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Keyword: immunology

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  • Biophysicist targeting IL-6 to halt breast, prostate cancer

    04/19/2011 4:27:11 PM PDT · by decimon · 5 replies
    Ohio Supercomputer Center ^ | April 19, 2011 | Unknown
    OSU's Li disrupts cellular messages through fragment-based drug design IMAGE: A simulation created at the Ohio Supercomputer Center by Ohio State’s Chenglong Li, Ph.D., illustrates MDL-A (ball-and-stick) binding with a section of GP130 (yellow ribbon). Li is using fragment-based drug... Click here for more information. An Ohio State biophysicist used a supercomputer to search thousands of molecular combinations for the best configuration to block a protein that can cause breast or prostate cancer. Chenglong Li, Ph.D., an assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy at The Ohio State University (OSU), is leveraging a powerful computer cluster at the Ohio Supercomputer...
  • Scientists develop compound that effectively halts progression of multiple sclerosis (in animals)

    04/18/2011 6:34:18 AM PDT · by decimon · 6 replies
    Scripps Research Institute ^ | April 17, 2011 | Unknown
    The discovery also holds promise for other autoimmune disordersJUPITER, FL, April 17, 2011 – Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have developed the first of a new class of highly selective compounds that effectively suppresses the severity of multiple sclerosis in animal models. The new compound could provide new and potentially more effective therapeutic approaches to multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases that affect patients worldwide. The study appeared April 17, 2011, in an advance online edition of the journal Nature. Current treatments for autoimmunity suppress the patient's entire immune system, leaving patients vulnerable to a...
  • Foods Made of Beetles Now Must Say So (Food additive. Allergic?)

    01/12/2011 8:47:40 AM PST · by decimon · 36 replies
    Live Science ^ | January 12, 2011 | Christopher Wanjek
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will have you seeing red this year, but this time it's a good thing. Since Jan. 5, the FDA has required food manufactures to disclose whether red cochineal beetles are among their products' ingredients. These beetles are farmed, harvested, dried and crushed to produce a red dye called carmine that, until this year, had been disguised in the ingredient list as "artificial color," "color added" or the all-encompassing "natural and artificial coloring." Carmine provides pink, red and purple coloring to foods such as ice cream, yogurt, candy, and fruit drinks (should you permit that...
  • Is Alzheimer's Disease Written in Blood?

    01/10/2011 3:26:31 PM PST · by neverdem · 4 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 6 January 2011 | Jennifer Couzin-Frankel
    Wherever it's buried in the body, a disease leaves traces in the blood—or so the thinking goes. But finding these biomarkers, which can help catch the disease early on, has been an exercise in futility, with one promising candidate after another losing its luster once it receives scrutiny. A team of chemists and other researchers now propose a new way to pick up biomarkers with a blood test: by screening for antibodies that the body makes in response to particular diseases. So far, the group has reported results for only a small number of Alzheimer's disease patients. But they are...
  • Study shows how flu infections may prevent asthma

    12/13/2010 10:26:13 AM PST · by decimon · 7 replies · 1+ views
    Children's Hospital Boston ^ | December 13, 2010 | Unknown
    Activating the right immune cells in infants could lead to new vaccineBoston, Mass. - In a paper that suggests a new strategy to prevent asthma, scientists at Children's Hospital Boston and their colleagues report that the influenza virus infection in young mice protected the mice as adults against the development of allergic asthma. The same protective effect was achieved by treating young mice with compound isolated from the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a bacterium that colonizes the stomach and is best known for causing ulcers and increasing the risk of gastric cancers. The findings, published online December 13 in...
  • UCSF “fountain of youth” pill could restore aging immune system

    12/13/2010 3:26:11 PM PST · by decimon · 36 replies · 3+ views
    The University of California ^ | December 13, 2010 | Kristen Bole
    UCSF researchers have identified an existing medication that restores key elements of the immune system that, when out of balance, lead to a steady decline in immunity and health as people age. The team found that extremely low doses of the drug lenalidomide can stimulate the body’s immune-cell protein factories, which decrease production during aging, and rebalance the levels of several key cytokines – immune proteins that either attack viruses and bacteria or cause inflammation that leads to an overall decline in health. The initial study, which was designed to define the dose range of such a therapy in a...
  • This cancer cure will make you sick

    11/24/2010 6:34:24 PM PST · by decimon · 25 replies · 1+ views
    Cosmos ^ | August 23, 2010 | Kate Heness
    SYDNEY: Treating tumours with Salmonella bacteria induces an immune response that effectively kills cancer cells, Italian scientists announced. This research could lead to that holy grail of modern medicine: a cure for cancer. “We demonstrated that it is possible … to generate immunotherapy protocols that are effective in controlling the growth of established tumours or in vaccinating against tumours,” said co-author Maria Rescigno of the study published in Science Translational Medicine. Invisible cancer cellsThe body’s natural immune responses are often able to detect and destroy early cancer cells. But as tumour cells progress and proliferate, they can become invisible to...
  • Virus breakthrough raises hope over ending common cold

