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How does the immune system keep tabs on the brain?
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that immune cells stationed in the meninges, the tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord, monitor the brain and initiate an immune response if they detect a problem. (2021-01-27)

A new study reveals an "Achilles heel" of cancer cells
? For the first time, a study shows how an abnormal number of chromosomes (aneuploidy) - a unique characteristic of cancer cells that researchers have known about for decades - can become a vulnerability of these cells. ? The study could lead, in the future, to the development of drugs that will use this trait to eliminate cancer. (2021-01-27)

Scientists discover a new promising target for diabetes treatment
Researchers have discovered a novel and druggable insulin inhibitory receptor, named inceptor. The blocking of inceptor function leads to an increased sensitisation of the insulin signaling pathway in pancreatic beta cells. This might allow protection and regeneration of beta cells for diabetes remission. (2021-01-27)

New Tel Aviv University study reveals 'Achilles' heel' of cancer cells
A new study from Tel Aviv University (TAU) shows, for the first time, how an abnormal number of chromosomes (aneuploidy) -- a unique characteristic of cancer cells that researchers have known about for decades -- could become a weak point for these cells. The study could lead to the development of future drugs that will use this vulnerability to eliminate the cancer cells. (2021-01-27)

Myeloid immune cells in the blood tied to severe COVID-19
Individual variations in how the immune system responds to SARS-CoV-2 appear to impact the severity of disease. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have now been able to show that patients with severe COVID-19 have significantly elevated levels of a certain type of immune cells in their blood, called myeloid-derived suppressor cells. The study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation may bring an increased understanding of how early immune responses impact disease severity. (2021-01-26)

New study: Malaria tricks the brain's defence system
Malaria is one of the most common causes of death in children in Africa. When the parasite builds up in the blood vessels of the brain, it develops into one of the most dangerous forms of the disease, cerebral malaria. Though it wasn't certain if the parasite was able to penetrate the brain tissue, now researchers from the University of Copenhagen have found parasites can do that and have mapped the mechanism they utilise. (2021-01-26)

Two anti-viral enzymes transform pre-leukemia stem cells into leukemia
Viral infections and space travel similarly trigger inflammation and the enzymes APOBEC3C and ADAR1; UC San Diego researchers are developing ways to inhibit them as a means to potentially lower cancer risk for both astronauts and people on Earth. (2021-01-26)

Metoclopramide inhibits proliferation of leukemia stem cells
A research team at Inselspital, Bern University Hospital and the University of Bern has identified and tested the use of an agent that can effectively inhibit the proliferation of leukemia stem cells. Metoclopramide (MPR), used as an anti-emetic medication, interrupts the unique CD93 signaling pathway that only leukemia stem cells use to proliferate. This opens up a therapeutic approach using MPR to selectively eliminate leukemia stem cells. (2021-01-26)

Cholesterol starvation kills lymphoma cells
Scientists have developed a novel therapy to trick cancer cells into gobbling up what they think is their favorite food - cholesterol -- which actually triggers their destruction. What appears to them as a cholesterol-loaded particle is actually a synthetic nanoparticle that binds to the cancer cells and starves them to death. The study was in lymphoma cells but could be effective in ovarian and kidney cancer. (2021-01-25)

New perspectives challenge the idea that saturated fats cause heart disease
Why do saturated fats increase blood cholesterol, and why should this be dangerous? After all, saturated fats occur naturally in a wide variety of foods, including breast milk. (2021-01-22)

Predictive value of blood pressure, heart rate, and blood pressure/heart rate ratio in a Chinese subpopulation with vasovagal syncope
In a new publication from Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications; DOI https://doi.org/10.15212/CVIA.2019.1266, Zhuzhi Wen, Jingying Hou, Zun Mai, Huifen Huang, Yangxin Chen, Dengfeng Geng and Jingfeng Wang from Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China and Guandong Province Key Laboratory of Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, Guangzhou, China consider predictive value of blood pressure, heart rate, and blood pressure/heart rate ratio in a Chinese subpopulation with vasovagal syncope. (2021-01-22)

Immunology - Functionality of immune cells in early life
A study by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich researchers shows that putatively immature dendritic cells found in young children are able to induce robust immune responses. The results could lead to improved vaccination protocols. (2021-01-21)

Important cause of preeclampsia discovered
New findings show that cholesterol crystals in the uterine wall are the villain that researchers have been looking for. These crystals cause intensified inflammation in people who become ill. (2021-01-21)

