When immune system T cells find and recognise a target, they release chemicals to attract more T cells which then swarm to help subdue the threat, shows a new study published today in eLife.
The discovery of this swarming behaviour, and the chemical attractants that immune cells use to direct swarms towards tumours, could one day help scientists develop new cancer therapies that boost the immune system. This is particularly important for solid tumours, which so far have been less responsive to current immunotherapies than cancers affecting blood cells.
“Scientists have previously thought that cancer-killing T cells identified tumours by randomly searching for them or by following the chemical trails laid by other intermediary immune cells,” says lead author Jorge Luis Galeano Niño, a PhD graduate at UNSW Sydney. “We wanted to investigate this further to see if it’s true, or whether T cells locate tumours via another mechanism.”
At present, the formation of galaxies is difficult to understand without the presence of a ubiquitous, but mysterious component, termed dark matter. Astronomers have measure how much dark matter there is around galaxies, and have found that it varies between 10 and 300 times the quantity of visible matter. However, a few years ago, the discovery of a very diffuse object, named Dragonfly 44, changed this view. It was found that this galaxy has 10,000 times more dark matter than the stars. Taken back by this finding, astronomers have made efforts to see whether this object is really anomalous, or whether something went wrong in the analysis of the observations. Now we have the answer.
An international team led by the Kapteyn Institute of the University of Groningen (the Netherlands), with participation by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of La Laguna (ULL), has found that
A team of researchers from the Florida State University College of Medicine has found that an amino acid produced by the brain could play a crucial role in preventing a type of epileptic seizure.
Temporal lobe epileptic seizures are debilitating and can cause lasting damage in patients, including neuronal death and loss of neuron function.
Sanjay Kumar, an associate professor in the College of Medicine’s Department of Biomedical Sciences, and his team are paving the way toward finding effective therapies for this disease.
The research team found a mechanism in the brain responsible for triggering epileptic seizures. Their research indicates that an amino acid known as D-serine could work with the mechanism to help prevent epileptic seizures, thereby also preventing the death of neural cells that accompanies them.
The team’s findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.
The temporal lobe processes sensory information and creates memories, comprehends language
A bacterial toxin promoting tissue healing has been discovered. The compound, found in Staphylococcus aureus, does not just damage cells, but also stimulates tissue regeneration.
Normally they are among the many harmless organisms found in and on the human body: one in four people have millions of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria on their skin and on the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract, without being aware of it. In some cases, however, the harmless bacteria can turn into pathogens, which can lead to skin inflammation and lung infections, or — in the worst cases — sepsis. “This happens especially when the bacteria multiply too fast, for example when a person’s immune system is weakened by an infection or injury,” says Prof. Oliver Werz of Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany.
The Professor for Pharmaceutical Chemistry and his team have studied the molecular defence mechanisms of the human immune system in
For decades, biologists have captured tiny sea star larvae in their nets that did not match the adults of any known species. A Smithsonian team recently discovered what these larvae grow up to be and how a special superpower may help them move around the world. Their results are published online in the Biological Bulletin.
“Thirty years ago, people noticed that these asteroid starfish larvae could clone themselves, and they wondered what the adult form was,” said staff scientist Rachel Collin at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). “They assumed that because the larvae were in the Caribbean the adults must also be from the Caribbean.”
Scientists monitor larvae because the larvae can be more sensitive to physical conditions than the adults and larval dispersal has a large influence on the distribution of adult fishes and invertebrates. Collin’s team uses a technique called DNA barcoding to identify plankton. They
Autopsy, airway suctioning and cardiopulmonary resuscitation are among the list of medical procedures that pose a risk of spreading COVID-19 from a patient to their health-care provider by creating aerosols, according to new research published in the journal BMJ Open Respiratory Research by an international team of experts including occupational health, preventive medicine and infectious disease specialists.
The team, led by University of Alberta medicine professor Sebastian Straube, carried out a systematic review of public health guidelines, research papers and policy documents from around the globe to determine which procedures are classified as aerosol-generating.
“What we sought to do was to understand which procedures generate aerosols and therefore require a higher grade of personal protective equipment,” said Straube, who also heads the preventive medicine division of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.
“Where there is 80 per cent agreement from a number of different source documents, we are reasonably confident
A survey of maritime infrastructure engineers by University of Rhode Island researchers found that the rising sea level is often not factored into designs of ports, breakwaters, fishing piers and other coastal infrastructure.
“If we’re making decisions about infrastructure today and expect it to be serviceable for the next 50 to 75 years, we should be thinking about what the environmental conditions will be like towards the end of the infrastructure’s life,” said Austin Becker, URI associate professor of marine affairs, who studies how ports are preparing for climate change. “And we know that things are going to be very different along our coasts in the coming years.”
In 2019, Becker and graduate student Benjamin Sweeney surveyed 85 engineers at consulting firms, port authorities and government agencies with experience working on port infrastructure projects in the United States. They found that 64% do not have a policy or planning document
Ocean waves represent an abundant source of renewable energy. But to best use this natural resource, wave-energy converters need to be capable of physically handling ocean waves of different strengths without capsizing.
Texas A&M University researchers have developed analytical tools that can help characterize the movements of floating but anchored wave-energy devices. Unlike complicated simulations that are expensive and time-consuming, they said their technique is fast, yet accurate enough to estimate if wave-energy devices will turn over in an ever-changing ocean environment.
“Wave-energy converters need to take advantage of large wave motions to make electricity. But when a big storm comes, you don’t want big wave, wind and current motions to destroy these devices,” said Dr. Jeffrey Falzarano, professor in the Department of Ocean Engineering. “We have developed much simpler analytical tools to judge the performance of these devices in a dynamic ocean environment without necessitating massive amounts of simulations
Scottish children with multiple neurodevelopmental conditions experience greater school absenteeism and exclusion, poorer exam attainment and increased unemployment, according to a study published October 13 in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine by Michael Fleming of the University of Glasgow, and colleagues.
Children with neurodevelopmental conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), depression and intellectual disability often experience difficulties at school. Multiple neurodevelopmental conditions commonly coexist, but this phenomenon, known as neurodevelopmental multimorbidity, has received relatively little attention in children compared to adults. To address this gap in knowledge, Fleming and his collaborators investigated the prevalence of neurodevelopmental multimorbidity in Scottish schoolchildren and their educational outcomes compared to their peers. The authors linked together five Scotland-wide health and education databases to identify neurodevelopmental multimorbidity in 766,244, four- to 19-year-old children attending school in Scotland between 2009 and 2013. Study limitations are that 96.2% of the participants
Delivering a newborn with macrosomia (weighing more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces at birth) may be associated with higher risk of adverse outcomes, including perinatal death and injuries related to traumatic delivery, such as stuck shoulders (shoulder dystocia). A study in PLOS Medicine by Gordon Smith at the University of Cambridge and colleagues suggests that third trimester fetal ultrasound screening has the ability to identify more pregnancies with macrosomia.
The diagnostic effectiveness of ultrasound screening in predicting the delivery of a macrosomic infant, shoulder dystocia and associated neonatal morbidity is not well established. To better understand the relationship between estimated fetal weight (EFW), macrosomia, and perinatal complications, researchers systematically reviewed the literature from four different clinical databases. The authors then analyzed 41 studies involving 112,034 non-high risk patients who had undergone a third trimester ultrasound screening as part of universal screening.
The authors found that a third trimester ultrasonic EFW