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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Removal of gene completely prevents development of aggressive pancreatic cancer in mice

The action of a gene called ATDC is required for the development of pancreatic cancer, a new study finds. The work builds on the theory that many cancers arise when adult cells — to resupply cells lost to injury and inflammation — switch back into more “primitive,” high-growth cell types, like those that drive fetal development. When this reversion happens […]

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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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Mathematicians reveal secret to human sperm’s swimming prowess

Researchers have discovered what gives human sperm the strength to succeed in the race to fertilise the egg. The researchers, from the universities of York and Oxford, discovered that a reinforcing outer-layer which coats the tails of human sperm is what gives them the strength to make the powerful rhythmic strokes needed to break through the cervical mucus barrier. Only […]

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Study explaining side effects of statins finds drug can have unexpected benefits: Statins can be beneficial during heart attacks and cancer cell metastasis

While investigating why cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins cause negative side effects such as blurred vision, short-term memory loss or increased risk for diabetes, cellular chemists at The University of Toledo discovered several previously unknown benefits. It is well-established statins can help lower the risk of heart attack by lowering blood cholesterol, but statins also may play a protective role in […]

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Malignant bone marrow disease: New hope for MPN patients: Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) — a group of rare but malignant bone marrow disorders

MPNs are a group of rare, malignant diseases of the bone marrow involving the production of an excess of red blood cells, white blood cells and/or platelets. MPNs are chronic diseases with only 1 to 2 new cases diagnosed per 100,000 people every year. MPNs can affect people at any age, but they are most common among adults around 60 […]

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New hope for stem cell approach to treating diabetes: Insulin-producing cells more responsive to fluctuating glucose levels

Scientists working to develop more effective treatments for diabetes are turning to stem cells. Such cells can be transformed into cells that produce insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar. But there’s a major challenge: the amount of insulin produced by theses cells is difficult to control. Now, by tweaking the recipe for coaxing human stem cells into insulin-secreting beta […]

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Scientists create a renewable source of cancer-fighting T cells

A study by UCLA researchers is the first to demonstrate a technique for coaxing pluripotent stem cells — which can give rise to every cell type in the body and which can be grown indefinitely in the lab — into becoming mature T cells capable of killing tumor cells. The technique uses structures called artificial thymic organoids, which work by […]

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