Immune system

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Hypoxia

Stopping lung damage before it turns deadly

Scientists at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology discover new drug target for severe asthma and fibrosis.

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Histotripsy

Tumors partially destroyed with ultrasound don't come back

Noninvasive sound technology breaks down liver tumors in rats, kills cancer cells and spurs the immune system to prevent further spread.

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Aspergillosis monitoring

Chip-based model to observe fungal spread in the lung

A chip-based infection model developed by Jena researchers enables live microscopic observation of damage to lung tissue caused by the invasive fungal infection aspergillosis.

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Mini-livers on a chip

Organoids: step towards hepatitis C vaccine

A platform for studying how the human immune system responds to hepatitis C infection by combining microfluidic technology with liver organoids could speed the hunt for a vaccine.

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Oncology

Biodegradable hydrogel boosts immune system’s attack on cancers

A new biodegradable gel improves the immune system’s ability to keep cancer at bay after tumors are surgically removed.

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Inflammatory response

Drug coat on implants reduces "foreign body" reaction

An anti-inflammatory drug incorporated into the coating around an implantable electronic medical device – such as a pacemaker – can reduce the body’s "foreign body" reaction.

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Rare liver disease

New test improves diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis

Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a chronic liver inflammation that is triggered by an immunological malfunction. In this case, the immune system falsely recognises the patient's own liver cells as "foreign to the body". The symptoms of this rare liver disease are unspecific, and the exact cause is not yet known. If left untreated, AIH can lead to abnormal scarring (fibrosis) of the liver,…

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Immune response study

Is a "natural" Covid-19 infection better than vaccination? It's complicated

Hope for a future without fear of Covid-19 comes down to circulating antibodies and memory B cells. Unlike circulating antibodies, which peak soon after vaccination or infection only to fade a few months later, memory B cells can stick around to prevent severe disease for decades. And they evolve over time, learning to produce successively more potent “memory antibodies” that are better at…

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Immunological memory

How our lungs 'remember' a Covid-19 infection

After infection with SARS-CoV-2, where does the immune system store the memory to provide long-term protection against reinfection? Though numerous studies have examined blood to track immune responses to SARS-CoV-2, a new study of Covid survivors shows that the memory of the infection is primarily stored in T and B cells within the lung and the lymph nodes surrounding the lung.

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Personalised aftercare

Immunosuppression after transplant: as much as necessary, as little as possible

After a liver transplant, patients have to take immune-suppressing drugs for the rest of their lives. These so-called immunosuppressants prevent the organ from being rejected. However, the drugs increase the risk of cancer and serious infections. They can also significantly impair kidney function and even lead to dialysis. In order to be able to give those affected as much immunosuppression as…

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SARS CoV-2 B.1.621

WHO classifies Coronavirus "Mu" as new 'Variant of Interest'

The World Health Organization (WHO) has taken a closer look at coronavirus variant B.1.621. The strain, first encountered in January 2021 in Colombia, shows traits that could enable the virus to circumvent immune response to vaccination. As a result, the variant, named "Mu", has been classified as "Variant of Interest" (VOI). Despite its prominence in Colombian new infection,…

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Revealed in CT scans

Lung damage: New cause for breathing troubles in asthmatics found

A novel CT scan-based approach has revealed significant changes in a parameter indicating lung destruction in some asthmatics. This finding could lead to more personalized treatments for asthma accompanied by persistent airflow limitation. Clinicians have long thought that some people with asthma experience declines in their lung function, called fixed airflow obstruction (FAO), due to changes to…

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Immune response determined

How Covid-19 vaccines prepare our immune system for the virus

In view of the continuing high numbers of infections, vaccination offers important protection against severe Covid-19 disease. Scientists from the Faculty of Medicine – University of Freiburg have now been able to determine in detail at what time point initial immune protection is established after vaccination with an mRNA-based vaccine and how the reactions of the various components of the…

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Support for T cells

Improving immune response against severe viral infections

Researchers have identified a way to improve the immune response in the face of severe viral infections. It is widely known that severe viral infections and cancer cause impairments to the immune system, including to T cells, a process called immune ‘exhaustion’. Overcoming immune exhaustion is a major goal for the development of new therapies for cancer or severe viral infections.

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