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Tag Archives: Immunology

New anti-cancer vaccine developed and tested

New anti-cancer vaccine developed and tested

ScienceDaily (June 9, 2012) — Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center have developed and tested in mice a synthetic vaccine and found it effective in killing human papillomavirus-derived cancer, a virus linked to cervical cancers among others. The research was published in a recent issue of Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy . Continue reading

Mystery to the origin of long-lived, skin-deep immune cells uncovered

Mystery to the origin of long-lived, skin-deep immune cells uncovered

ScienceDaily (June 7, 2012) — Scientists at A*STAR’s Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN) uncovered the origin of a group of skin-deep immune cells that act as the first line of defense against harmful germs and skin infections. SIgN scientists discovered that these sentry cells of the skin, called the Langerhans cells (LCs), originate from two distinct embryonic sites — the early yolk sac and the fetal liver. Continue reading

Why belly fat isn’t all bad

Why belly fat isn’t all bad

ScienceDaily (June 6, 2012) — A fatty membrane in the belly called the omentum has until recently been considered somewhat like the appendix — it didn’t seem to serve much purpose. Continue reading

Early childhood neglect may raise risk of adult skin cancer

Early childhood neglect may raise risk of adult skin cancer

ScienceDaily (June 4, 2012) — Skin cancer patients whose childhood included periods of neglect or maltreatment are at a much greater risk for their cancers to return when they face a major stressful event, based on a new study. The research suggests that such experiences during a person’s youth can set a lower level of immune response for life, which in turn might make them more susceptible to the kind of cancers that are often successfully fought by the immune system, so-called immunogenic tumors. Continue reading

Discovery expected to shift research direction in lupus and asthma

Discovery expected to shift research direction in lupus and asthma

ScienceDaily (May 27, 2012) — Newfound details of the immune system suggest a role for never-before-considered drug classes in the treatment of allergic and autoimmune diseases, according to a University of Alabama at Birmingham study published online May 27 in Nature Immunology . The results advance the current understanding of the way the body’s initial, vague reaction to any invading organism expands into a precise and massive counterattack. Continue reading

Discovery expected to shift research direction in lupus and asthma

Discovery expected to shift research direction in lupus and asthma

ScienceDaily (May 27, 2012) — Newfound details of the immune system suggest a role for never-before-considered drug classes in the treatment of allergic and autoimmune diseases, according to a University of Alabama at Birmingham study published online May 27 in Nature Immunology . The results advance the current understanding of the way the body’s initial, vague reaction to any invading organism expands into a precise and massive counterattack. Continue reading

Babies’ susceptibility to colds linked to immune response at birth

Babies’ susceptibility to colds linked to immune response at birth

ScienceDaily (May 17, 2012) — Innate differences in immunity can be detected at birth, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. And babies with a better innate response to viruses have fewer respiratory illnesses in the first year of life. Continue reading

Delivery system for gene therapy may help treat arthritis

Delivery system for gene therapy may help treat arthritis

ScienceDaily (May 15, 2012) — A DNA-covered submicroscopic bead used to deliver genes or drugs directly into cells to treat disease appears to have therapeutic value just by showing up, researchers report. Within a few hours of injecting empty-handed DNA nanoparticles, Georgia Health Sciences University researchers were surprised to see increased expression of an enzyme that calms the immune response. In an animal model of rheumatoid arthritis, the enhanced expression of indoleomine 2,3 dioxygenase, or IDO, significantly reduced the hallmark limb joint swelling and inflammation of this debilitating autoimmune disease, researchers report in the study featured on the cover of The Journal of Immunology Continue reading

‘Switch’ to boost anti-viral response to fight infectious diseases

‘Switch’ to boost anti-viral response to fight infectious diseases

ScienceDaily (May 11, 2012) — Singapore scientists from Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI) under the Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have for the first time, identified the molecular ‘switch’ that directly triggers the body’s first line of defence against pathogens, more accurately known as the body’s “innate immunity.” The scientists found that this ‘switch’ called Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) when turned on, activates the production of interferons — a potent class of virus killers that enables the body to fight harmful pathogens such as dengue and influenza viruses. While there are anti-viral drugs to treat influenza, the high rates of mutation that are characteristic of the influenza1 virus have made it difficult to treat with one universal drug or vaccine. As for dengue2, there are currently no clinically approved vaccines or cures either Continue reading

Scientists show how a gene duplication helped our brains become ‘human’

Scientists show how a gene duplication helped our brains become ‘human’

ScienceDaily (May 3, 2012) — A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has shown that an extra copy of a brain-development gene, which appeared in our ancestors’ genomes about 2.4 million years ago, allowed maturing neurons to migrate farther and develop more connections. What genetic changes account for the vast behavioral differences between humans and other primates? Researchers so far have catalogued only a few, but now it seems that they can add a big one to the list. Continue reading