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...
  • Immune cells fight off nanotubes

    04/09/2010 9:52:42 AM PDT · by neverdem · 12 replies · 398+ views
    Chemistry World ^ | 06 April 2010 | Lewis Brindley
    Carbon nanotubes can be degraded by an enzyme found in human immune cells, report US researchers.  The results suggest that nanotubes - which may find use in a range of applications spanning medicine and materials - may not be as harmful to human health as previously feared. Determining just how toxic carbon nanotubes are has become one of the most pressing questions in nanotechnology, due to the myriad of applications they could be used in. Previous studies have compared nanotubes to asbestos, and just like asbestos fibres, nanotubes are too long to be enveloped by macrophages - the immune cells that usually swallow...
  • Poorly understood cell plays role in immunity against the flu

    03/22/2010 10:06:31 AM PDT · by decimon · 3 replies · 117+ views
    Children's Hospital Boston ^ | Mar 22, 2010 | Unknown
    New research may guide creation of targeted, more effective vaccinesBoston, Mass. – A new understanding of a certain cell in the immune system may help guide scientists in creating better flu vaccines, report researchers from the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine and the Immune Disease Institute at Children's Hospital Boston (PCMM/IDI). Reporting online March 21 in Nature Immunology, they show, for the first time, that white blood cells known as resident dendritic cells (DCs) capture flu viruses and show them to B-lymphocytes, another white blood cell that recognizes germs and launches an antibody attack. Harnessing this previously unknown function...
  • Bugging bugs: Learning to speak microbe

    03/07/2010 8:53:29 AM PST · by grey_whiskers · 8 replies · 64+ views
    New Scientist ^ | March 5, 2010 | Hayley Birch
    DEEP in your lungs, there's a battle raging. It's a warm, moist environment where the ever-opportunistic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa has taken up residence. If your lungs are healthy, chances are the invader will be quickly dispatched. But in the mucus-clogged lungs of people with cystic fibrosis, the bacterium finds an ideal habitat. First, the microbes quietly multiply and then they suddenly switch their behaviour. A host of biochemical changes sticks the population of cells together, forming a gluey biofilm that even a potent cocktail of antibiotics struggles to shift. Microbes like P. aeruginosa were once thought of as disorganised renegades,...
  • How the cell's powerhouses turn deadly - Mitochondria can trigger a lethal immune response after...

    03/03/2010 10:26:45 PM PST · by neverdem · 35 replies · 1,435+ views
    Nature News ^ | 3 March 2010 | Heidi Ledford
    Mitochondria can trigger a lethal immune response after injuries. Carl Hauser's patient was dying. A broken pelvis had brought the patient to the hospital, and now it seemed that a severe bacterial infection was killing him. Hauser — a trauma surgeon at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson — and his colleagues performed test after test, but could not find any sign of infection. Finally, with nothing left to try and time running out, Hauser removed a 30-litre mass of clotted blood. His patient immediately recovered. It would take Hauser over 15 years to determine why the patient's...
  • HOPKINS SCIENTISTS DISCOVER HOW PROTEIN TRIPS UP GERMS

    02/17/2010 2:43:31 PM PST · by decimon · 7 replies · 316+ views
    Johns Hopkins ^ | Feb 17, 2010 | Unknown
    February 17, 2010- If bad bacteria lurk in your system, chances are they will bump into the immune system’s protective cells whose job is gobbling germs. The catch is that these do-gooders, known as macrophages, ingest and destroy only those infectious invaders that they can securely hook and reel in. Now, Hopkins scientists have shown that a healthy immune response depends on a protein called TRPV2 (pronounced trip-vee-two) which, they discovered, is the means by which macrophages capitalize on brief and accidental encounters with nasty bugs. Reporting in Nature Immunology in the January 31 online edition, the team proves that...
  • Science Signaling Podcast: 16 February 2010

    02/18/2010 7:16:30 PM PST · by neverdem · 317+ views
    Science Signaling ^ | 16 February 2010 | George Hajishengallis and Annalisa M. VanHook
    Sci. Signal., 16 February 2010 Vol. 3, Issue 109, p. pc4 [DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.3109pc4] PODCASTS Science Signaling Podcast: 16 February 2010 George Hajishengallis1, 2 and Annalisa M. VanHook3 1 University of Louisville School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Louisville, KY 40292, USA.2 University of Louisville School of Dentistry, Oral Health and Systemic Disease, Louisville, KY 40292, USA.3 Associate Online Editor of Science Signaling, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1200 New York Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20005, USA. Abstract: This is a conversation with George Hajishengallis about a Research Article published in the 16 February 2010 issue of...
  • Do Women Need Such Big Flu Shots? (Men and women respond differently to vaccines. It's not PC!)

