Bacteria, viruses and other germs sometimes set off the immune system to overreact, producing a severe condition called sepsis. Sepsis is so dangerous that it is the leading cause of death of children across the world, killing a million kids every year, mostly in developing countries. Probiotic bacteria might be able to prevent sepsis and infections, but no large research studies have been done to find out whether that actually works. Until now.
How can a drug used to treat cancer be effective against viruses, too? The answer lies in the drug's shared target — specifically, cellular components that control the activity of genes. A new research study showed that one such type of drug, histone methyltransferase inhibitors used in cancer clinical trials, has activity against herpes simplex virus, too.
Scientists know that bacteria create their own energy, get nutrients to run their cellular processes, and multiply. But, bacteria haven't been shown to respond to external mechanical stimulation or signals in a way that's similar to how our bodies respond to touch, until now.
For about a million Americans each year, a joint replacement brings relief from pain and restored mobility. But, 5–10% of those people have to endure another surgery within seven years, and most of those are due to an infection in their new joint. If doctors could treat infections more effectively, patients could avoid a second surgery, more pain, and another rehabilitation.
Infections with group A streptococcus, like Streptococcus pyogenes, claim over a half million lives a year globally, with about 163,000 due to invasive strep infections, like flesh-eating necrotizing fasciitis and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.
More than one in ten people in the US have type 2 diabetes — that's over 29 million people. It's characterized by excessive sugar (glucose) in the blood due to the development of resistance to insulin, the hormone that normally metabolizes glucose.
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.
Cancer cells do a pretty good job of flying under the radar of our immune system. They don't raise the alarm bells signaling they are a foreign invader the way viruses do. That might be something scientists can change, though.
A deadly type of brain tumor and Zika-related brain damage in developing fetuses are devastating brain conditions that, at first glance, may seem unrelated. However, thanks to new research, their paths seem to cross in a way that could benefit patients. A new study has shown that Zika kills brain cancer stem cells, the kind of cells most resistant to treatment in patients with glioblastoma, a deadly brain tumor diagnosed in about 12,000 people in the US each year.
Plants all around us capture sunlight every day and convert it to energy, making them a model of solar energy production. And while the energy they make may serve the needs of a plant, the process isn't efficient enough to generate power on a larger scale. So, scientists from the University of California found a way to treat bacteria with chemicals that turned them into photosynthesis machines, capable of generating products we can convert into food, fuels, and plastics.
People infected with HIV take many different types of pills every day to decrease the amount of virus in their body, live a longer and healthier life, and to help prevent them from infecting others. That could all be in the past as new clinical trials testing the safety and effectiveness of a new type of treatment — injections given every four or eight weeks — look to be equally effective at keeping the virus at bay.
Whether or not a microbe is successful at establishing an infection depends both on the microbe and the host. Scientists from Duke found that a single DNA change can allow Salmonella typhi, the bacteria that causes typhoid fever, to invade cells. That single genetic variation increased the amount of cholesterol on cell membranes that Salmonella and other bacteria use as a docking station to attach to a cell to invade it. They also found that common cholesterol-lowering drugs protected zebrafi...
The incidence of tuberculosis (TB) is dropping in the US, but the World Health Organization (WHO) considers it to be epidemic in the rest of the world — there were over 10 million new cases in 2016.
Antibiotics are one of our main weapons against infections. The problem is that many bacteria are becoming resistant to most of the antibiotics we use to treat them, and those 'superbugs' have created an urgent threat to our global health. A research group found a new way to hit a well known bacterial target and have developed a drug to hit it.
Young girls, especially those who live in areas where HIV is epidemic, like sub-Saharan Africa, are particularly vulnerable to becoming infected with HIV. A vaginal ring containing the antiviral agent dapivirine has been shown to decrease the chance of developing HIV-1 in adult women over 21 and now in the first step for use in adolescents, the ring has been shown to be safe and well-tolerated in that younger age group.
While some researchers look for drugs to treat HIV, other scientists delve deep into the virus itself for answers on how it causes infections.
Growing evidence suggests that neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's may develop in part due to environmental factors, including infections that can cause inflammation in the nervous system. New research from investigators from Jude Children's Research Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University has strengthened that connection.
For a company more associated with debugging computer programs, Google's parent company, Alphabet, is making a name for itself by taking on the real thing — mosquitoes.
Flu vaccines can help prevent us from getting or suffering the most severe effects of the flu. But, each vaccine only protects us from three different strains of the flu. If we don't have a vaccine against all types of flu, it leaves us open for an epidemic with a flu virus we didn't expect.
Malaria is a massive worldwide health problem. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 212 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide in 2015 and 429,000 of the infected people died.