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  • News

    Cows produce powerful HIV antibodies

    An unlikely hero has emerged in the quest to fight HIV: the cow. In a first for any animal, including humans, four cows injected with a type of HIV protein rapidly produced powerful antibodies against the virus, researchers report. Learning how to induce similar antibodies in humans may be key to a successful HIV vaccine.

    The antibodies, called broadly neutralizing antibodies, can stop...

    07/20/2017 - 14:46 Biomedicine, Health, Immune Science
  • News

    Protein in Parkinson’s provokes the immune system

    Bits of a protein that builds up in Parkinson’s disease trigger the immune system, causing it to tag them as foreign invaders.

    In a blood test, immune cells called T cells became activated when exposed to the protein in about 40 percent of Parkinson’s patients in a new study. This autoimmune response may contribute to the progression of the disease, the researchers report online June 21...

    06/21/2017 - 13:25 Biomedicine, Health, Immune Science
  • Feature

    Live antibiotics use bacteria to kill bacteria

    The woman in her 70s was in trouble. What started as a broken leg led to an infection in her hip that hung on for two years and several hospital stays. At a Nevada hospital, doctors gave the woman seven different antibiotics, one after the other. The drugs did little to help her. Lab results showed that none of the 14 antibiotics available at the hospital could fight the infection, caused by...

    06/13/2017 - 10:49 Health, Microbiology, Biomedicine, Immune Science
  • News

    Therapy flags DNA typos to rev cancer-fighting T cells

    Mutations that prevent cells from spell-checking their DNA may make cancer cells vulnerable to immunotherapies, a new study suggests.

    A type of immune therapy known as PD-1 blockade controlled cancer in 77 percent of patients with defects in DNA mismatch repair — the system cells use to spell-check and fix errors in DNA (SN Online: 10/7/15). The therapy was effective against 12 different...

    06/09/2017 - 15:12 Cancer, Immune Science, Genetics, Biomedicine
  • News

    When it comes to the flu, the nose has a long memory

    After an influenza infection, the nose recruits immune cells with long memories to keep watch for the virus, research with mice suggests.

    For the first time, this type of immune cell — known as tissue resident memory T cells — has been found in the nose, researchers report June 2 in Science Immunology. Such nasal resident memory T cells may prevent flu from recurring. Future nasal spray...

    06/02/2017 - 14:00 Immune Science
  • News

    Hybrid protein offers malaria protection

    Dogged genetic detective work has led scientists to a hybrid red blood cell protein that offers some protection against malaria.

    Reporting online May 18 in Science, researchers describe a genetic variant that apparently is responsible for the fusion of two proteins that protrude from the membranes of red blood cells. In its hybrid form, the protein somehow makes it more difficult for the...

    05/18/2017 - 14:19 Genetics, Evolution, Immune Science, Biomedicine
  • News

    Lungs enlist immune cells to fight infections in capillaries

    Immune cells in the lungs provide a rapid counterattack to bloodstream infections, a new study in mice finds. This surprising discovery pegs the lungs as a major pillar in the body’s defense during these dangerous infections, the researchers say.

    “No one would have guessed the lung would provide such an immediate and strong host defense system,” says Bryan Yipp, an immunologist at the...

    04/28/2017 - 15:01 Biomedicine, Immune Science, Cells
  • News

    Common virus may be celiac disease culprit

    A common and usually harmless virus may trigger celiac disease. Infection with the suspected culprit, a reovirus, could cause the immune system to react to gluten as if it was a dangerous pathogen instead of a harmless food protein, an international team of researchers reports April 7 in Science.

    In a study in mice, the researchers found that the reovirus, T1L, tricks the immune system...

    04/06/2017 - 14:03 Health, Immune Science
  • News

    Getting dengue first may make Zika infection much worse

    Being immune to a virus is a good thing, until it’s not. That’s the lesson from a study that sought to understand the severity of the Zika outbreak in Brazil. Experiments in cells and mice suggest that a previous exposure to dengue or West Nile can make a Zika virus infection worse.

    “Antibodies you generate from the first infection … can facilitate entry of the Zika virus into...

    03/30/2017 - 16:26 Biomedicine, Health, Immune Science
  • News

    Dengue fever spreads in a neighborly way

    Dengue is a bit of a homebody. By mapping the spread of the virus across Bangkok, scientists found that infections were most likely to occur within a few minutes’ walk of the home of the first person infected.

    Pinpointing where dengue is likely to be transmitted can better focus efforts to stop the spread of the disease, the researchers report in the March 24 Science.

    “We often...

    03/23/2017 - 14:00 Health, Immune Science