Health News

New regulator of immune responses discovered

Scientists have identified a new internal regulator that helps control the body’s response to fight infection. The discovery could be a target for new drugs to tackle autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and scleroderma, where healthy tissues are attacked by the body’s own immune system. “We want to put a brake on the body’s own […]

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New strategy of reprogramming regulatory T cells may improve cancer therapies: Converting immunosuppressive cells into inflammatory cells appears to prime tumors for immune checkpoint blockade

While therapies that harness the power of the immune system against cancer have made remarkable progress against certain types of tumors, they still remain ineffective in most cancer patients. A new study from the Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases (CIID) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) describes a method of reprogramming the regulatory T cells […]

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Fishing for cures: New zebrafish model identifies drugs that kill pediatric cancer cells

A new animal model developed by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators promises to be less expensive, easier to use and to improve personalized therapies for cancers and potentially other diseases. In their paper published online in Cell, the investigators describe using their immunodeficient zebrafish model to visualize drug responses at single-cell resolution in live animals. […]

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Experimental drug delivers one-two punch to vision loss: Experiments show new therapy slows blood vessel leakage associated with diabetic macular edema and macular degeneration

In studies with lab-grown human cells and in mice, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have found that an experimental drug may be twice as good at fighting vision loss as previously thought. The new research shows that the compound, named AXT107, stops abnormal blood vessels in the eye from leaking vision-blocking fluids. These results build on […]

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Food additive may influence how well flu vaccines work

Michigan State University scientists have linked a common food preservative to an altered immune response that possibly hinders flu vaccines. The study conducted in mice, presented at the 2019 Experimental Biology meeting in Orlando, Fla., April 7 at 9 a.m., offers up a new potential factor in vaccine effectiveness. Tert-butylhydroquinone, or tBHQ, can be found […]

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How do muscle and tendon connections last a lifetime? Cell biologists show in fruit flies how a protein controls mechanical stress on muscle-tendon attachments

Muscles are connected to tendons to power animal movements such as running, swimming or flying. Forces are produced by contractile chains of the proteins actin and myosin, which are pulling on muscle-tendon connections called attachments. During animal development, these muscle-tendon attachments must be established such that they resist high mechanical forces for the entire life […]

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Evidence for link between ‘leaky gut’ and autoantibody production in HIV-positive patients

Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, attacks the immune system, making affected individuals more susceptible to infections. When patients with HIV are treated with antiretroviral therapy (ART), their immune system can recover, but some of them produce self-destructive proteins, or autoantibodies. Instead of attacking foreign invaders such as bacteria or viruses, some autoantibodies attack the body’s […]

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Different bacteria use same cell surface molecule to invade tissue and promote infection: Blocking bacteria-molecule interaction might prevent many deadly illnesses

A new study identifies a single molecule as a key entry point used by two types of dangerous bacteria to break through cellular barriers and cause disease. The findings, published March 19 in the journal mBio, suggest that blocking the interaction between the molecule, known as CD40, and bacteria may represent a universal strategy for […]