    11/02/2010 2:33:40 PM PDT · by decimon · 20 replies
    BBC ^ | November 2, 2010 | Unknown
    Scientists say they have made a landmark discovery which could pave the way for new drugs to beat illnesses like the common cold. Until now experts had thought that antibodies could only tackle viral infections by blocking or attacking viruses outside cells. But work done by the Medical Research Council shows antibodies can pass into cells and fight viruses from within. PNAS journal said the finding held promise for a new antiviral drugs. The Cambridge scientists stressed that it would take years of work and testing to find new therapies, and said that the pathway they had discovered would not...
  • Study links drug reaction to herpes virus

    10/01/2010 2:00:39 PM PDT · by neverdem · 4 replies
    Reuters ^ | August 25, 2010 | Kate Kelland
    LONDON – A rare and dangerous reaction to a range of common medicines including antibiotics and anticonvulsants may be caused by a severe immune response to reactivated herpes virus, scientists said on Wednesday. Researchers said their findings suggest that if doctors were to test for the herpes virus in patients suffering the drug reaction, they might be able to find ways to treat it and possibly stop it becoming more severe, or even fatal. The results should also help scientists find out what makes some people susceptible to the reaction, which is known as Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic...
  • Risks: A Warning on Asthma and Acetaminophen

    08/20/2010 10:09:36 PM PDT · by neverdem · 26 replies
    NY Times ^ | August 16, 2010 | RONI CARYN RABIN
    Young teenagers who use acetaminophen even once a month develop asthma symptoms more than twice as often as those who never take it, a large international study has found. And frequent users also had more eczema and eye and sinus irritation. Other studies have linked acetaminophen (often sold as Tylenol and in other over-the-counter remedies for pain, colds, fever and allergies) with an increased risk of asthma. But the new study’s authors cautioned that the findings did not mean children should stop using it. “Acetaminophen remains the preferred drug to relieve pain and fever in children,” said the study’s lead...
  • How an 1,800-year-old herbal mix heals the gut

    08/19/2010 11:17:42 PM PDT · by neverdem · 52 replies · 3+ views
    Nature News ^ | 18 August 2010 | Ewen Callaway
    An ancient Chinese medicine might ease side effects of cancer treatments. An age-old mixture of four herbs could spare patients with cancer some of the side effects of chemotherapy. The cocktail comprises Chinese peonies, Chinese liquorice, the fruit of the Chinese date tree and flowers of the Chinese skullcap plant. In China, they call it 'Huang Qin Tang' and have used it to treat gastrointestinal problems for about 1,800 years. A start-up pharmaceutical company called PhytoCeutica has dubbed its proprietary pill of the blend 'PHY906', and shown in early clinical trials that the mix can combat the severe diarrhoea caused...
  • Salamander's egg surprise - Algae enjoy symbiotic relationship with embryos.

    08/10/2010 12:27:42 AM PDT · by neverdem · 26 replies
    Nature News ^ | 4 August 2010 | Anna Petherick
    Scientists have stumbled across the first example of a photosynthetic organism living inside a vertebrate's cells. The discovery is a surprise because the adaptive immune systems of vertebrates generally destroy foreign biological material. In this case, however, a symbiotic alga seems to be surviving unchallenged — and might be giving its host a solar-powered metabolic boost. Algae cohabit with salamander embryos in their eggs — and inside their cells.T. LEVIN/PHOTOLIBRARY.COM The embryos of the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) have long been known to enjoy a mutualistic relationship with the single-celled alga Oophila amblystomatis. The salamanders' viridescent eggs are coloured by...
  • Obscure Immune Cells Thwart Ticks

    07/30/2010 11:36:13 PM PDT · by neverdem · 11 replies · 2+ views
    ScienceNOW ^ | July 26, 2010 | Mitch Leslie
    Enlarge Image Resistance isn't futile. Immune cells called basophils help prevent ticks from drinking their fill of blood Credit: Thinkstock Rare in the body and hard to study, immune cells called basophils have long gotten short shrift from researchers. But a study now shows that basophils help repel bloodthirsty ticks that can spread lethal diseases. The work also introduces a new method for teasing out further immune functions of the often-overlooked cells. Many animals develop some resistance to ticks the first time the parasites feast on their blood. During later feedings, fewer ticks latch on to resistant animals, and...
  • Treatment with naturally occurring protein prevents and reverses brain damage caused by meningitis

    06/16/2010 10:34:52 AM PDT · by decimon · 2 replies · 142+ views
    Children's Hospital Los Angeles ^ | June 15, 2010 | Unknown
    Studies suggest role for IL-10 in prevention and treatment of potentially devastating neurological disease in newbornsThis bacterium, Escherichia coli K1, is the most common cause of meningitis in premature infants and the second most common cause of the disease in newborns. "The ineffectiveness of antibiotics in treating newborns with meningitis and the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria require new strategies," explains Nemani V. Prasadarao, PhD, associate professor of infectious disease at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. Meningitis is the irritation of membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. This irritation can result from viral or bacterial infection. Bacterial meningitis can...
  • Gene linked to autoimmune diseases - Rare variants of a single gene seem to make patients...