    10/31/2009 8:25:49 PM PDT · by neverdem · 13 replies · 716+ views
    NY Times ^ | October 28, 2009 | SABRA L. KLEIN and PHYLLIS GREENBERGER
    THE emergence of the H1N1 swine flu has added urgency to what has become an annual ritual for millions of Americans: getting a flu shot. The good news is that scientists have developed a vaccine against the H1N1 virus. But it is taking much longer than expected to produce the hundreds of millions of doses the government had planned to distribute. And it is still too soon to know how effective the vaccine will be in preventing swine flu. In all likelihood, we’d have a better H1N1 vaccine — and more of it — if in our preparations we had...
  • Piece from childhood virus may save soldiers' lives

    09/06/2009 6:42:52 AM PDT · by decimon · 2 replies · 440+ views
    Eastern Virginia Medical School ^ | Sep 6, 2009 | Unknown
    Research presented Sept. 6 at European complement conferenceA harmless shard from the shell of a common childhood virus may halt a biological process that kills a significant percentage of battlefield casualties, heart attack victims and oxygen-deprived newborns, according to research presented Sunday, September 6, 2009, at the 12th European meeting on complement in human disease in Budapest, Hungary. Introducing the virus's shell in vitro shuts down what's known as the complement response, a primordial part of the immune system that attacks and destroys the organs and vascular lining of people who have been deprived of oxygen for prolonged periods, according...
  • Allergy meds slim down obese mice

    08/03/2009 8:38:35 PM PDT · by neverdem · 24 replies · 1,345+ views
    Science News ^ | July 27th, 2009 | Jenny Lauren Lee
    Animal study shows over-the-counter medications lower weight and treat type 2 diabetes Over-the-counter allergy medications turn obese, diabetic mice into healthy, normal-weight mice, researchers report. The new research focuses on mast cells, immune system players critical to the inflammatory response involved in allergies. The study appears along with three other independent studies in the July 26 online Nature Medicine that show a connection between type 2 diabetes and the immune system. “Certainly the study is very exciting,” says George King of Harvard University’s Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, who was not involved in the research. “It’s the first type to...
  • The not-so-dispensable spleen

    08/02/2009 11:22:56 PM PDT · by neverdem · 16 replies · 963+ views
    Science News ^ | July 30th, 2009 | Nathan Seppa
    Overlooked organ harbors immune cells, serving a greater purpose than thought, new study finds It’s high time somebody said something nice about the lowly spleen. The much-maligned organ serves as a holding tank for ready-to-go immune agents called monocytes, a new study finds. These simple cells are first responders to trouble sites in the body, and the spleen is their main dispatcher, researchers report in the July 31 Science. While it’s true that people can survive without a spleen, the organ is far from worthless. It recycles iron from old red blood cells, houses fresh blood cells, synthesizes antibodies and...
  • Narcolepsy: A Case of the Body Attacking Itself?

    05/05/2009 9:51:29 AM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies · 522+ views
    ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 4 May 2009 | Gisela Telis
    Enlarge ImageMystery disease. Scientists monitor a narcoleptic patient. Credit: Donna E. Natale Planas/Miami Herald/MCT/Newscom The millions of people who suffer from narcolepsy might have their immune system to blame. Researchers have tied the disabling sleep disorder to two immune system genes, suggesting that it's an autoimmune disease. The discovery may eventually lead to improved narcolepsy treatments. Narcolepsy affects 1 in every 2000 people, making it about as common as multiple sclerosis. The disorder encompasses an odd constellation of symptoms, including overwhelming daytime drowsiness, uncontrollable sleep attacks, and cataplexy, a sudden loss of muscle tone after an intense emotional outburst,...
  • Researcher healthy 21 days after Ebola accident

