The most iconic thing about measles is the rash — red, livid splotches that make infection painfully visible.
But that rash, and even the fever, coughing and watery, sore eyes, are all distractions from the virus’s real harm — an all-out attack on the immune system.
Measles silently wipes clean the immune system’s memory of past infections. In this way, the virus can cast a long...
Oral vaccines could give wild bats a better chance at surviving white nose syndrome, the fungal disease that has ravaged bat colonies in North America. In lab tests conducted on captured little brown bats, vaccination led to fewer infected bats developing lesions and more of the bats surviving, researchers report May 1 in Scientific Reports.
White nose syndrome, caused by the fungus...
Transplants: Part of a whole eye —05/09/2019 - 07:00 Biomedicine
After an attempted cornea transplant failed, ophthalmologists in Houston, Tex., tried a more daring experiment to restore the vision of 54-year-old John Madden…. They transplanted an entire eye from a donor who had died of a brain tumor.… [Later, the doctor who did the surgery] announced that only the front part of the donor’s eye had been...
A lack of certain mysterious genetic molecules may spin the immune system out of control and lead to lupus.
People with lupus have lower than normal levels of circular RNAs, triggering an immune reaction meant to fight viruses, biochemist Lingling Chen of the Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology and her colleagues discovered. Switching on the body’s virus-fighting...
Frances Mercer runs a fight club.
In one corner, the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis, which causes a widespread sexually transmitted infection that many people have never heard of. In the other corner are neutrophils, the immune system cells best equipped to take down the aggressor.
Watching the two battle it out, Mercer, an immunoparasitologist at California State Polytechnic...
News in Brief
ORLANDO, Fla. — Some people’s genes may stop an antiretroviral drug from protecting them against HIV, a genetics study suggests.
The drug, called tenofovir, is used for preventing as well as treating an HIV infection. But success in prevention has been mixed, with studies reporting between 78 to 92 percent success rates. It wasn’t clear why the drug didn’t protect everyone.
Reviews & Previews
The Perfect PredatorSteffanie Strathdee and Thomas PattersonHachette Books, $28
Epidemiologist Steffanie Strathdee and her husband, Thomas Patterson, went to Egypt in 2015 expecting to come home with some photos and souvenirs. Instead, Patterson was hit with his own version of the 10 plagues.
At first, doctors in Egypt thought Patterson had pancreatitis. But his health...
Bioengineered blood vessels are one step closer to being available for patients.
In clinical trials, these vessels were installed in the arms of dialysis patients and successfully integrated into their circulatory systems, researchers report online March 27 in Science Translational Medicine. The new blood vessels, which eventually host the patient’s own cells after implantation, are...
News in Brief
A drug that treats a rare form of cystic fibrosis may have even better results if given before birth, a study in ferrets suggests.
The drug, known by the generic name ivacaftor, can restore the function of a faulty version of the CFTR protein, called CFTRG551D. The normal CFTR protein controls the flow of charged atoms in cells that make mucus, sweat, saliva, tears and digestive enzymes...
Number of donors drops —03/12/2019 - 06:00 Biomedicine, Cells, Technology
Both laymen and surgeons have become faint-hearted about heart transplants.… The rejection and infection problems remain unsolved, and although Dr. [Denton A.] Cooley has performed the greatest number of transplants in the world, he has had to stop operating for lack of donors. — Science News, March 15, 1969Update
Candidates for heart or other organ...