that slip through the placenta from mother to fetus during pregnancy may account for roughly a quarter of autism cases, a new study suggests. Some scientists say the work could lead to a blood test that accurately predicts whether a mother will bear a child with this immune-triggered form of the disorder—a claim that's raising eyebrows among skeptics. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a range of communication and social deficits estimated to affect 1 in...
  • Cholera is Altering the Human Genome

    07/04/2013 4:06:33 PM PDT · by neverdem · 9 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 3 July 2013 | Mitch Leslie
    Enlarge Image Laid low. A cholera ward in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a country where nearly half the people are infected with the cholera bacterium by age 15. Credit: Mark Knobil/Creative Commons Cholera kills thousands of people a year, but a new study suggests that the human body is fighting back. Researchers have found evidence that the genomes of people in Bangladesh—where the disease is prevalent—have developed ways to combat the disease, a dramatic case of human evolution happening in modern times. Cholera has hitchhiked around the globe, even entering Haiti with UN peacekeepers in 2010, but the disease's heartland is...
  • Cancer Scientists Prove Long-Standing Theory on How Cancer Spreads

    06/30/2013 8:57:49 PM PDT · by neverdem · 18 replies
    SciTech Daily ^ | June 28, 2013 | Staff
    A newly published study shows that white blood cells and a cancer cells can fuse and initiate a tumor, providing the first proof in humans of a long proposed theory.Yale Cancer Center scientists, together with colleagues at the Denver Police Crime Lab and the University of Colorado, have found evidence that a human metastatic tumor can arise when a leukocyte (white blood cell) and a cancer cell fuse to form a genetic hybrid. Their study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, may answer the question of how cancer cells travel from the primary tumor’s site of origin to distant organs...
  • Type 1 diabetes vaccine hailed as 'significant step'

    06/27/2013 3:28:10 PM PDT · by CutePuppy · 14 replies
    BBC ^ | June 26, 2013 | BBC
    It may be possible to reverse type 1 diabetes by training a patient's own immune system to stop attacking their body, an early trial suggests. Their immune system destroys the cells that make insulin, the hormone needed to control blood sugar levels. A study in 80 patients, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, showed a vaccine could retrain their immune system. Experts described the results as a "significant step". Normally a vaccine teaches the immune system to attack bacteria or viruses that cause disease, such as the polio virus. Researchers at the Stanford University Medical Centre used a vaccine...
  • Medical research: Cell division - In 1962, Leonard Hayflick created a cell strain from an aborted...

    06/27/2013 5:22:04 PM PDT · by neverdem · 6 replies
    Nature News ^ | 26 June 2013 | Meredith Wadman
    In 1962, Leonard Hayflick created a cell strain from an aborted fetus. More than 50 years later, WI-38 remains a crucial, but controversial, source of cells. The woman was four months pregnant, but she didn't want another child. In 1962, at a hospital in Sweden, she had a legal abortion... --snip-- “Other vaccines are produced in a completely morally non-objectionable way. So why aren't we doing this with all vaccines?” says Debi Vinnedge, the executive director of Children of God for Life, a group based in Largo, Florida, that opposes the use of WI-38 in vaccine-making. In 2003, Vinnedge wrote...