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  • News

    This bacteria-fighting protein also induces sleep

    “Feed a cold, starve a fever,” or so the adage goes. But fruit fly experiments suggest that sleep may be a better remedy.

    A microbe-fighting protein helps control how much and how deeply fruit flies sleep, researchers report in the Feb. 1 Science. That’s evidence that sleep speeds recovery from illness, they conclude.

    “We finally have a very clear link between being sleepy and...

    01/31/2019 - 14:03 Genetics, Physiology, Immune Science
  • Science Visualized

    How light-farming chloroplasts morph into defensive warriors

    Chloroplasts may seem like docile farmers of light. But inside these microscopic plant and algal cell structures lurks the spirit of a warrior.

    When a pathogen attacks a plant, chloroplasts stop making food from sunlight and rush to the site of infection to help fend off the invader. Now, researchers have identified the protein that mobilizes these organelles into a defensive army.

    ...
    01/28/2019 - 08:00 Plants, Cells, Immune Science
  • News in Brief

    Gut bacteria may guard against diabetes that comes with aging

    Losing one variety of gut bacteria may lead to type 2 diabetes as people age.

    Old mice have less Akkermansia muciniphila bacteria than young mice do, researchers report November 14 in Science Translational Medicine. That loss triggers inflammation, which eventually leads cells to ignore signals from the hormone insulin. Such disregard for insulin’s message to take in glucose is known as...

    11/19/2018 - 10:55 Microbiology, Physiology, Immune Science
  • News

    How a life-threatening allergic reaction can happen so fast

    Within minutes of biting into peanut-tainted food, people with a peanut allergy may find their pulse quickening, blood pressure plummeting and throat closing up. They’re experiencing a rapid and sometimes fatal allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

    New research in mice explains how even a small amount of an allergen can quickly trigger such a strong, full-body reaction. The culprit is a...

    11/08/2018 - 14:00 Immune Science, Health
  • Feature

    How to make organ transplants last

    Trent Jackson’s life changed abruptly in early 2015. The computer engineer thought he had the flu. His then-wife, Donna Sylvia, thought differently. His skin was turning a dark golden yellow, almost brown, “like he was getting some kind of weird tan,” she says. On Wednesday, January 28, Sylvia and Jackson’s brother Todd finally persuaded Jackson to see a doctor.

    Sylvia’s suspicions were...

    10/21/2018 - 05:00 Immune Science, Cells, Clinical Trials
  • News

    Smuggling a CRISPR gene editor into staph bacteria can kill the pathogen

    Bits of DNA that make bacteria dangerous can be co-opted to bring the microbes down instead.

    Stretches of DNA called pathogenicity islands can jump between bacteria strains, introducing new toxin-producing genes that usually make a strain more harmful. Scientists have now modified pathogenicity islands by replacing the toxin-producing genes with genes that, in mice, disabled or killed...

    10/01/2018 - 09:00 Genetics, Immune Science