    04/05/2009 1:22:00 AM PDT · by neverdem · 8 replies · 749+ views
    A researcher who may have been exposed to the deadly ebolavirus was declared healthy and released from isolation at a German hospital Thursday [2 Apr 2009], having been spared the horrific symptoms of the disease. The woman had accidentally pricked her finger 3 weeks ago [12 Mar 2009] with a needle used to inject Ebola into mice. It was not known if the virus actually entered her bloodstream, but she was given an experimental vaccine just in case. The vaccine had never been tested on humans. Scientists don’t know if the vaccine saved her or if she was simply lucky...
  • A Curious Case of Genetic Resurrection

    03/06/2009 3:24:15 PM PST · by neverdem · 9 replies · 608+ views
    ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 6 March 2009 | Benjamin Lester
    Enlarge ImageCurious evolution. Lemurs and other prosimians have a working copy of IRGM, but new data show that junk DNA then rendered it nonfunctional in monkeys. Two mutations and the insertion of a retrovirus restored its function in apes and humans. Credit: Adapted from Cemalettin Bekpen/Stockxpert.com Some genes just won't stay dead. Between 40 million and 50 million years ago, a slice of DNA called IRGM stopped functioning in the ancestors of modern-day monkeys. But 25 million years later, in the lineage that led to humans and great apes, three random events turned the gene back on. In mammals...
  • New Botanical Drug May Silence Peanut Allergies, Animal Study Suggests

    02/17/2009 6:28:07 AM PST · by TornadoAlley3 · 7 replies · 470+ views
    sciencedaily.com ^ | 02/17/09 | ScienceDaily
    A new study finds that a botanical drug could provide the key to new treatments for peanut allergies. The findings are published online in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Lead author Xiu-Min Li, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Center for Chinese Herbal Therapy for Allergy and Asthma at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and colleagues found Food Allergy Herbal Formula (FAHF-2) produced long-term protection following treatment against peanut-induced anaphylaxis in mice. FAHF-2 treatment protected peanut allergic mice from anaphylaxis for more than 36 weeks after treatment was discontinued.
  • Take a chill pill, T cell

    06/20/2008 8:05:03 PM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies · 226+ views
    Science News ^ | June 19th, 2008 | Tia Ghose
    A receptor on infection-fighting cells may be a novel target for drugs that fight autoimmune disease. TURNING ON ITSELFAfter mice were made allergic to a protein, researchers injected the same protein into mouse lungs to cause a disease that mimics asthma. The lung tissue of normal mice (left) shows more severe inflammation than that of mice lacking the gene for the DR3 receptor (right). Because DR3 plays a crucial role in immune cells attacking healthy tissue, the receptor may be a target for drugs that treat autoimmune disorders like asthma or multiple sclerosis.Siegel, Françoise Meylan In people with autoimmune diseases...
  • New Cellular Mechanism That Will Significantly Advance Vaccine Development Discovered

    06/18/2008 10:15:46 PM PDT · by neverdem · 6 replies · 171+ views
    ScienceDaily ^ | Jun. 18, 2008 | NA
    La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology (LIAI) scientists have discovered one for the textbooks. Their finding, reported June 13 in the scientific journal Immunity, illuminates a new, previously unknown mechanism in how the body fights a virus. The finding runs counter to traditional scientific understanding of this process and will provide scientists a more effective method for developing vaccines. "Our research grew from the question, "why do you get good antibody responses to some parts of (virus) pathogens and poor responses to other parts?" said LIAI scientist Shane Crotty, Ph.D., the lead researcher on the paper, "Selective CD4 T...
  • Vaccine Booster's Secret Revealed

    05/22/2008 12:51:27 AM PDT · by neverdem · 18 replies · 245+ views
    ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 21 May 2008 | Martin Enserink
    For decades, scientists have known that they can make vaccines much more efficacious by adding aluminum compounds, but they never knew why. Now, a study reveals how, on a molecular level, these helpers spur the production of antibodies. The finding may help researchers develop better vaccines. Many vaccines contain adjuvants, nonspecific agents that help jolt the immune system into action. "Alum," a term referring broadly to aluminum hydroxide and several aluminum salts, has this effect, as was accidentally discovered in the 1920s. It has been widely used in human vaccines since the 1950s, and it's still the only adjuvant allowed...
  • New immune treatment may control AIDS virus

