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NEWS
September 9, 2010
Devotees of massage therapy know it's relaxing and feels good. But massage may also be an effective tool for maintaining good health. Researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center reported this week that a single massage produced measurable changes in the immune system and endocrine system of healthy adults. The researchers, led by Dr. Mark Rapaport, studied 29 healthy adults who received a 45-minute Swedish massage and 24 healthy adults who had a 45-minute session of light touch massage, a much milder exercise that served as a comparison to the more vigorous Swedish massage.
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SCIENCE
April 4, 2014 | By Monte Morin
Researchers studying the effects of immune suppressant drugs onĀ  transplant patients with HIV have made a surprising discovery: A drug intended to hobble the body's defense system may actually help destroy dormant reservoirs of the virus that causes AIDS. In a paper published this week in the American Journal of Transplantation , authors found that when a small group of transplant patients received the drug sirolimus, they experienced a two- to threefold drop in HIV levels, whereas patients who received other immunosuppressants did not. "We were pleasantly surprised," said study coauthor Dr. Steven Deeks, an HIV expert and professor of medicine at University of California San Francisco.
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SCIENCE
July 10, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
An immune system that ensures survival is one of the earliest gifts from a mother to her child. But sometimes, that gift can be a Trojan horse, sending soldiers that are programmed to attack the body's own antigens into the fetus, where they interfere with brain development. The result is maternal autoantibody related (MAR) autism, which may account for as much as 23% of the cases of that spectrum of brain disorders. Now UC Davis researchers believe they have found the targets of these maternal autoantibodies, a potential step in the path toward preventive treatment for women contemplating pregnancy.
SCIENCE
March 24, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
Between vaccine refusal, drug resistant strains of bacteria, and the growing ranks of the immuno-compromised, it sometimes seems that we humans are losing our brief moment of superiority in the unending arms race against pathogens. But a new technique has shown remarkable promise in mice infected with deadly forms of meningitis and pneumonia, and may point the way to regaining the upper hand against a wide range of infections. A genetically reengineered version of an immune system protein called properdin appears to activate a robust immune response against invading pathogens, according to a study published Monday in the journal PNAS.
SCIENCE
August 22, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
Nothing gets our attention like pain. But pain is more than the body's miniature cattle prod to get us to heed a wound, rest a swollen ankle, or stop eating chili peppers. Pain may be the language between animals and microbes. Far from being a product of an inflamed immune system, aggravated nerves far from the spine and brain appear to communicate with invading bacteria and regulate the fight against them, according to a study published online Wednesday in the journal Nature.
NATIONAL
June 1, 2009 | Associated Press
Doctors have overcome 30 years of false starts and found success with a new way to fight cancer: using the body's natural defender, the immune system. The approach is called a cancer vaccine, although it treats the disease rather than prevents it. Researchers at a cancer conference in Orlando said Sunday that one such vaccine kept a common form of lymphoma from worsening for more than a year.
SCIENCE
February 28, 2009 | Mary Engel
HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is one of the fastest-evolving entities known. That's why no one has yet been able to come up with a vaccine: The virus mutates so rapidly that what works today in one person may not work tomorrow or in others. A study published Wednesday in the journal Nature confirms that dizzying pace of evolution on a global scale.
NEWS
September 24, 1995 | Associated Press
An experimental drug that stimulates the immune system may someday help doctors treat chronic infections and some kinds of cancer, a study suggests. In mice, the drug reduced virus levels in an experimental infection and cut the growth of implanted tumors. In people, the drug might prove useful for chronic infections such as hepatitis B and the AIDS virus, and cancers where the immune system may limit tumor growth, such as melanoma, said researcher John Rhodes.
HEALTH
December 9, 2002 | Shari Roan
Sometime in the late 19th century, both Europeans and North Americans realized that the herb echinacea was a medicinal gift from nature. In 1919, noted anthropologist Melvin Gilmore remarked in a study of the Plains Indians that "echinacea seems to have been used as a remedy for more ailments than any other plant." A member of the sunflower family, echinacea remains a popular herb. Nine species are found in North America, but only three (E. pallida, E. angustifolia and E.
