Viral infections have been the focus of attention in the development of autoimmune diseases—diseases where the body's immune system reacts to the body's own cells—because they trigger the immune system into action.
As if the swollen, painful joints of rheumatoid arthritis weren't enough, the disease is the result of our immune system turning against cells of our own body. Ever since this realization, scientists have worked to find the trigger that sets the immune system off. Scientists believe that gut bacteria may have a role in initiating the abnormal immune response. Now, a team of researchers from Boston has figured out how that might occur.
News: Vaccine Can Prevent Bad Cholesterol from Accumulating in Blood Vessels, Potentially Prevent Heart Attacks
Heart disease is the leading cause of death of men and women in the US. Over half a million Americans die from it annually. Atherosclerosis — a build up of plaque in the arteries — is a common feature of heart disease and can be caused by smoking, fats and cholesterol in the blood, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
News: Amish New Mother with Stiff Neck & Jaw Diagnosed with Obstetric Tetanus, Emphasizing Need for Vaccinations
Obstetric tetanus in an unvaccinated Amish woman after a home birth has emphasized the need for preventative healthcare.
A vaccine against HIV might prevent the disease that we can't seem to cure. Some HIV patients make antibodies that can take down the virus, much the way a vaccine might. But, scientists haven't been able to provoke that type of response in other people. However, in a process that might work in humans, a group of researchers has successfully generated antibodies in cows that neutralize multiple strains of HIV.
Even before we are born, our immune system is hard at work. New research shows how the developing fetal immune system takes advantage of the time and opportunity of gestation — in the presence of mom's cells and tissues — to develop a sense of self.
Even though HIV rates declined 18% between 2008 and 2014, 1.1 million people in the US are living with the infection. Part of that is because HIV is treatable, but not curable.
News: Chronically Missing Just 1 Hour of Sleep a Night Makes Your Body Ripe for Sickness, New Study Says
Sleep lets our body processes rest and restores us for the next day, so a bad night's sleep can ruin the following twenty-four hours and even make us feel sick. Now, new research published in the journal Sleep cements the idea that loss of sleep actually leaves us vulnerable to sickness.
Lack of appetite often signals a cold or flu. Eating can be the last thing we want to do when we have a sore throat or are too fatigued or achy to even get out of bed. When hungry, we don't feel as strong as when we are well fed—and we more than likely aren't as strong.
Montezuma's revenge, the runs, the trots, or just diarrhea — everyone gets it sooner or later. What exactly is diarrhea good for, if anything?
Once we recover from the respiratory infection pneumonia, our lungs are better equipped to deal with the next infection — thanks to some special cells that take up residence there.
The problem with HIV is that it attacks and kills the very cells of the immune system that are supposed to protect us from infections — white blood cells. But a new technique, developed by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in La Jolla, California, offers a distinct HIV-killing advantage.
News: Infections During Pregnancy Could Impact Baby's Brain; Genital Herpes Linked to Increased Autism Risk
Maternal infection with genital herpes, or other pathogens, during early pregnancy could increase risk of autism, or other neurodevelopmental disorders, says a new study.
Results of an early-stage clinical trial of an HIV vaccine could mean a hoped-for breakthrough in the battle against AIDS.
Sex makes the world go 'round, and when it does, so does gonorrhea. Finally some good news on the growing menace of drug-resistant gonorrhea — a large, long-term study shows a vaccine may work in reducing the incidence of an increasingly dangerous infection.
The body's usual response to a bacterial infection in the blood — called sepsis — takes time. It requires a carefully orchestrated sequence of events that gets the body's immune system ramped up to deal with the invading bacteria.
We fight cancer in a variety of ways, but no matter whether drugs, biologics, or our immune cells are part of the battle, they can do a better job fighting back cancer if we can help them find the tumors.
Activating the body's own immune system to fight cancer is the goal of immunotherapy. It's less toxic than chemotherapy and works with our body's natural defenses. The trouble is, it doesn't work for most patients — only about 40% of cancer patients get a good response from immunotherapy. But coupling it with another type of cancer therapy just might deliver the punch that's needed to knock out cancer.
Alzheimer's disease — an irreversible, progressive brain disorder — is the sixth leading cause of death in the US and more than afflicts 5 million Americans. As if those numbers aren't scary enough, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expect that number to nearly triple by 2050.
Electrical impulses course through our heart and keep it beating. That's why a jolt from an automated external defibrillator can boost it back into action if the beating stops. But new research says there may be more to keeping a heart beating than just electrical impulses.