    05/02/2008 8:31:50 PM PDT · by james500 · 17 replies · 125+ views
    Reuters ^ | Fri May 2, 2008 7:00pm EDT | Maggie Fox
    A new type of treatment that trains immune system cells to better recognize the AIDS virus may help control the deadly and incurable infection, Australian researchers reported on Friday. Tests on monkeys infected with a similar virus shows the treatment controlled the infection, although it does not cure it, and tests are already planned in people. The treatment is called OPAL, for Overlapping Peptide-pulsed Autologous Cells, and would be categorized as an immunotherapy technique, or a so-called therapeutic vaccine, Stephen Kent of the University of Melbourne and colleagues said. Writing in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Pathogens, they...
  • Broccoli May Help Boost Aging Immune System

    03/10/2008 11:03:55 AM PDT · by blam · 43 replies · 844+ views
    Science Daily ^ | 3-10-2008 | University of California - Los Angeles.
    Broccoli May Help Boost Aging Immune SystemBroccoli. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of California - Los Angeles)ScienceDaily (Mar. 10, 2008) — Eat your broccoli! That's the advice from UCLA researchers who have found that a chemical in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables may hold a key to restoring the body's immunity, which declines as we age. Published in the online edition of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the study findings show that sulforaphane, a chemical in broccoli, switches on a set of antioxidant genes and enzymes in specific immune cells, which then combat the injurious effects of molecules...
  • Score One for the Microbes

    03/10/2008 11:00:55 PM PDT · by neverdem · 9 replies · 502+ views
    ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 10 March 2008 | Mitch Leslie
    Talk about a low-down, dirty trick. New research reveals that bacteria deploy duplicates of human proteins to jam our body's early warning system. The results might lead to improved treatments for bacterial infections and for diseases such as arthritis that are caused by an overactive immune system. Any good military defense employs radar, and our immune system is no exception. Immune cells known as macrophages and dendritic cells carry so-called Toll-like receptors, which raise the alarm if they detect bits of bacterial membrane or other telltale signs of microbial invasion. A portion of the Toll-like receptor called the TIR domain...
  • Semen boosts HIV transmission

    12/16/2007 2:34:37 PM PST · by neverdem · 24 replies · 553+ views
    Nature News ^ | 13 December 2007 | Heidi Ledford
    Fibres may be more important than viral load in determining transmission rates. A component found in semen can enhance HIV transmission by as much as 100,000-fold, researchers have found. The results, if verified in a clinical setting, could identify a new way to help prevent the spread of the disease. "I think this is tremendous," says Christopher Pilcher, an HIV researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not affiliated with the study. "It raises a lot of really fundamental questions about how HIV is transmitted." Over 80% of HIV infections are acquired through sexual intercourse, primarily via...
  • Researchers make stem cell breakthrough

    11/06/2007 9:40:09 PM PST · by neverdem · 3 replies · 65+ views
    The Globe and Mail ^ | November 4, 2007 | NA
    Canadian Press TORONTO — Scientists at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children say they've taken a step forward in stem-cell transplant research. They've discovered a gene with properties that allow for successful transfer of stem cells from human bone marrow into mice. They also identified the type of cell that expresses the gene (called SIRPalpha) and is responsible for either destroying or supporting growth of human blood stem cells. The researchers hope further studies will lead to the development of a therapy so more children with blood diseases can receive bone marrow transplantation. It may also help provide a genetic test...
  • AIDS Abated: Genome scans illuminate immune control of HIV

    07/25/2007 6:35:34 PM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies · 359+ views
    sciencenews.org ^ | July 21, 2007 | Brian Vastag
    Some people who contract HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, maintain low amounts of the virus in their bodies for years. These long-term nonprogressors—so called because a decade or more can pass before they develop full-blown AIDS—have attracted great attention from researchers. Now, using powerful, whole-genome scans, researchers have identified three genetic variations that partially explain why some HIV-infected people develop AIDS quickly while others keep it at bay. "This is a good head start to unraveling the genetic basis of good control of viral load," says Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in...
  • Flu-Fighting Fetuses

