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Switched before birth: Study shows protein creates tumor-fighting cells

Revealing a biological combat strategy worthy of a five-star general, researchers from Houston Methodist Hospital, University of Chicago and Cornell University have shown how a cell surface receptor–a specialized protein which communicates signals between a cell and the outside world–can mobilize immune cells to attack, rather than protect, malignant tumors. The researchers report their findings [...]

Vision of immune cells rallying to destroy invaders captured for the first time

This information will help researchers design better vaccines that recruit the very effective killer cells to join the fight. Doctor Scott Mueller and colleagues from the University of Melbourne’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Doherty Institute used state-of-the-art microscopy to painstakingly capture images of the interactions of three crucial types of immune cells [...]

Childhood cancer cells drain immune system’s batteries

Cancer cells in neuroblastoma contain a molecule that breaks down a key energy source for the body’s immune cells, leaving them too physically drained to fight the disease, according to new research published in the journal Cancer Research. Cancer Research UK-funded scientists have discovered that the cells in neuroblastoma – a rare type of childhood [...]

Gut worms protect babies’ brains from inflammation

A Duke University study in rats finds that gut worms can protect babies’ brains from long-term learning and memory problems caused by newborn infections. Baby rats with tapeworms avoided the brain inflammation that plagued worm-free rats after exposure to immune triggers in adulthood. What’s more, the benefits began early, while still in the womb. Expectant [...]

Cholesterol metabolism in immune cells linked to HIV progression, may lead to new therapy

Enhanced cholesterol metabolism in certain immune cells may help some people infected with HIV naturally control disease progression, according to new research from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. The findings – funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and presented [...]