Researchers may have found a group of immune cells that increase in number with age but are too worn out to fight diseases. The accumulation of dysfunctional virtual memory T cells, in addition to the loss of true naïve T cells, may explain why older people have reduced immune responses to cancer and vaccines, why cancer immunotherapy is less successful in the elderly, and may help to tailor cancer immunotherapy treatments specifically for older patients.
Washington State University researchers have seen how both humans and fruit flies deploy a protein that a plays a critical role in their immune responses to invading bacteria. The discovery gives scientists evolutionary insight and a model organism with which to explore ways to boost the human immune system and create infection-fighting medicines.
In 2013 and 2015, devastating outbreaks of ZIKA captured world attention. The virus is often transmitted from wild animals -- probably non-human primates -- via mosquitos to humans. This is the first comprehensive study to investigate which mammal species may host the ZIKA virus (ZIKV). 'We systematically tested the ability of ZIKV to infect cells from humans, great apes, New World and Old World monkeys, and mice,' explained Princeton Professor Alexander Ploss.
EPFL and US scientists have developed a computational method that can design synthetic cell receptors that can be used to isolate how drugs work in a cell, minimize or even altogether prevent side effects and redirect their action.
New research from the Barton lab finds a connection between a cancer mutation and electron-mediated DNA repair.
Today, DNA is synthesized as an organic chemist would, using toxic chemicals and error-prone steps that limit accuracy and thus length to about 200 base pairs. UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab researchers have adapted a human enzyme that makes DNA in water to a repetitive process for adding base pairs. Initial tests show that the technique promises to make oligonucleotides 10 times longer, the size of small genes, faster, cheaper and without toxic waste.
Princeton's Martin Wühr has improved upon his method to accurately count the proteins present in a cell under different circumstances. 'The TMTc+ method is in a kind of sweet spot compared to the other methods [of isobaric tagging],' Wühr says. 'It provides superb measurement accuracy and precision, it's at least as sensitive as any other method, and it's compatible with around ten times more mass spectrometers than TMT-MS3.'
Cancer is a complex disease to treat, and yet the operating principle of many current treatments is to simply kill healthy cells a little slower than cancerous ones. In response, an international team of researchers from Russia and Australia has developed a sophisticated nanoparticle-based treatment. They created a universal assembly method, which allows a number of molecules with therapeutic and diagnostic potential to be easily combined while preserving their spatial structure and properties.
A metabolic process that provides heart muscle with energy fails to mature in newborns with thickened heart walls, according to a Japan-Canada research team.
Researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have captured the one cell that is capable of regenerating an entire organism.