Tag Archive immunology

New viral mutation made middle-aged adults more susceptible to last year’s flu

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“We identified a mutation in recent H1N1 strains that allows viruses to avoid immune responses that are present in a large number of middle-aged adults,” said Scott Hensley, Ph.D., a member of Wistar’s Vaccine Center and an assistant professor in the Translational Tumor Immunology program of Wistar’s Cancer Center. Historically, children and the elderly are most susceptible to the severe effects of the influenza viruses, largely because they have weaker immune systems…

Dynamic duo takes out cellular trash: Research finds how dead cells are removed from body

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Now, Salk scientists have discovered how two critical receptors on these garbage-eating cells identify and engulf dead cells in very different environments, as detailed in Nature Immunology. “To target these receptors as treatments for autoimmune disease and cancer, it’s important to know exactly which receptor is doing what. And this discovery tells us that,” says senior author of the work Greg Lemke, Salk professor of molecular neurobiology and the holder of Salk’s Fran�oise Gilot-Salk Chair. The garbage-disposing cells, known as macrophages, have arrays of receptors on their surface, two of which — called Mer and Axl — are responsible for recognizing dead cells in normal environments and inflamed environments, respectively…

Loss of Y chromosome can explain shorter life expectancy, higher cancer risk for men — ScienceDaily

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source : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140428121205.htm

Promising new approach for treating leukemia: Essential role of the Brg1 gene — ScienceDaily

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source : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140213084054.htm

Cell division discovery could offer fresh insight into cancer

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Scientists have explained a key part of the process of cell division, by which cells are able to keep our organs functioning properly. They discovered a set of proteins that stabilise the sequence of events in which cells duplicate their DNA and then separate into two new cells, each identical to the original. Flaws in this delicate, complex operation can lead to cancer. The findings help explain a fundamental process in all living things, in which cells must continually divide to keep the organism alive and well…

H. pylori vaccine shows promise in mouse studies

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The investigators constructed a live recombinant bacterial vaccine, expressing the H. pylori antigen, adhesin Hp0410, in the food-grade bacterium, Lactobacillus acidophilus…

Smoking changes our genes

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We inherit our genes from our parents at birth. …

Using microRNA fit to a T (Cell)

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The achievement in mice studies, published in this week’s online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may be the first step toward using genetically modified miRNA for therapeutic purposes, perhaps most notably in vaccines and cancer treatments, said principal investigator Maurizio Zanetti, MD, professor in the Department of Medicine and director of the Laboratory of Immunology at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. "From a practical standpoint, short non-coding RNA can be used for replacement therapy to introduce miRNA or miRNA mimetics into tissues to restore normal levels that have been reduced by a disease process or to inhibit other miRNA to increase levels of therapeutic proteins," said Zanetti. "However, the explosive rate at which science has discovered miRNAs to be involved in regulating biological processes has not been matched by progress in the translational arena," Zinetti added. "Very few clinical trials have been launched to date…

Notch signaling pathway keeps immature T cells on the right track

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With graduate student Maria Elena De Obaldia, Bhandoola describes in Nature Immunology this month how Notch signaling induces expression of genes that promote the maturation of T cells and discourage alternative cell fates. …

More than skin deep: New layer to the body’s fight against infection

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The single cell type that was thought to be behind the skin’s immune defense has been found to have a doppelganger, with researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute showing the cells, despite appearing identical, are actually two different types. Institute scientists Dr Michael Chopin, Dr Stephen Nutt and colleagues from the institute’s Molecular Immunology division have been investigating Langerhans cells, the immune cells that provide the first line of defense against attacks through the skin. Until recently, scientists believed that, because they looked identical, all Langerhans cells were also genetically identical and had the same function…