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Old World Monkeys Could be Key to a New, Powerful Rheumatoid Arthritis Therapy

"RTD-1 is the prototype of a family of small cyclic peptides (θ-defensins), the only circular proteins in the animal kingdom," says study author Michael Selsted, MD, PhD, chair and professor of pathology at the Keck School. "Previous studies have shown that RTD-1 modulates lethal inflammation in animal models of infection,

Study Raises Possibility of Naturally Acquired Immunity Against Zika Virus

New research in PLOS Pathogens on Nov. 16, performed in mice, shows women who develop symptom-free Zika infections may be able to acquire immunity that would protect them from future infections and their offspring in a future pregnancy. The study was led by investigators at the Cincinnati Children's Perinatal Institute. During their study

Noninvasive brain imaging shows readiness of trainees to perform Operations

The study, led by Suvranu De, the J. Erik Jonsson '22 Distinguished Professor of Engineering and head of the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering; and Xavier Intes, professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and director of the Functional & Molecular Optical Imaging Laboratory; along with Arun Nemani,

Kill Switches for Engineered Microbes Gone Rogue

Past efforts at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering led by Core Faculty members Pamela Silver and James Collins have created "kill switches" in bacteria that cause them to commit suicide in laboratory conditions when they are not wanted anymore. "We needed to take our previous work further and

A delicate Crossing Controller Developed to Open the Blood-Brain Barrier with Precision

"We want to be able to monitor our ability to open the blood-brain barrier in real-time by listening to echoes -- this could give us immediate information on the stability of the microbubbles oscillations and give us fast, real-time control and analysis," said lead author Tao Sun, a PhD candidate

Gut Microbes can Protect Against High Blood Pressure

The MIT team, working with researchers in Germany, found that in both mice and humans, a high-salt diet shrinks the population of a certain type of beneficial bacteria. As a result, pro-inflammatory immune cells called Th-17 cells grow in number. These immune cells have been linked with high blood pressure,

Eating Regular Variety of Nuts Associated with Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Recently, dietary recommendations have shifted toward diets including higher quantities of plant-based foods over animal-based foods, with most dietary patterns including nuts because of their association with reduced cardiovascular risk factors and unique nutritional composition. While many past studies focused on nut consumption as a whole, researchers in this study also

Sensor for the Most Important Human Cancer Gene

Cancer is caused by changes in the human genome. Mutations in oncogenes and in tumor suppressor genes accumulate unrecognized over time and lead to uncontrolled cell proliferation eventually. In 50% of all human tumors the tumor suppressor gene TP53 is no longer functional being the most frequently mutated cancer gene.

Engineering Non-immune Cells to Kill Cancer Cells

But researchers have recently used T-cells engineered in the laboratory to combat tumours. Modified to include additional functions, these immune cells can hunt down and kill cancer cells. Unfortunately, however, such immune cell therapies can have significant side-effects. On top of that, the production of modified T-cells is technically challenging.

In the Fight Against Viral Infection, Spelling Counts

Now, scientists have found that a key similarity between our genes and those of many viruses -- a way of spelling out the genetic code -- has likely allowed viruses to evade our cellular defenses. Paul Bieniasz, a Rockefeller professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator who led the work,

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