    06/17/2010 9:11:03 PM PDT · by neverdem · 37 replies · 607+ views
    Nature News ^ | 16 June 2010 | Alla Katsnelson
    Differences in the sequence of a single gene may be partly responsible for causing around 2% of relatively common autoimmune disorders including diabetes and arthritis. The gene codes for an enzyme called sialic acid acetylesterase (SIAE) that regulates the immune system's B cells — the cells responsible for producing antibodies against foreign invaders. In 24 of 923 people with conditions such as Crohn's disease, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and multiple sclerosis, the gene was present in a variant form. For the past five years, genome-wide screens of large groups of patients have searched for commonly occurring...
  • Why do certain diseases go into remission during pregnancy?

    06/17/2010 3:54:21 AM PDT · by decimon · 11 replies · 224+ views
    University of Michigan ^ | June 16, 2010 | Unknown
    University of Michigan and NIH scientists find a biological mechanism to explain the phenomenon ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- During pregnancy, many women experience remission of autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and uveitis. Now, scientists have described a biological mechanism responsible for changes in the immune system that helps to explain the remission. The expression of an enzyme known as pyruvate kinase is reduced in immune cells in pregnant women compared to non-pregnant women, according to Howard R. Petty, Ph.D., biophysicist at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center and Roberto Romero, M.D., of the National Institutes for Health. The study,...
  • OCD? Your Immune System Could Be to Blame

    05/28/2010 8:31:24 PM PDT · by neverdem · 12 replies · 589+ views
    ScienceNOW ^ | May 27, 2010 | Mitch Leslie
    Enlarge Image Too clean. Both mice lack the gene Hoxb8, but the animal on the right has received bone marrow from a healthy mouse, curbing its tendency to groom compulsively. Credit: Shau-Kwaun Chen/University of Utah School of Medicine Some people just can't help themselves. They wash their hands over and over, scrubbing their skin raw. Or they lock and relock doors, pull out their own hair, or obsessively rearrange the contents of their closet. Now, a study of mice suggests that faulty immune cells prompt such compulsive behaviors. The results raise the possibility of treating obsessive-compulsive disorder by targeting...
  • Developing a better way to detect food allergies

    05/22/2010 4:41:40 AM PDT · by decimon · 3 replies · 191+ views
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology ^ | May 21, 2010 | Anne Trafton
    About 30 percent of Americans believe they have food allergies. However, the actual number is far smaller, closer to 5 percent, according to a recent study commissioned by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). That’s due in large part to the unreliability of the skin test that doctors commonly use to test for food allergies. MIT chemical engineer Christopher Love believes he has a better way to diagnose such allergies. His new technology, described in the June 7 issue of the journal Lab on a Chip, can analyze individual immune cells taken from patients, allowing for precise...
  • New "Splinter Cell" Super-Immune Cells Created; Ready to Fight Cancer, AIDS

    04/29/2010 1:46:20 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 9 replies · 359+ views
    Daily Tech ^ | April 27, 2010 7:45 PM | Jason Mick (Blog)
    Why use drugs, when you can improve the body's own designs? Evolution has bestowed mammals with amazingly complex and robust immune systems capable of fighting off a variety of foreign invaders including fungi, bacteria, and viruses.  The immune system is also capable of detecting cancerous cells -- cells in which mutations have led to uncontrolled growth which threatens to engulf normal healthy tissues. The problem is that even nature sometimes falls short.  The immune system's T Cells, special cells used to fight extreme abnormalities such as AIDS and cancer (note, a special type of T cell fights HIV-infected T cells in AIDS), often...
  • Vaccine works against type 1 diabetes in mouse experiments - Researchers find self-regulating...

    04/09/2010 5:19:19 PM PDT · by neverdem · 23 replies · 470+ views
    Science News ^ | April 8th, 2010 | Tina Hesman Saey
    Researchers find self-regulating feature of immune system Weakness can be a strength when it comes to keeping the immune system from attacking the body’s own cells, mouse experiments that use a new vaccine against type 1 diabetes reveal. The new research, published online April 8 in Immunity, describes previously unknown cells that keep the immune system in check. The study demonstrates that the immune system is already outfitted with tools that can defuse destructive autoimmune reactions without damaging the body’s ability to fight infections. And it suggests that harnessing those tools may be a successful strategy for developing a vaccine...