    06/09/2007 11:35:34 AM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies · 455+ views
    ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 1 June 2007 | Adam Hinterthuer
    Via the placenta, a newborn baby receives a 6-month supply of antibodies from its mother, arming it against a world chock-full of allergy-causing particles and viruses. But it turns out that the baby may have been preparing its immune system for battle well before birth. New research indicates that developing fetuses are able to mount their own specific immune response to flu vaccines received by their mother. The findings could help end a debate over just how complex a fetus's immune system is. A fetus contains many kinds of immune cells, yet most immunologists believe those cells are too immature...
  • Milk Therapy

    12/09/2006 10:52:18 AM PST · by blam · 12 replies · 854+ views
    Science News Magazine ^ | 12-9-2006 | Julie J Rehmeyer
    Milk Therapy Julie J. Rehmeyer Catharina Svanborg thought that she already knew how remarkable breast milk is. The immunologist had logged hundreds of lab hours documenting ways in which human milk helps babies fight infections. But when the group decided to use cancerous lung cells to avoid the variability shown by normal cells in laboratory tests, Svanborg and her team at Lund University in Sweden were in for a surprise. They applied breast milk to the cancerous lung cells, and all the cells died. Breast milk killed cancer cells. GOAT GOODS. A transgenic goat named Artemis produces in her milk...
  • Past may hold clue to future flu fight Secrets may be in blood of 1918 survivors

    10/05/2006 6:52:51 PM PDT · by Coleus · 38 replies · 847+ views
    Star Ledger ^ | 09.29.06 | CAROL ANN CAMPBELL
    People who lived during the 1918 influenza epidemic may hold secrets in their blood that could help fight a future pandemic, but finding them now is a race against time. People who were toddlers at the end of World War I -- when the epidemic swept the globe and killed 50 million -- are in their 90s now. Nearly a lifetime after the notorious outbreak, researchers are hoping those who lived through it will come forward and donate a vial of blood, which then will be analyzed for antibodies to the virus. In particular, a New Jersey researcher is seeking...
  • Out, Out Damn Gene!

    12/26/2005 11:56:06 PM PST · by neverdem · 16 replies · 670+ views
    ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 19 December 2005 | Amy R. Coombs
    Scientists have discovered how a common crop pest evades detection. When the invader's cover is blown, the bacterium masks itself by ditching its genetic identification, setting the stage for a quiet and deadly invasion. Commonly known as Halo blight, Pseudomonas syringae pv. Phaseolicola infects bean crops. Leaves develop small, water-soaked spots outlined by a yellow halo. As the plants fight back, the tissue around the infection dies, preventing further spread of the blight. But this strategy often fails, and as the bacteria move from leaf to leaf, they usually grow more virulent. In some cases, a single contaminated bean seed...
  • [Umbilical] Cord blood cells may widen treatment window for stroke (Stem Cell Research)

    11/14/2005 7:07:23 PM PST · by DaveLoneRanger · 18 replies · 740+ views
    EurekAlert ^ | November 12, 2005 | Staff
    Tampa, FL (Nov. 12, 2005) -- An experimental treatment that spares disability from acute stroke may be delivered much later than the current three-hour treatment standard – a potential advance needed to benefit more stroke victims. Researchers at the University of South Florida found that human umbilical cord blood cells administered to rats two days following a stroke greatly curbed the brain's inflammatory response, reducing the size of the stroke and resulting in greatly improved recovery. The rats' inflammatory response to injury from stroke peaked 48 hours after the brain attack, which was when intravenous delivery of the cells appeared...
  • Our scientists grow human body part

    06/17/2002 1:38:00 PM PDT · by sourcery · 38 replies · 933+ views
    Herald Sun ^ | 18jun02 | ROBYN RILEY
    IN a world first, Melbourne scientists have successfully grown an organ from stem cells. A team from Monash Medical School grew a functioning thymus, a small organ that is critical to the immune system. Human trials could begin within two years. Stem cells are the body's building blocks and have unlimited capacity to grow and replace all the cells within a particular tissue or organ. "When I realised what we had finally done after 15 years of research, I went weak at the knees," Professor Richard Boyd said. He said understanding the thymus, located near the heart, was the...