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Experimental Treatment Slows Prion Disease

August 1, 2019

Scientists using an experimental treatment have slowed the progression of scrapie, a degenerative central nervous disease caused by prions, in laboratory mice and greatly extended the rodents’ lives, according to a new report in JCI Insight.  The scientists used antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs), synthetic compounds that inhibit the formation of specific proteins.

Enzyme Drives New Class of Antibiotics

July 31, 2019

Understanding how antibiotic scaffolds are constructed in nature can help scientists prospect for new classes of antibiotics through DNA sequencing and genome mining. Researchers have used this knowledge to help solve the X-ray crystal structure of the enzyme that makes obafluorin -- a broad spectrum antibiotic agent made by a fluorescent strain of soil bacteria.

Boosting the Anti-Inflammatory Action of the Immune System

July 31, 2019

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have identified a molecular switch that causes immune cells called macrophages to clean up cellular debris caused by infections instead of contributing to inflammation and tissue injury.

Major Class of Viruses Reveals Complex Origins

July 31, 2019

Comparing a living cell to a virus is a bit like comparing the Sistine Chapel to a backyard dog house. Lacking the intricate machinery of living cells, viruses represent biology stripped down to an extreme level. They are the true minimalists of the biological world.

FDA Clears New Indications for Existing Lyme Disease Tests That May Help Streamline Diagnoses

July 31, 2019

Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announces it has cleared for marketing four previously cleared tests with new indications to aid in the diagnosis of Lyme disease. The tests cleared today are the first time that a test has been indicated to follow a new testing paradigm in which two tests called enzyme immunoassays (EIA) are run concurrently or sequentially, rather than the current two-step process in which a separate protein test called a Western Blot must be run after the initial EIA test.

Big-data Analysis Shows No Correlation Between Vaccinations and MS

July 31, 2019

Data from more than 12,000 multiple sclerosis (MS) patients formed the basis of a study by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) which investigated the population's vaccination behavior in relation to MS. It showed that five years before their diagnosis, MS patients were statistically less likely to receive vaccinations than comparator groups. Consequently, there was no positive correlation between vaccinations and the development of MS.

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