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Vaccine to Supercharge T-Cells

T cells (red) and B cells (blue) in the lymph nodes, after the vaccine CAR-T cell...
T cells (red) and B cells (blue) in the lymph nodes, after the vaccine CAR-T cell therapy kicks them into overdrive(Credit: Leyuan Ma and Jason Chang)

Our bodies have powerful built-in defenses in the form of the immune system, but sometimes it needs an extra push. Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell therapy involves reprogramming T-cells to hunt down cancer, which has been effective against blood cancers but not so much against solid tumors. Now, scientists at MIT have found a way to supercharge the technique with a vaccine booster. read more

New Molecule May Starve Cancer Cells

A new molecule has raised hopes of developing drugs that kill cancer stem cells
A new molecule has raised hopes of developing drugs that kill cancer stem cells(Credit: vitanovski/Depositphotos)

Too often the surgical removal of cancer or its elimination through chemo or radiotherapy isn’t the end of the story, but where do the relapses come from? Part of the explanation may lay in what are known as cancer stem cells, which could be thought of as little seedlings that hide away in the body’s tissues until they feel the time is right to return to action. A newly discovered molecule has raised hopes of cutting these crafty critters off at the source, with early experiments demonstrating how it can latch onto cancer stem cells and starve them of what they need to survive. read more

Vaccine to Help Alzheimer’s Patients

A new type of virus-like particle has been shown to improve Alzheimer’s symptoms in mice. Could...
A new type of virus-like particle has been shown to improve Alzheimer’s symptoms in mice. Could it one day work on humans too?(Credit: burdun/Depositphotos)

Alzheimer’s is a disease with a number of potential causes and therefore a number of potential targets for prevention. One of those centers on a protein call tau, which can gather in long tangles that kill off neurons in the brain. Scientists have developed what they describe as a vaccine to keep the brain clear of these dangerous clumps, and found that treating mice in this way helped stave off the kind of memory decline associated with the disease. read more

Hardened Arteries Mystery Solved

Uncovering the mechanism by which calcium deposits accumulte on the walls of arteries could help develop...
Uncovering the mechanism by which calcium deposits accumulate on the walls of arteries could help develop new treatments for everything from heart disease to dementia(Credit: Melinda Duer)

A landmark study, led by a team of scientists from King’s College London and the University of Cambridge, has described the mechanism responsible for the hardening of arteries. The research also points to a common antibiotic as a potential new treatment to prevent this condition. read more

Scorpion Venom’s Health Benefits

Scorpion venom has proven a rich source of medical discovery
Scorpion venom has proven a rich source of medical discovery(Credit: 312010/Depositphotos)

The venom of deadly animals mightn’t seem like a great place to look for life-saving medicines, but scientists are continually sifting through these toxins to discover compounds with huge potential. Now researchers at Stanford studying scorpion venom have identified a pair of compounds that were shown to kill off both staph and tuberculosis bacteria. And better yet, they were able to create synthetic versions in the lab. read more

The Gut-Brain Connection in Autism

The new research suggests fundamental links between our gut microbiome, our brain, and our behavior
The new research suggests fundamental links between our gut microbiome, our brain, and our behavior (Credit: Caltech)

Two fascinating new studies are shedding light on the association between the gut, the brain, and autism. The new research reveals how gastrointestinal problems can be triggered by the same gene mutations associated with autism, and a striking mouse study has demonstrated how a fecal transplant from humans with autism can promote autism-like behaviors in the animals. read more

The Fight Against Drug-Resistant Bacteria and Fungi

Existing drugs have been used to starve fungal infections of Candida albicans of nutrients
Existing drugs have been used to starve fungal infections of Candida albicans of nutrients(Credit: iLexx/Depositphotos)

Microorganisms like bacteria and fungi are increasingly becoming resistant to our best drugs, which is hurtling us towards a terrifying future where once-easily-treated infections become potentially life-threatening again. In a new approach to this problem, researchers from the University at Buffalo and Temple University have tested an alternative to antibiotics that uses existing drugs to starve a fungal infection of vital nutrients. read more

Keeping Up with Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

Researchers have found a new way to weaken bacterial defenses against antibiotics
Researchers have found a new way to weaken bacterial defenses against antibiotics(Credit: exty/Depositphotos)

Bacteria are quickly evolving resistances to antibiotics, to the extent that our best drugs might not work in the terrifyingly-near future. Scientists are hard at work developing new antibiotics, or finding ways to make existing ones more effective. Now, researchers from Thomas Jefferson University have found a new way to weaken bacterial defenses, slowing down the development of antibiotic resistance. read more

Vaccine for Colorectal Cancer may be Just Over the Horizon

A vaccine for colorectal cancer is all set for larger human trials to commence later this...
A vaccine for colorectal cancer is all set for larger human trials to commence later this year after success in a Phase I trial(Credit: lightsource/Depositphotos)

Positive early results from the first phase of human testing for a unique colorectal cancer vaccine are proving promising. A newly published study outlining the Phase I trial results suggests the vaccine is safe, and stimulates immune activation, paving the way for larger human trials. read more

Promising New Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

An illustration of a healthy neuron, with its sausage-link-like myelin sheath
An illustration of a healthy neuron, with its sausage-link-like myelin sheath(Credit:tigatelu/Depositphotos)

In multiple sclerosis, the body’s immune system attacks and damages myelin, which is the insulating layer on nerves in the spinal cord, brain and optic nerve. This causes the nerves to short-circuit and cease functioning properly. In “a potential game-changer,” scientists have now demonstrated that a synthetic molecule can restore compromised myelin. read more