Reviving exhausted immune cells to fight cancer
Eliminating a single gene can turn exhausted cancer-fighting immune cells known as CD8+ T cells back into refreshed soldiers that can continue to battle malignant tumors, a new study led by UT Southwestern researchers suggests. The findings, published online this week in the Journal for Immunotherapy of Cancer, could offer a new way to harness the body's immune system to attack cancers. (2021-01-20)

CRISPR technology to cure sickle cell disease at UIC
The first cases treated with gene-editing technology were recently published in an article co-authored by Dr. Damiano Rondelli, the Michael Reese Professor of Hematology at the UIC College of Medicine. The article reports two patients have been cured of beta thalassemia and sickle cell disease after their own genes were edited with CRISPR-Cas9 technology. The two researchers who invented this technology received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2020. (2021-01-20)

New insights into wound healing process
Biomedical engineers developed a technique to observe wound healing in real time, discovering a central role for cells known as fibroblasts. The work, reported in APL Bioengineering, is the first demonstration of a wound closure model within human vascularized tissue in a petri dish. (2021-01-19)

Researchers discover mechanism behind most severe cases of a common blood disorder
G6PD deficiency affects about 400M people worldwide and can pose serious health risks. Now, researchers think they've found the cause of the most severe cases, which could finally lead to treatments. (2021-01-19)

Timing is of the essence when treating brain swelling in mice
Researchers from the National Institutes of Health have discovered Jekyll and Hyde immune cells in the brain that ultimately help with brain repair but early after injury can lead to fatal swelling, suggesting that timing may be critical when administering treatment. These dual-purpose cells, which are called myelomonocytic cells and which are carried to the brain by the blood, are just one type of brain immune cell that NIH researchers tracked, watching in real-time as the brain repaired itself after injury. (2021-01-18)

FGF23 hormone from red blood cell precursors promotes hematopoietic stem cell mobilization
A Kobe University research group have discovered that fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23) produced by erythroblasts (cells that are the precursors of red blood cells) promotes the movement of hematopoietic stem cells into the peripheral blood. It is hoped that this discovery will enable new strategies to be developed for harvesting hematopoietic stem cells from bone marrow transplant donors. (2021-01-18)

Cancer research reveals how mutations in a specific gene cause different types of disease
Leading cancer expert solve long-standing question of how various types of mutations in just one gene cause different types of diseases (2021-01-14)

A new study identifies possible biomarkers of severe malaria in African children
The analysis identified a series of small molecules called microRNAs that are released as a result of organ damage and are associated with disease severity (2021-01-13)

Immune cells discovered in the lungs improve virus defense
A research team at the University of Basel has discovered immune cells resident in the lungs that persist long after a bout of flu. Experiments with mice have shown that these helper cells improve the immune response to reinfection by a different strain of the flu virus. The discovery could yield approaches to developing longer-lasting vaccinations against quickly-mutating viruses. (2021-01-08)

IU research findings could reduce treatment-related complication for blood cancer patients
Researchers at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center published promising findings today in the New England Journal of Medicine on preventing a common complication to lifesaving blood stem cell transplantation in leukemia. (2021-01-07)

Tracking the formation of the early heart, cell by cell
Richard Tyser and colleagues have mapped the origins of the embryonic mouse heart at single-cell resolution, helping to define the cell types that make up the heart in the earliest days of development. (2021-01-07)

Hydroxychloroquine blood levels predict clotting risk in patients with lupus
A new study in Arthritis & Rheumatology shows that monitoring patients' blood levels of hydroxychloroquine can predict their clotting risk. (2021-01-06)

Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 immune response several months post-infection hints at protective immunity
Researchers who studied antibody and immune cell responses in more than 180 men and women who had recovered from COVID-19 report these patients' immune memory to the virus - across all immune cell types studied - was measurable for up to 8 months after symptoms appeared. (2021-01-06)

Some English bulldogs thought to have cancer may have newly identified syndrome
Some English bulldogs diagnosed with a common cancer may instead have a newly described, non-cancerous syndrome called polyclonal B?cell lymphocytosis. The discovery was made by Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers at Colorado State University during a study to better understand B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (BCLL). The team published their findings in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. (2021-01-05)

Transfusions with higher red blood cell levels do not improve preterm baby outcomes
National Institutes of Health-funded randomized clinical trial is the largest study to-date to compare thresholds for blood transfusions in premature babies, offers guidance for health care providers. (2020-12-31)

