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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Engineered T cells may be harnessed to kill solid tumor cells

There is now a multitude of therapies to treat cancer, from chemotherapy and radiation to immunotherapy and small molecule inhibitors. Chemotherapy is still the most widely used cancer treatment, but chemotherapy attacks all the rapidly dividing cells that it locates within the body, whether they’re ultimately harmful or beneficial. A new Tel Aviv University study led by Dr. Yaron Carmi […]

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Stem cells with ‘dual identity’ linked to loss of smell from sinus inflammation

In experiments with mice and human tissue samples, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report evidence that neuronal stem cells in the part of the nose responsible for the sense of smell transform themselves to perpetuate the long-term inflammation in chronic sinusitis. Results of the study, they say, suggest that the stem cells’ ability to switch their identity to join in the […]

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Enzyme known for promoting cancer found to also protect healthy cells

New research from the University of Maryland and the National Institutes of Health reveals a new role for the enzyme telomerase. Telomerase’s only known role in normal tissue was to protect certain cells that divide regularly, such as embryonic cells, sperm cells, adult stem cells and immune cells. Scientists thought telomerase was turned off in all other cells, except in […]

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Turbocharging the body’s natural killer cells to defeat cancer

Natural Killer (NK) cells have long been the soldiers of the immune system that prevents the growth and spread of cancers, and subduing this army of cells is one of the key ways that tumours take hold. Australian researchers have discovered a protein found in humans that prevents NK cells from doing their job fighting cancer. Importantly the study, published […]

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Insight into cells’ ‘self-eating’ process could pave the way for new dementia treatments

Cells regularly go through a process called autophagy—literally translated as ‘self-eating’ – which helps to destroy bacteria and viruses after infection. When it works, this process counteracts neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia and Huntington’s Disease, by getting rid of unwanted proteins and their resultant harm to cells. But when autophagy fails or defects occur, it can give rise to such […]

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Mini-kidneys grown from stem cells provide new insights into kidney disease and potential therapies

An international team of researchers led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has grown ‘miniature kidneys’ in the laboratory that could be used to better understand how kidney diseases develop in individual patients. The mini kidneys, known as kidney organoids, were grown outside the body from skin cells derived from a single patient who has polycystic kidney disease, one […]

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Study links progenitor cells to age-related prostate growth

The prostates of older mice contain more luminal progenitor cells—cells capable of generating new prostate tissue—than the prostates of younger mice, UCLA researchers have discovered. The observation, published in Cell Reports, helps explain why, as people age, the prostate tends to grow, leading to an increased risk for prostate cancer and other conditions. “Understanding what’s causing the prostate to grow […]

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