NEWS
October 8, 1996 | TERENCE MONMANEY, TIMES MEDICAL WRITER
The 1996 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine was awarded Monday to two scientists who shed new light on how the immune system battles viruses, ingeniously telling friend from foe as it spares healthy cells but hunts down those that have been invaded. The recipients, who split the $1.1-million prize, are Peter C. Doherty, 55, an Australian immunologist now working at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
SCIENCE
October 31, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
The search for an HIV vaccine has taken an important step forward after researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla managed to capture molecular images of a protein spike that allows the deadly virus to invade human immune cells to hack their genetic code. The ability to control and analyze that shape-shifting envelope trimer protein, which has evaded the best efforts of biochemistry for more than a decade, could offer researchers the ability to see whether they can induce natural antibodies to attack the virus' most vulnerable spot, a crucial step toward engineering a vaccine.
SCIENCE
October 28, 2013 | By Monte Morin
German doctors have successfully implanted insulin-producing cells in a patient with Type 1 diabetes using a specially constructed chamber system that does not require the use of immunosuppresant drugs, according to a new study. In a paper published Monday in the journal PNAS, researchers said the islets, or clusters of cells, remained alive for 10 months and were not rejected by the 56-year-old patient's immune system. However, the implantation offered only moderate health improvements and requires further refinement.
HEALTH
October 11, 2013 | By Karen Ravn
Fall is in the air and so, alas, are zillions of grains of weed pollen, sailing hither and yon, high and low, far and wide. These guarantee an abundance of new little weeds next year - and an abundance of sniffy, sneezy, wheezy people right now, namely those unfortunate souls who have an allergy to pollen. Pollen allergy is often called "hay fever," although it doesn't cause fever and its only connection with hay is that it inflicts its woes at hay-harvesting time. The name "seasonal allergic rhinitis" - where "rhinitis" refers to an inflamed nose - is more accurate if less evocative.
SCIENCE
August 22, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
Nothing gets our attention like pain. But pain is more than the body's miniature cattle prod to get us to heed a wound, rest a swollen ankle, or stop eating chili peppers. Pain may be the language between animals and microbes. Far from being a product of an inflamed immune system, aggravated nerves far from the spine and brain appear to communicate with invading bacteria and regulate the fight against them, according to a study published online Wednesday in the journal Nature.
HEALTH
August 10, 2013 | Emily Dwass
During a recent vacation, we met friends at a neighborhood hangout for dinner. As we walked in, I became worried -- one sniff confirmed that a fish fry was taking place. After informing our server that I'm allergic to fish (also peanuts), she recommended the nachos. When I lifted the first forkful, the chips were sizzling. I asked the server if, by any chance, the chips had been deep-fried in the same oil as the fish? "Oops," she said, and whisked away the plate. Oops, indeed.
SCIENCE
July 10, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
An immune system that ensures survival is one of the earliest gifts from a mother to her child. But sometimes, that gift can be a Trojan horse, sending soldiers that are programmed to attack the body's own antigens into the fetus, where they interfere with brain development. The result is maternal autoantibody related (MAR) autism, which may account for as much as 23% of the cases of that spectrum of brain disorders. Now UC Davis researchers believe they have found the targets of these maternal autoantibodies, a potential step in the path toward preventive treatment for women contemplating pregnancy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 29, 1991 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The first evidence that insects can have an immune system similar to that found in animals was presented last week at a meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) by researchers from the University of Cincinnati. The results contradict the longstanding belief that insects have much more primitive defenses against disease. Immunologist Richard D.
NEWS
March 4, 1999 | From Times Wire Reports
Echinacea, a popular over-the-counter herbal cold remedy, stimulates the immune system, according to preliminary University of Florida research results. Susan Percival, a nutritional scientist, said the first clinical study of the herb's effect on healthy men found that it helped stimulate the white blood cells that fight infection.
SCIENCE
June 28, 2013 | By Brad Balukjian
A "reverse vaccine" that allows people with Type 1 diabetes to produce their own insulin has passed its first test with human subjects, according to a new study. The success points to a potential new strategy for treating those in the early stages of the disease, experts said. The therapy is designed to protect cells in the pancreas that make insulin, a hormone the body needs to convert sugars and starches into energy. In people with Type 1 diabetes, the immune system goes haywire and attacks those crucial insulin-producing cells for reasons that medical researchers don't understand.
SCIENCE
April 15, 2013 | By Monte Morin, Los Angeles Times
Circumcision is known to reduce a man's risk of HIV infection by at least half, but scientists don't know why. A new study offers support for the theory that removing the foreskin deprives troublesome bacteria of a place to live, leaving the immune system in much better shape to keep the human immunodeficiency virus at bay. Anyone who has ever lifted a rock and watched as the earth beneath it was quickly vacated by legions of bugs and tiny worms...
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