Immunology

07/09/2014 - 05:51

Using a novel screening platform to rapidly evaluate the cellular effects of 1,000 chemical compounds, a team led by UC San Francisco scientists has identified eight drugs that may stimulate nervous system repair in multiple sclerosis (MS).

 

06/29/2014 - 19:52

Recent years have witnessed an explosion in the levels of tuberculosis, making it the second biggest cause of death by infectious disease after HIV. A major reason behind this is the emergence of strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis that are resistant to rifamycin family antibiotics such as rifampicin, the most effective tuberculosis antibiotic available. However, a breakthrough may be on the way in the fight against tuberculosis. A new study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry describes a modified rifampicin called 24-desmethylrifampicin, derived from a rifamycin analogue, which is strongly antibacterial against many rifampicin-resistant M. tuberculosis strains.

06/05/2014 - 11:00

Psoriasis is a common, long-lasting disease that causes itchy or sore patches of thick, red skin with silvery scales. Environmental contaminants can trigger psoriasis and other autoimmune disorders, and it is thought that a protein called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), which senses environmental toxins, could play a role. A study published by Cell Press on June 5 in the journal Immunity shows that the severity of inflammation associated with psoriasis is unexpectedly suppressed by AhR. The findings suggest that stimulation of AhR could improve symptoms and may represent a novel strategy for treating chronic inflammatory skin disorders.

05/08/2014 - 14:57

A protein called suppression of cytokine signalling-4 (SOCS-4) is a key regulator of the immune response against influenza virus. It is important in controlling the ‘cytokine storm’ associated with the lungs of critically ill patients. These are the main findings of a new study in the journal PLoS Pathogens from researchers in Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne and the University of Melbourne.

 

05/08/2014 - 08:10

The largest metagenomic search for antibiotic resistance genes in the DNA sequences of microbial communities from around the globe has found that bacteria carrying those vexing genes turn up everywhere in nature that scientists look for them. The findings reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on May 8 add to evidence showing just how common and abundant those resistance genes really are in natural environments.

 

05/07/2014 - 06:41

Eczema caused by defects in the skin could reduce the risk of developing skin cancer, according to new research by King’s College London. The immune response triggered by eczema could help prevent tumour formation by shedding potentially cancerous cells from the skin.