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Rural microbes could boost city dwellers’ health, study finds

Rural microbes could boost city dwellers’ health, study finds

The greater prevalence of asthma, allergies and other chronic inflammatory disorders among people of lower socioeconomic status might be due in part to their reduced exposure to the microbes that thrive in rural environments, according to a new scientific paper co-authored by a University of Colorado Boulder researcher. The article, published in the journal Clinical & Experimental Immunology , argues that people living in urban centers who have less access to green spaces may be more apt to have chronic inflammation, a condition caused by immune system dysfunction Continue reading

Finding safe drugs to treat neurodegenerative diseases

Finding safe drugs to treat neurodegenerative diseases

People diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, most in their mid-thirties and forties, face a devastating prognosis: complete mental, physical, and behavioral decline within two decades. “Mutant” protein clusters, long blamed for the progression of the genetic disease, have been the primary focus of therapies in development by pharmaceutical companies Continue reading

Mom’s diet mirrors child’s food allergies

Mom’s diet mirrors child’s food allergies

A long-term study evaluating maternal diet’s impact on food allergy in later life is expected to uncover causes of allergy in children. About 20 million Europeans are subject to food allergies. Continue reading

Scientists re-define what’s healthy in newest analysis for human microbiome project

Scientists re-define what’s healthy in newest analysis for human microbiome project

As scientists catalog the trillions of bacteria found in every nook and cranny of the human body, a new look by the University of Michigan shows wide variation in the types of bacteria found in healthy people. Continue reading

Microgravity research helping to understand the fungi within

Microgravity research helping to understand the fungi within

You may not recognize it by name, but if you have ever had a child with a diaper rash, that child was likely a host to Candida albicans ( C. albicans ) Continue reading

Cancer cells may respond to mechanical force

Cancer cells may respond to mechanical force

The push and pull of physical force can cause profound changes in the behavior of a cell. Two studies from researchers working at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center reveal how cells respond to mechanical manipulation, a key factor in addressing the underlying causes of cancer and other diseases. Continue reading

Disruption of VISTA plays an important role in regulating immune response

Disruption of VISTA plays an important role in regulating immune response

Date: April 7, 2014 Source: Norris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Summary: The body’s immune system response was enhanced in a study when researchers disrupted VISTA, a protein that prevents the immune system from overreacting. Understanding how checkpoint regulators like VISTA function is important to cancer researchers, who hope to use the immune system to attack tumors. Researchers at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth have found that the body’s immune system response was enhanced when they disrupted VISTA, a protein that prevents the immune system from overreacting Continue reading

Disruption of VISTA plays an important role in regulating immune response

Disruption of VISTA plays an important role in regulating immune response

Date: April 7, 2014 Source: Norris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Summary: The body’s immune system response was enhanced in a study when researchers disrupted VISTA, a protein that prevents the immune system from overreacting. Understanding how checkpoint regulators like VISTA function is important to cancer researchers, who hope to use the immune system to attack tumors. Continue reading

Population of neutrophils in body found by researchers

Population of neutrophils in body found by researchers

Case Western Reserve University researchers have discovered a novel population of neutrophils, which are the body’s infection control workhorses. These cells have an enhanced microbial killing ability and are thereby better able to control infection. Continue reading

Chronic sleep disturbance could trigger onset of Alzheimer’s

Chronic sleep disturbance could trigger onset of Alzheimer’s

People who experience chronic sleep disturbance — either through their work, insomnia or other reasons — could face an earlier onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s, according to a new pre-clinical study by researchers at Temple University. “The big biological question that we tried to address in this study is whether sleep disturbance is a risk factor to develop Alzheimer’s or is it something that manifests with the disease,” said Domenico Praticò, professor of pharmacology and microbiology/immunology in Temple’s School of Medicine, who led the study. Initially, the researchers looked at longitudinal studies which indicated that people who reported chronic sleep disturbances often developed Alzheimer’s disease Continue reading