New discovery on the activity and function of MAIT cells during acute HIV infection

In a new study published in Nature Communications, researchers at Karolinska Institutet show that mucosa-associated invariant T cells (MAIT cells) of the human immune system respond with dynamic activity and reprogramming of gene expression during the initial phase of HIV infection. The study fills a knowledge gap, as previously, the function of MAIT cells during this particular phase was not […]

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How dying cells prevent dangerous immune reactions

Dying cells in the body can keep the immune system in check, thus preventing unwanted immune responses against the body’s own tissues. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center have now identified a receptor on murine immune cells that activates this protective mechanism and can thus prevent dangerous autoimmune reactions in which the immune system attacks the patient’s own body […]

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Betrayed by bile: bile acids help norovirus sneak into cells

A new study led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that human noroviruses, the leading viral cause of foodborne illness and acute diarrhea around the world, infect cells of the small intestine by piggybacking on a normal cellular process called endocytosis that cells use to acquire materials […]

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New Insights: Armies of strategically stationed T cells fight viral infections, cancer

The immune system mounts robust responses to infections, vaccines and cancer, but only now have scientists fully begun to unravel how non-circulating populations of T cells that reside in the body’s “mucosal barrier tissues” keeps threats at bay. While an academic focus on non-circulating T cells in mucosal tissues may seem like an arcane area of research, it is the […]

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Mechanisms help pancreatic cancer cells avert starvation

A new study reveals the mechanism that helps pancreatic cancer cells avoid starvation within dense tumors by hijacking a process that pulls nutrients in from their surroundings. Led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, the study explains how changes in the gene RAS—known to encourage the abnormal growth seen in 90 percent of pancreatic cancer patients—also accelerate a […]

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Cells study helping to crack the code to Alzheimer’s disease

A study led by researchers at Monash University has opened up new hope for diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia in older people and, as there are no effective treatments, is one of the leading contributors to the global disease burden. Various genes have been implicated in the changes that happen in […]

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Vicious circles: Ring-shaped DNA provides cancer cells with a malignant twist

Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA encodes information, not only in its sequence but also in its shape. Building upon previous revelatory work, a team of scientists, led by researchers at University of California San Diego, the UC San Diego branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Stanford University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, report that in cancer, distinct doughnut-shaped […]

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Immune cells in skin kill MRSA bacteria before they enter the body

A type of immune cell called neutrophils could be responsible for controlling bacterial numbers of an antibiotic-resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) on human skin before the bacteria get a chance to invade, according to a new study from Karolinska Institutet published in Cell Reports. The results could provide an explanation for why this superbug is only carried transiently by […]

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Alzheimer’s amyloid build-up affects certain parts of brain cells more than others in mice

A protein that is linked with Alzheimer’s Disease has been found to be more likely to affect certain parts of brain cells that send messages than other parts of the cells. In a new study published in Scientific Reports, the team observed how amyloid beta (Aβ), a protein which accumulates in the brain of people with Alzheimer’s disease, affected the […]

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The night gardeners: Immune cells rewire, repair brain while we sleep

Science tells us that a lot of good things happen in our brains while we sleep—learning and memories are consolidated and waste is removed, among other things. New research shows for the first time that important immune cells called microglia—which play an important role in reorganizing the connections between nerve cells, fighting infections, and repairing damage—are also primarily active while […]

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