04/24/2014 - 07:33

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacteria that commonly infects the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients, often with lethal consequences. A cationic antimicrobial peptide called LL-37 produced from neutrophils, one of the major cellular components of the innate immune response, can induce mutations in P. aeruginosa bacterial DNA that can paradoxically increase bacterial lethality. This is the major finding of a new study in the journal PLoS Pathogens from a team of researchers in different US institutions.


09/17/2013 - 11:23

Rice University researchers find mucus-regulating protein receptors out of control in uterine, pancreatic cancers. A “vicious cycle” produces mucus that protects uterine and pancreatic cancer cells and promotes their proliferation, according to researchers at Rice University. The researchers offer hope for a therapeutic solution.


04/26/2012 - 10:47

Mucus, which coats wet surfaces in the bodies of all animals, is the body’s first line of defense. It allows nutrients, other vital molecules and sperm to enter, but keeps out pathogens such as certain dangerous viruses and bacteria. Ribbeck, the Eugene Bell Career Development Assistant Professor of Biological Engineering, is trying to figure out how mucus achieves this selectivity. Of particular interest is the role of mucins, the major building blocks of mucus.