Combined approach could boost breast cancer immunotherapy, study suggests
Activating an immune signaling pathway best known for fighting viral and bacterial infections can boost the ability of genetically engineered T cells to eradicate breast cancer in mice, according to a new study by researchers at the University of North Carolina. The study, to be published December 31 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), suggests that CAR T cells, which are already used to treat certain blood cancers in humans, may also be successful against solid tumors if combined with other immunotherapeutic approaches. (2020-12-31)

New research may explain severe virus attacks on the lungs
In some cases, immune cells in the lungs can contribute to worsening a virus attack. In a new study, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden describe how different kinds of immune cells, called macrophages, develop in the lungs and which of them may be behind severe lung diseases. The study, which was published in Immunity, may contribute to future treatments for COVID-19, among other diseases. (2020-12-30)

Higher red cell transfusion threshold offers no advantage for treating preterm infants
Very low birthweight infants often need blood transfusions to survive. A National Institutes of Health-funded study suggests that providing a higher threshold of red cells within accepted limits offers no advantage in survival or reduction in neurological impairment over a lower threshold. (2020-12-30)

An explanation for the lack of blood oxygenation detected in many COVID-19 patients
Researchers at the Seville Institute of Biomedicine (IBIS) describe the presence in the human carotid body, the organ that senses oxygen in the blood, of the protein (ECA2) through which SARS-CoV-2 infects cells. (2020-12-29)

A single gene 'invented' haemoglobin several times
Thanks to the marine worm Platynereis dumerilii, an animal whose genes have evolved very slowly, scientists from CNRS, Université de Paris and Sorbonne Université, in association with others at the University of Saint Petersburg and the University of Rio de Janeiro, have shown that while haemoglobin appeared independently in several species, it actually descends from a single gene transmitted to all by their last common ancestor. These findings were published on 29 December 2020 in BMC Evolutionary Biology. (2020-12-29)

Discovery of aging mechanism for hematopoietic stem cells
By transferring mouse aged hematopoietic stem cells (aged HSCs) to the environment of young mice (bone marrow niche), it was demonstrated that the pattern of stem cell gene expression was rejuvenated to that of young hematopoietic stem cells. (2020-12-24)

Common diabetes drug may trigger rare complications for COVID-19 patients
An uptick in a particular type of DKA called euDKA at Brigham and Women's Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic has led researchers to hypothesize that diabetes patients on glucose-lowering drugs may be at increased risk for euDKA when they contract COVID-19. The observational case series was published in The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists Clinical Case Reports. (2020-12-24)

Molecular reporters expose the allies of the brain tumor
Until recently, it was unclear how and why cancer cells adapt to their environment. A team led by Gaetano Gargiulo at MDC has now developed a technology that can be used to observe the molecular processes in living cells. The researchers present their results in the journal Cancer Discovery. (2020-12-23)

Scientists discover mutations associated with early onset dementia
Scientists at Trinity College Dublin today announced a significant advance in our understanding of an early onset form of dementia that may also progress our understanding of conditions such as Alzheimer's disease. Adult onset Leukoencephalopathy with axonal Spheroids and Pigmented glia (ALSP) is an ultra-rare condition that manifests initially with psychiatric and behavioural changes in patients followed by a rapid progression of dementia in the third or fourth decade of life. (2020-12-22)

Too much of a good thing - persistent IFNγ depletes progenitor blood cells via BST2
Long-term exposure to IFNγ stimulates the production of protein BST2 on blood stem cells, which resulted in their emergence from the quiescent state, persistent proliferation and finally exhaustion. (2020-12-22)

Enzyme discovery can help rein in blood vessels that fuel cancer
Most living things need oxygen to grow and thrive. Even cancerous tumors. That's why tumors will readily sprout new blood vessels if their oxygen is starved, creating new lifelines for survival. A study published today from Scripps Research pinpoints the precise molecular machinery that makes this happen, providing scientific insights that can potentially be translated into medicines that help kill tumors and stop cancer from spreading in the body. (2020-12-22)

Brain stem cells divide over months
For the first time, scientists at the University of Zurich have been able to observe the way stem cells in the adult brains of mice divide over the course of months to create new nerve cells. Their study shows that brain stem cells are active over a long period, and thus provides new insights that will feed into stem cell research. (2020-12-21)

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