Image: The four researchers in a lab (three standing, one sitting); Copyright: Rolf Müller/UKB-UKom

Fighting life-threatening bacteria without antibiotics

20/07/2016

Each year, about 170,000 people die of complications of hepatic cirrhosis in Europe. Frequent causes of the widespread disease include alcohol abuse, fatty liver hepatitis, and chronic viral hepatitis. Liver cirrhosis develops gradually over a period of years and decades.
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Graphic: This image shows the AHR-mediated

When suppressing immunity is a good thing

04/07/2016

A receptor, first known for its role in mediating the harmful effects of the environmental pollutant dioxin in our body, is now understood to play other important roles in modulating the innate immune response.
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Photo: a woman smokes an e-cigarette

E-cigarette: hundreds of genes involved in airway immune defense

21/06/2016

When we smoke cigarettes, dozens of genes important for immune defense are altered in the epithelial cells that line the respiratory tract. Several of these changes likely increase the risk of bacterial infections, viruses, and inflammation. Now, electronic cigarettes alters those same genes and hundreds more that are important for immune defense in the upper airway.
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Photo: T-cells under a microscope

Super-resolution microscopy reveals unprecedented detail of immune cells' surface

16/06/2016

hen the body is fighting an invading pathogen, white blood cells including T-cells must respond. Now, Salk Institute researchers have imaged how vital receptors on the surface of T cells bundle together when activated.
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Photo: Autoantibodies

Multiple sclerosis: antibodies can initiate the inflammation at the core of the disease

24/05/2016

Researcher have made a similar discovery independently using an animal model of multiple sclerosis: a new mechanism involving so-called autoantibodies that initiates and aggravates inflammatory CNS disease. This discovery contributes towards understanding what factors bring about multiple sclerosis and, by extension, potential diagnostic and therapeutic options.
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Graphic: Drawing of the human gut and words describing its relationship in the body

Antibiotics allow gut pathogens to 'breathe'

12/05/2016

UC Davis study details how antibiotics benefit pathogen growth by disrupting oxygen levels, fiber processing in the gut.
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Photo: Doctor measures blood sugar of a child

Infections can increase diabetes risk in children

11/05/2016

Viral respiratory infections during the first six months of life are associated with an increased risk for type 1 diabetes. This is the conclusion reached by a team of scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München during a study published in the current issue of JAMA.
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Photo: Child gets pierced into the finger using a lancing device

Diabetes: comprehensive prevention, early "vaccination"?

08/04/2016

A diagnosis of diabetes often catches new patients off guard - for instance if they end up in the emergency room suffering from metabolic decompensation. Children are often affected by this. Their immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas early on in their lives, thus causing type 1 diabetes.
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Cancer Immunotherapy: Individual mutations as new target structures

01/06/2015

A tumor is as unique as the person who is affected by it. For a long time, it was assumed this would make treatment more difficult since cancer drugs are not able to be one hundred percent effective in targeting the affected cells. In this interview with MEDICA.de, Professor Ugur Sahin explains why it is precisely these individual mutations that make him hopeful for a new type of therapy.
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Photo: People in the waiting room of a doctor's office

Vaccines: activatable depot to replace multiple injections

22/08/2014

Besides antibiotics, vaccines may be the most important development in medicine: they protect us from diseases by “introducing” our immune system to pathogens. This way, a small injection saves us from severe and potentially mortal courses of disease.
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Multi-resistant bacteria want to conquer the world

01/08/2014

Bacteria lurk everywhere: on the skin, in the intestines and in every puddle. Most of them that are hanging out in the human body are good bacteria. But not all of them. Those pathogens that exhibit resistance and are thus very hard to combat are the most dangerous kind. Their spread threatens people all over the world.
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"The immunosensory system goes beyond the actual immune cells"

22/01/2014

It guards the body but can become its enemy: the immune system defends us from intruding pathogens; it is also able to cause severe diseases if it falsely recognizes the body itself as a threat. Molecular receptors in the whole body enable the immune system to “sense” what happens within.
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