Image: Red killer cells and green immunocytes; Copyright: AG Kastenmüller/Universität Bonn

Infection defense: call for support by the killer cells

15/02/2017

A few days after a viral infection, countless killer cells swarm out to track down and kill infected body cells. In this way, they are highly effective at preventing pathogens from being able to spread further. An international research team has now explained an important mechanism behind building this army. The work under the aegis of the University of Bonn is published in the journal Immunity.
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Image: Colored cells under the microscope; Copyright: Laboratoire Bourquin - UNIFR/UNIGE

Method for screening the most useful nanoparticles for medicine

10/02/2017

The use of nanoparticles - small, virus-sized elements developed under laboratory conditions - is increasingly widespread in the world of biomedicine. This rapidly-evolving technology offers hope for many medical applications, whether for diagnosis or therapies.
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Image: Colored image of cells in tissue; Copyright: Song et al./Cell Reports

Basement membrane protein influences connection of blood vessel cells

06/02/2017

Which molecular mechanisms are at work when, in the case of inflammation, immune cells migrate from the blood vessel into the tissue? Researchers at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence at Münster University have gained new insights into this question. The study has been published in the journal Cell Reports.
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Image: Man tipping on a virtual screen, the words

Using Big Data to understand immune system responses

25/01/2017

Numerous researchers around the globe have begun to use the gene editing tool CRISPR to understand human biology. One of them is Associate Professor Richard Kandasamy at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's (NTNU) Centre of Molecular Inflammation Research (CEMIR). Kandasamy is working on understanding inflammatory reactions that occur in many diseases.
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Image: Three small electrodes in a close-up; Copyright: Georgia Tech/Robert Butera

Buzzing the vagus nerve to fight inflammatory disease

20/01/2017

Kilohertz frequency electrical block of afferent vagus nerve pathways allows targeted stimulation to reduce inflammation in vivo.
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Image: Computer-generated image of a virus docking at a cell; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Ugreen

Autoimmunity and infections: When the body fights itself

10/01/2017

Basel-based doctors are on the trail of a possible connection between autoimmune diseases and infections: errors can occur when immune cells absorb certain proteins from pathogen cells. These findings were reported in the journal PNAS by researchers from the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel and University Hospital Basel, as well as colleagues in the USA.
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Image: The word

Older adults: Vitamin D reduces respiratory infections, may increase falls

10/01/2017

In people over the age of 65, acute respiratory infections - such as the common cold, influenza, or pneumonia - can lead to potentially life-threatening complications.
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Image: Automated laboratory device is filling sampling tubes; Copyright: panthermedia.net/luchschen

Immunotherapy: identifying suitable tumor antigens by mass spectrometry

20/12/2016

New cancer therapies harness the immune system to fight tumors. One of the main principles behind these therapies is to find out precisely which molecules on cancer cells trigger an immune response. A team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry has for the first time identified suitable protein structures directly from patients' tumor cells.
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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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