On the way to fighting staph infections with the body’s immune system

Researchers have gained a greater understanding of the biology of staphylococcus skin infections in mice and how the mouse immune system mobilizes to fight them. A study appears this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Community acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) typically causes skin infections but can spread throughout the body to cause invasive infections such […]

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Ragweed compounds could protect nerve cells from Alzheimer’s

As spring arrives in the northern hemisphere, many people are cursing ragweed, a primary culprit in seasonal allergies. But scientists might have discovered a promising new use for some substances produced by the pesky weed. In ACS’ Journal of Natural Products, researchers have identified and characterized ragweed compounds that could help nerve cells survive in the presence of Alzheimer’s disease […]

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Probiotic-derived molecule may suppress fatal brain inflammation, preclinical study finds: Scientists explore how swallowing a ‘bacterial envelope molecule’ may prime your body to fend off viral infections

The existence of certain microorganisms in your gut may bolster the immune system’s ability to fend off a herpes viral attack that can cause fatal brain inflammation, reports a new City of Hope-led study. Researchers say the findings are the first to suggest that an envelope molecule from a bacterium called Bacteroides fragilis (B. fragilis) might be useful against viral […]

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Chemical modifiers tag-team to regulate essential mechanism of life: Basic science discovery explains a fundamental way human cells differ from yeast cells

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have made a key observation about one of the most fundamental biological processes: gene transcription. A gene’s job is to provide a cell with the instructions to create a specific protein. The first step of this process is called transcription, during which the DNA is copied into RNA. The scribe is an enzyme called RNA […]

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Cell-killing proteins suppress listeria without killing cells

New North Carolina State University research shows that key proteins known for their ability to prevent viral infections by inducing cell death can also block certain bacterial infections without triggering the death of the host cells. Rather than killing host cells infected by Listeria in the gastrointestinal tract, the RIPK3 and MLKL proteins recognize the chemical composition of the bacteria […]

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Structure of the molecular machine that links carbohydrate and lipid metabolism

A research team led by dr. Kenneth Verstraete in the Unit for Structural Biology at the VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research has unraveled the three-dimensional structure and molecular mechanism of ATP citrate lyase (ACLY). This is a central metabolic enzyme — a protein that accelerates chemical reactions — important for the production of fatty acids and cholesterol in the human […]

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Copycat fungus deceives immune system and deactivates body’s response to infection

Fungus can imitate signals from our immune system and prevent our body from responding to infection, new research from the University of Sheffield has found. Life-threatening fungal infection is a major killer of people with immune system problems such as blood cancers, HIV infection or following organ transplant. The new study focused on one of the most dangerous infections for […]

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New microscope captures large groups of neurons in living animals: Fast, detailed imaging across a wide field of view useful for deciphering brain functions

Researchers have developed a microscope specifically for imaging large groups of interacting cells in their natural environments. The instrument provides scientists with a new tool for imaging neurons in living animals and could provide an unprecedented view into how large networks of neurons interact during various behaviors. In Optica, The Optical Society’s journal for high-impact research, researchers from Boston University, […]

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Parents: Keep medical marijuana dispensaries away from kids: About 3/4 of parents say dispensaries should not be near schools

With medical marijuana now legal in about two-thirds of U.S. states, there’s growing concern about how dispensaries may impact surrounding neighborhoods and communities. And parents in a new national poll overwhelmingly agree on one place dispensaries should not be allowed: anywhere near children. Seven in 10 parents think they should have a say in whether dispensaries are located near their […]

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How a fungus can cripple the immune system: Research team clarifies the mechanism of gliotoxin, a mycotoxin from the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus

It is everywhere — and it is extremely dangerous for people with a weakened immune system. The fungus Aspergillus fumigatus occurs virtually everywhere on Earth, as a dark grey, wrinkled cushion on damp walls or in microscopically small spores that blow through the air and cling to wallpaper, mattresses and floors. Healthy people usually have no problem if spores find […]

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