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Genetic key to lupus shows potential of personalized medicine

Genetic key to lupus shows potential of personalized medicine

Medical researchers have used DNA sequencing to identify a gene variant responsible for causing lupus in a young patient. The development shows that for the first time, it is feasible for researchers to identify the individual causes of lupus in patients by using DNA sequencing, allowing doctors to target specific treatments to individual patients. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects one in 700 Australians, predominantly young and middle aged women. Continue reading

500 million year reset for immune system

500 million year reset for immune system

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics (MPI-IE) in Freiburg re-activated expression of an ancient gene, which is not normally expressed in the mammalian immune system, and found that the animals developed a fish-like thymus. To the researchers surprise, while the mammalian thymus is utilized exclusively for T cell maturation, the reset thymus produced not only T cells, but also served as a maturation site for B cells — a property normally seen only in the thymus of fish. Thus the model could provide an explanation of how the immune system had developed in the course of evolution. Continue reading

Vaccine alternative protects mice against malaria

Vaccine alternative protects mice against malaria

A study led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers found that injecting a vaccine-like compound into mice was effective in protecting them from malaria. The findings suggest a potential new path toward the elusive goal of malaria immunization. Mice injected with a virus genetically altered to help the rodents create an antibody designed to fight the malaria parasite produced high levels of the anti-malaria antibody. Continue reading

Growing human GI cells may lead to personalized treatments

Growing human GI cells may lead to personalized treatments

A method of growing human cells from tissue removed from a patient’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract eventually may help scientists develop tailor-made therapies for inflammatory bowel disease and other GI conditions. Reporting online recently in the journal Gut , researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis said they have made cell lines from individual patients in as little as two weeks. Continue reading

Immune cell’s role in intestinal movement may lead to better understanding of irritable bowel syndrome

Immune cell’s role in intestinal movement may lead to better understanding of irritable bowel syndrome

Learning the role of immune-system cells in healthy digestive tracts and how they interact with neighboring nerve cells may lead to new treatments for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Researchers from Penn State College of Medicine, in collaboration with other scientists, have reported the role of macrophages in regulating the contractions of the colon to push digested material through the digestive tract. The muscular lining of the intestine contains a distinct kind of macrophage, an immune system cell that helps fight infections Continue reading

Immune response to infectious disease: New findings on properdin

Immune response to infectious disease: New findings on properdin

University of Leicester researchers — including three PhD graduates — contribute significantly to knowledge in immunology University of Leicester researchers have released evidence substantiating an unexpected dual role of an important component of the immune system. Findings by researchers at the University’s Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation — including three PhD graduates — are published in a paper for the journal ‘Medical Microbiology and Immunology’ Continue reading

Immune response to infectious disease: New findings on properdin

Immune response to infectious disease: New findings on properdin

University of Leicester researchers — including three PhD graduates — contribute significantly to knowledge in immunology University of Leicester researchers have released evidence substantiating an unexpected dual role of an important component of the immune system. Findings by researchers at the University’s Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation — including three PhD graduates — are published in a paper for the journal ‘Medical Microbiology and Immunology’ Continue reading

Study of noninvasive retinal imaging device presented at Alzheimer’s conference

Study of noninvasive retinal imaging device presented at Alzheimer’s conference

A noninvasive optical imaging device developed at Cedars-Sinai can provide early detection of changes that later occur in the brain and are a classic sign of Alzheimer’s disease, according to preliminary results from investigators conducting a clinical trial in Australia. The researchers will present their findings July 15 in an oral presentation at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Continue reading

New approach to identify genes poised to respond in asthma patients

New approach to identify genes poised to respond in asthma patients

In a study published in the scientific journal Nature Immunology , a group at the La Jolla Institute (LJI) led by Pandurangan Vijayanand, Ph.D. identify new genes that likely contribute to asthma, a disease that currently affects over 200 million people world wide. Continue reading

Fighting parasitic infection inadvertently unleashes dormant virus

Fighting parasitic infection inadvertently unleashes dormant virus

Signals from the immune system that help repel a common parasite inadvertently can cause a dormant viral infection to become active again, a new study shows. Further research is necessary to understand the clinical significance of the finding, but researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis said the study helps illustrate how complex interactions between infectious agents and the immune system have the potential to affect illness. Continue reading