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Immune System Promotes Digestive Health by Fostering Community of “Good” Gut Bacteria

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1.4 million Americans suffer from uncomfortable abdominal cramping and diarrhea that come with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The condition is associated with an imbalance among the thousands of species of “good” bacteria that inhabit the gut. A University of Utah study published on Jan. 22 in Cell Host and Microbe demonstrates that a component of the immune system, MyD88, coordinates a host immune response that promotes a healthy colony of good bacteria, and digestive health.

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Major Discovery on Spinal Injury Reveals Unknown Immune Response

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In a discovery that could dramatically affect the treatment of brain and spinal cord injuries, researchers have identified a previously unknown, beneficial immune response that occurs after injury to the central nervous system.

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EMBARGOED

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 26-Jan-2015 3:00 PM EST

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New Cellular Pathway Triggering Allergic Asthma Response Identified

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Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, with collaborators in Korea and Scotland, have identified a novel signaling pathway critical to the immune response of cells associated with the initiation of allergic asthma. The discovery, they say, could point the way to new therapies that suppress the inflammatory allergic response, offering potential relief to millions of Americans with the chronic lung condition and potentially other allergic diseases.

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M6P Deficiency Leaves B Cells Out of Sorts

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A group of white blood cells known as B cells, which play a key role in the human immune response, need a protein-targeting signal called M6P in order to proliferate, differentiate, and present immune cell–activating antigens.

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Developing Vaccines for Insect-Borne Viruses

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Rift Valley Fever, a mosquito-borne disease, can devastate a sheep herd causing 90 percent mortality in lambs and 100 percent abortion rates in pregnant ewes. Current vaccines either don’t provide long-term immunity or cause spontaneous abortions in pregnant ewes. Medgene Labs is developing a new vaccine that is proving to be both safe and effective.

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Tumor Suppressor Protein Plays Key Role in Maintaining Immune Balance

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St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists have discovered that a protein widely known for suppressing tumor formation also helps prevent autoimmune diseases and other problems by putting the brakes on the immune response. The research was published recently online ahead of print in the scientific journal Nature Immunology.

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Going Viral: Targeting Brain Cancer Cells with a Wound-Healing Drug

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Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientists were awarded a grant from the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund, part of the Center for Innovative Technology, to engineer a viral therapy for a difficult-to-treat brain cancer.

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Beer and Bread Yeast-Eating Bacteria Aid Human Health

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Learning how good bacteria in the gut feast on complex carbohydrates could end your break up with bread.

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Awakening Cells’ Killer Instinct: Scientists Train Immune System to Spot and Destroy Cure-Defying Mutant HIV

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Luring dormant HIV out of hiding and destroying its last cure-defying holdouts has become the holy grail of HIV eradication, but several recent attempts to do so have failed. Now the findings of a Johns Hopkins-led study reveal why that is and offer a strategy that could form a blueprint for a therapeutic vaccine to eradicate lingering virus from the body.