Scientists show jet lag conditions impair immune response in mice

Imagine you’ve just arrived in Paris. Your body thinks it should be midnight—a restorative time when your cells typically proofread DNA, organize and store energy, and perform other essential chores—but, instead, the sun is up and you’re awake. On a molecular level, your cells are stressed, trying to catch up to new environmental conditions. Shiftwork and experimental models of frequent […]

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Study provides insights into how Zika virus suppresses the host immune system

A research team led by scientists at the University of California, Riverside, has outlined how the Zika virus, which constituted an epidemic threat in 2016, suppresses the immune system of its host. The Zika virus, or ZIKV, spreads through mosquito bites and sexual intercourse. Currently, no approved vaccine or antivirals against ZIKV exist. “Suppressing host immunity is a common strategy […]

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Immune system could be trained to spot drug-resistant cancers

Aggressive cancers could be treated with immunotherapies that direct the immune system to kill cancer cells with specific drug resistance-causing mutations, a major new study suggests. Drug resistance mutations which restore activity of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes as a way of avoiding the effects of drug treatment could leave tumors vulnerable to the effects of immunotherapy, the research found. […]

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Study shows nervous and immune systems ‘need to talk’ for bone repair

In a December 2019 study, a team of Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers demonstrated in mice that repair of bone fractures requires the generation, growth and spread of nerve cells, or neurons, throughout the injured area. This, they showed, partly relies on a protein known as nerve growth factor (NGF). Now, the researchers have dug deeper into this process to better […]

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Immune properties in ancient DNA found in isolated villages might benefit humanity today

Could remnants of DNA from a now extinct human subspecies known as the Denisovans help boost the immune functions of modern humans? An international study co-led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), an affiliate of City of Hope, and published in the scientific journal PLOS Genetics, represents the first characterizations of genes in the DNA of healthy individuals from […]

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The microbiome controls immune system fitness

Working alongside colleagues in Mainz, Bern, Hannover and Bonn, researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) and the German Rheumatism Research Center Berlin (DRFZ) were able to show how the microbiome helps to render the immune system capable of responding to pathogens. If microbiome-derived signals are absent, relevant mediators are not released, resulting in a […]

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New insight into immune cell behavior offers opportunities for cancer treatment

An international group of scientists has discovered that certain cells of our immune system—the so-called T cells—communicate with each other and work together as a team. To fight an infection they stimulate each other’s growth, but at the same time, they inhibit each other when there is a surplus of T cells. That insight offers new opportunities for the treatment […]

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