Immune system

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Coronavirus research

'Covid-19 atlas' uncovers differing immune responses in asymptomatic versus severe cases

The largest study of its kind in the UK has identified differences in the immune response to Covid-19 between people with no symptoms, compared to those suffering a more serious reaction to the…

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Helminths

Worm infestation in the gut can lower viral defenses

Infection with parasitic intestinal worms (helminths) can apparently cause sexually transmitted viral in-fections to be much more severe elsewhere in the body. This is shown by a study led by the…

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The stronger sex after all

Why women may be better equipped to fight Covid-19

When it comes to Covid-19, women seem to be the stronger sex, suffering severe disease at about half the rate as men, but the reason for this has been elusive. Now a chance experiment by an…

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Cancer research

'Gene ferry' improves immune therapies

Genetically enhancing a patient's immune cells by adding therapeutic genes to them outside the body is regarded as a promising new treatment approach in oncology. However, the production of these…

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After overcoming a Corona infection

Covid-19: Study on long-term antibody protection

Does overcoming a SARS-CoV-2 infection protect against reinfection? The “Rhineland Study”, a population-based study conducted by DZNE in the Bonn area, is now providing new findings in this…

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Bioorganic chemistry

Why M. tuberculosis is so resistant to drugs and immune defenses

A consortium of researchers from Russia, Belarus, Japan, Germany and France led by the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology have uncovered the way in which Mycobacterium tuberculosis survives…

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Immune response in pregnant and lactating women

Mothers pass on Covid-19 protection to their babies after vaccination

In the largest study of its kind to date, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard have found the new mRNA Covid-19 vaccines to be highly effective in producing antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in pregnant and lactating women. They also demonstrated the vaccines confer protective immunity to newborns…

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Gesundheit!

Why stress relief is also allergy relief

Increased allergic reactions may be tied to the corticotropin-releasing stress hormone (CRH), suggests a new study. These findings may help clarify the mechanism by which CRH induces proliferation of mast cells (MC) – agents involved in the development of allergies in the human nasal cavity.

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SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies

Covid-19 immunity may last from days to decades

Scientists from Singapore found that antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 wane at different rates, lasting for mere days in some individuals, while remaining present in others for decades. The study, published in The Lancet Microbe, shows that the severity of the infection could be a deciding factor in having longer-lasting antibodies. Individuals with low levels of neutralising antibodies may still be…

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Airborne attack

Pollen increase Covid-19 risk

When airborne pollen levels are higher, increased SARS-CoV-2 infection rates can be observed. These results were determined by a large-scale study conducted by an international team headed by researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Helmholtz Zentrum München. Members of high-risk groups could protect themselves by watching pollen forecasts and wearing dust filter masks.

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Cancer vaccine research

Tackling tumors with two types of virus

An international research group led by the University of Basel has developed a promising strategy for therapeutic cancer vaccines. Using two different viruses as vehicles, they administered specific tumor components in experiments on mice with cancer in order to stimulate their immune system to attack the tumor. The approach is now being tested in clinical studies.

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Immune response or breast cancer?

Swollen lymph nodes after Covid-19 vaccination: what women should know

For many women, swollen lymph nodes are a red flag pointing to breast cancer – but may also be a normal immune reaction to a Covid-19 vaccination. So, to avoid anxiety or downright refusal of the vaccine, the Society of Breast Imaging Patient Care and Delivery Committee has developed a comprehensive resource to help patients understand the most important facts and guide them in making the most…

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"Faces" of the disease

Covid-19: researchers identify at least 5 variants

According to current studies, the Covid-19 disease which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus comprises at least five different variants. These differ in how the immune system responds to the infection. Researchers from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University of Bonn, together with other experts from Germany, Greece and the Netherlands, present these findings…

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Dangerous immune response

New insight on 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 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.

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Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay

Startup develops breakthrough IgG antibody test for Covid-19

ZTA Biotech, a Budapest-based biotech startup, has developed a Covid-19 antibody (IgG) test using the ELISA protocol. This new detection method represents a great step forward in determining if patients have had a coronavirus infection and if they might still have immunity to the disease. Early results have proven 100% in specificity after testing 280 samples, and 100% sensitivity by testing 260…

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Natural variation impacts virus-relevant proteins

How SARS-CoV-2 benefits from helpers within the human body

Like all viruses, the novel coronavirus is dependent on help from the human host cell. Proteins are the functional units of the cell and enable the virus to enter the host cell or help the virus to replicate. Scientists from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and from the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), along with colleagues from the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States, have…

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Cardiac complications

Immunotherapy drugs can lead to higher risk of heart problems

A study of over a thousand cancer patients treated with immunotherapy drugs has found these patients are at greater risk of heart problems, including death from heart attack or stroke. The patients had either lung cancer or malignant melanoma (a type of skin cancer), for which immune checkpoint inhibitors such as a programmed cell death-1 (PD1) inhibitors or cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated…

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Finding therapeutic targets

Pancreatic cancer: Seeking viable treatment strategies

Pancreatic cancer has the worst survival rate of any cancers, with immunotherapies currently offering negligible treatment benefits for patients. To help identify new therapeutic approaches, researchers from the University of Oxford have been focusing on leukocyte infiltration as a prognostic marker of the disease. Their study and findings were outlined by Dr Shivan Sivakumar during a session…

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Profiling the coronavirus

Experts unlock Covid-19 secrets

Experts have identified two distinct immunological and cellular profiles in the lungs of Covid-19 patients which they believe could help define treatment pathways. From some of the earliest Covid-19 autopsies conducted in Europe, Swiss-based researchers have performed integrative digital pathology and transcriptomic analyses of lung tissues of 16 coronavirus patients who died from respiratory…

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Biomaterial research

Wound-healing hydrogel to improve skin tissue repair

Researchers at Duke University and the University of California, Los Angeles, have developed a biomaterial that significantly reduces scar formation after wounding, leading to more effective skin healing. This new material, which quickly degrades once the wound has closed, demonstrates that activating an adaptive immune response can trigger regenerative wound healing, leaving behind stronger and…

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