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  • 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
  • Science Visualized

    Colorful pinwheel puts a new spin on mouse pregnancy

    View slideshow of other winners

    This rainbow pinwheel of mouse placentas isn’t just an eye-catching, award-winning image. The differences in color also provide researchers with new clues to how a mother’s immune system may affect her or her baby’s health during pregnancy. The work could lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment of preeclampsia, a common pregnancy complication. 

    ...

    03/22/2017 - 07:00 Animals, Immune Science, Science & Society
  • Feature

    Cancer cells cast a sweet spell on the immune system

    Shrink yourself small enough to swoop over the surface of a human cell, and you might be reminded of Earth’s terrain. Fats, or lipids, stay close to the surface, like grasses and shrubs. Proteins stand above the shrubs, as mighty oaks or palm trees. But before you could distinguish the low-lying lipids from the towering proteins, you’d see something else adorning these molecules — sugars.

    ...
    03/21/2017 - 12:00 Cancer, Immune Science
  • News

    Bacteria genes offer new strategy for sterilizing mosquitoes

    A pair of bacterial genes may enable genetic engineering strategies for curbing populations of virus-transmitting mosquitoes.

    Bacteria that make the insects effectively sterile have been used to reduce mosquito populations. Now, two research teams have identified genes in those bacteria that may be responsible for the sterility, the groups report online February 27 in Nature and Nature...

    02/27/2017 - 11:00 Immune Science, Genetics
  • News

    Common fungus may raise asthma risk

    BOSTON — A fungus among us may tip the body toward developing asthma.

    There’s mounting evidence that early exposure to microbes can protect against allergies and asthma (SN Online: 7/20/16). But “lo and behold, some fungi seem to put kids at risk for asthma,” microbiologist Brett Finlay said February 17 at a news conference during the annual meeting of the American Association for the...

    02/17/2017 - 17:57 Health, Immune Science, Human Development
  • News in Brief

    Rapid Ebola test to detect early infection in the works

    WASHINGTON — Diagnosing Ebola earlier is becoming almost as easy as taking a home pregnancy test. 

    Scientists are developing antibodies for a test that can sniff out the deadly virus more quickly and efficiently than current tests, researchers reported February 6 at the American Society for Microbiology Biothreats meeting.

    Detecting Ebola’s genetic material in patients’ blood...

    02/10/2017 - 16:46 Immune Science
  • News

    Malaria molecule makes blood extra-alluring to mosquitoes

    Malaria parasites seduce mosquitoes on the sly.

    Plasmodium falciparum parasites produce a molecule that makes parasite-infected blood more attractive to malaria-transmitting mosquitoes, researchers report online February 9 in Science. The insects slurp up this enticing meal, helping the parasite spread to new hosts.

    “It’s a really intriguing glimpse into how Plasmodium might have...

    02/09/2017 - 14:00 Immune Science
  • News

    Rogue antibody linked to severe second dengue infections

    The playground ditty “first the worst, second the best” isn’t always true when it comes to dengue fever. Some patients who contract the virus a second time can experience more severe symptoms. A rogue type of antibody may be to blame, researchers report in the Jan. 27 Science. Instead of protecting their host, the antibodies are commandeered by the dengue virus to help it spread, increasing...

    01/27/2017 - 15:55 Health, Immune Science
  • News

    What a mosquito's immune system can tell us about fighting malaria

    Immune cells in a malaria-transmitting mosquito sense the invading parasites and deploy an army of tiny messengers in response. These couriers help turn on a mosquito’s defenses, killing off the parasites, a new study suggests.

    This more detailed understanding of the mosquito immune system, published January 20 in Science Immunology, might help scientists design new ways to combat...

    01/20/2017 - 14:00 Immune Science, Microbiology
  • News

    Public, doctors alike confused about food allergies

    Our grasp of food allergy science is as jumbled as a can of mixed nuts. While there are tantalizing clues on how food allergies emerge and might be prevented, misconceptions are plentiful and broad conclusions are lacking, concludes a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

    As a result, both the general public and medical community are confused and ill...

    11/30/2016 - 17:19 Immune Science, Science & Society