Mutant bacterial receptor could point to new therapies against opportunistic pathogen

Researchers have developed a new mutant version of a receptor used by a bacterial pathogen for a chemical communication process called quorum sensing, according to a study published June 13 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Bonnie Bassler of Princeton University, and colleagues. As the authors note, the mutant receptor could be used to identify therapeutic compounds that inhibit […]

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Breaking down pathological protein aggregates

Aggregates of the protein alpha-synuclein in the nerve cells of the brain play a key role in Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. These protein clumps can travel from nerve cell to nerve cell, causing the disease to progress. A team of researchers led by ETH scientists have now discovered how the body can rid itself of these damaging aggregates. Their […]

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New compounds could be used to treat autoimmune disorders

The immune system is programmed to rid the body of biological bad guys — like viruses and dangerous bacteria — but its precision isn’t guaranteed. In the tens of millions of Americans suffering from autoimmune diseases, the system mistakes normal cells for malicious invaders, prompting the body to engage in self-destructive behavior. This diverse class of conditions, which includes Type […]

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Short-term use of opioids increases subjective pleasure: Risk of addiction

The human opioid system contributes to the regulation of emotions, pleasure and pain. Opioids are strong analgesics. In addition to effectively relieving pain, external opioids may improve mood and reduce negative emotions. However, not much has been known about the effect of opioids on emotional responses caused by external stimuli. Together with their colleagues from Aalto University and the University […]

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Metals influence C-peptide hormone related to insulin: New field of metalloendocrinology explores subtle effects of metals in body

Metals such as zinc, copper and chromium bind to and influence a peptide involved in insulin production, according to new work from chemists at the University of California, Davis. The research is part of a new field of “metalloendocrinology” that takes a detailed look at the role of metals in biological processes in the body. “We’re asking questions people didn’t […]

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New findings could lead to improved vaccinations against sexually transmitted infections

In a study published today in the Nature Communications, researchers from King’s College London have shown how skin vaccination can generate protective CD8 T-cells that are recruited to the genital tissues and could be used as a vaccination strategy for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). One of the challenges in developing vaccines for STIs, such as HIV or herpes simplex virus, […]

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A new way to wind the development clock of cardiac muscle cells

These days, scientists can collect a few skin or blood cells, wipe out their identities, and reprogram them to become virtually any other kind of cell in the human body, from neurons to heart cells. The journey from skin cell to another type of functional cell involves converting them into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which are similar to the […]

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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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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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Organ bioprinting gets a breath of fresh air: Bioengineers clear major hurdle on path to 3D printing replacement organs

Bioengineers have cleared a major hurdle on the path to 3D printing replacement organs with a breakthrough technique for bioprinting tissues. The new innovation allows scientists to create exquisitely entangled vascular networks that mimic the body’s natural passageways for blood, air, lymph and other vital fluids. The research is featured on the cover of this week’s issue of Science. It […]

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