Tue, Feb 21, 2017 | updated 10:22 PM IST

Swaying immune system to pave way for better vaccines

Updated: Aug 02, 2016 13:01 IST

Washington D.C, Aug 2 (ANI): A team of researchers has opened a door to influencing the immune system, which would be useful to boost the effectiveness of vaccines or to counter autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) research focused on a molecule called microRNA-155 (miR-155), a key player in the immune system's production of disease-fighting antibodies.

"It's very exciting to see exactly how this molecule works in the body," said co-leader Changchun Xiao.

Our cells rely on molecules called microRNAs (miRNAs) as a sort of "dimmer switches" to carefully regulate protein levels and combat disease.

"People know miRNAs are involved in immune response, but they don't know which miRNAs and how exactly," explained co-first author Zhe Huang.

In the study, the researchers focused on the roles of miRNAs during the critical period when the immune system first detects "invaders" such as viruses or bacteria. At this time, cells called T follicular helpers proliferate and migrate to a different area of the lymph organs to interact with B cells.

"They do a sort of tango," said Xiao.

This interaction prompts B cells to mature and produce effective antibodies, eventually offering long-term protection against infection.

"The next time you encounter that virus, for example, the body can respond quickly," said Xiao.

Using a technique called deep sequencing, the team identified miR-155 as a potential part of this process. Studies in mouse models suggested that miR-155 works by repressing a protein called Peli1. This leaves a molecule called c-Rel free to jump in and promote normal T cell proliferation.

This finding could help scientists improve current vaccines. While vaccines are life-saving, some vaccines wear off after a decade or only cover around 80 percent of those vaccinated.

The study is published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine. (ANI)

Chronic knee pain may be treated online

Updated: Feb 21, 2017 06:41 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 21 (ANI): A study has found out that an online intervention, combining home exercise and pain-coping skills training, provided substantial clinical benefits for patients suffering from chronic knee pain.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 21 (ANI): Only exercise is not enough to maintain that figure, which is an after effect of much toil and sweat!

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New Delhi [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): With rising life expectancy, increasingly sedentary lifestyles and surge in incidence of obesity, India is also witnessing a resultant rise in orthopedic problems as a natural corollary.

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Children inherit obesity from parents: Study

Updated: Feb 20, 2017 14:54 IST

Washington D.C. (USA), Feb. 20 (ANI): A study reveals that 35-40 percent of a child's 'Body Mass Index' - how fat or thin they are - is inherited from their parents.

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New Delhi [India], Feb 20. (ANI): Good news for all those lazy-headed not-really-a-cleanliness-freak out there! Scientists have found out that the obsession with hygiene could even be turning some beneficial bacteria found in the human gut into "endangered species".

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New Delhi [India], Feb 20. (ANI): In order to persuade someone to quit smoking, it is the 'emotions' that need to be triggered rather than inciting fear in an individual.

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No difference between good or bad diet: Study

Updated: Feb 20, 2017 05:54 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 20. (ANI): Ever faced a choice between Brown and white bread?

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Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 19 (ANI): To boost sustainability of livestock production, a study finds that gene editing - one of the newest and most promising tools of biotechnology - enables animal breeders to make beneficial genetic changes, without bringing along unwanted genetic changes.

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People with ADHD may have smaller brain volume

Updated: Feb 19, 2017 07:09 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 19. (ANI): In a latest study it has been found out that people diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have smaller brain volume than those without the disorder.

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New Delhi [India], Feb 19. (ANI): What if we tell you that scientists can actually slow down the process of ageing. Sounds too good to be true right?

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New Delhi [India], Feb 19. (ANI): Lefty or righty? Well it was decided when you were still in your mum's womb!

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Dads-to be face greater risk of depression

Updated: Feb 19, 2017 06:53 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 19. (ANI): Expecting a baby is always a joyous experience for both the mother and the father, however a latest study has found out that fathers-to-be can be at risk of depression symptoms if they feel stressed or are in poor health.

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New Delhi [India], Feb 19. (ANI): Do you find it difficult hearing out people at a noisy bar or a restaurant even though you have passed the hearing test with flying colors? Well, you might be secretly deaf!

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New Delhi [India], Feb 19. (ANI): What if we told you that rice has the potential of carrying arsenic and is more than hazardous to feed it to infants!

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Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 18 (ANI): Now you can save your kid from surgery, as a study shows that antibiotics may be an effective treatment for acute non-complicated appendicitis in children, instead of surgery.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 18 (ANI): Attention new mommies, sing lullabies to your new born to feel more connected to your babies, suggests a study.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 18 (ANI): Cancer patients can improve their quality of life with just 30 minutes of walking, suggests a study.

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New Delhi [India], Feb. 17 (ANI): Birth of a baby may be a sweet moment but changing life style of women is posing 'sweet' challenge to it.

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New Delhi [India], Feb. 17 (ANI): Good news! A recent study shows that antibiotics may be an effective treatment for acute non-complicated appendicitis in children, instead of surgery.

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'Seagrass' can improve marine water quality

Updated: Feb 17, 2017 07:07 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 17 (ANI): Underwater flowering plants and seagrass meadows known to produce natural antibiotics, can also improve the water quality of sea by suppressing pollution, reveals a study.

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