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Immune System

November 21, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
Eli E. Sercarz, who explored the mechanisms of autoimmunity and developed key concepts about how the body's immune system attacks its own tissues, died of renal cell cancer Nov. 3 in Topanga. He was 75. "Eli Sercarz was one of the most highly esteemed immunologists in the world," said Dr. Jonathan Braun, chairman of the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at UCLA's Geffen School of Medicine, where Sercarz spent most of his career. "Few men can claim such a huge legacy of scientific achievement; fewer still will be so widely remembered and missed.
September 28, 2009 | Lynn Rosenberg
Many people who don't protect themselves from the sun may never get skin cancer. And certainly, you can roll the dice if you wish. But there are things I now do regularly to protect myself from it. I don't have to remember to do them; they're automatic. I was never this careful before my husband died of the disease. That tragedy was my motivator. But maybe I could be your motivator -- if you know a little bit about what my husband, Jerry, went through and what I went through as his wife.
September 9, 2009 | W.J. Hennigan
Pharmacy chain CVS Caremark Corp. will repay about $2.8 million to consumers who bought a dietary supplement that was falsely marketed as a product that could prevent illness, the Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday. CVS touted its AirShield tablets and powders as a way to fight off the flu and boost the immune system, but there is no evidence that the products could do either, the commission said. As part of the $2.78-million settlement, CVS agreed to no longer make those claims, and it has changed the products' packaging.
August 17, 2009 | Shara Yurkiewicz
If you want to live longer -- avoid heart disease, Alzheimer's disease and cancer -- then pick and choose your foods with care to quiet down parts of your immune system. That's the principle promoted by the founders and followers of anti-inflammatory diets, designed to reduce chronic inflammation in the body. Dozens of books filled with diets and recipes have flooded the market in the last few years, including popular ones by dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone and Zone Diet creator Barry Sears.
June 7, 2009 | Jia-Rui Chong
First came the stomachaches and low fevers. Then Lance Cpl. Cory Belken broke out in a rash. His temperature shot up to 104.6 degrees. The young man became delirious, telling his mother, Barbara Skaggs, that he wanted to go to the smoking section even though he had never smoked. His blood pressure dropped.
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.
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.
December 20, 2008 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Instead of infiltrating breaks in the skin, HIV appears to attack normal, healthy genital tissue in women, researchers have found. It had been thought that HIV sought breaks in the skin, such as a herpes sore, to gain access to immune-system cells deeper in the tissue. The findings were presented this week at a meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco.
November 13, 2008 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Maugh is a Times staff writer.
Heart transplant patients are as much as 25% more likely to survive if the sex of the donor is the same as the patient's, researchers said Wednesday. The results surprised experts because, for most types of transplants, sex differences are irrelevant as long as a good immunocompatability is achieved.
October 13, 2008 | Jay Blahnik, Special to The Times
Does exercise increase the chance of getting sick? It seems that, whenever I ramp up my exercise program, I get colds and sinus infections more often. I was wondering if you could shed some light on this. Babette Palm Springs The answer seems to depend on how hard, how intensely and how often you work out. Research shows that positive changes occur in the immune system during moderate exercise. Immune cells appear to circulate through the body more quickly, and there may even be a temporary boost in the production of macrophages, which are cells that attack bacteria.
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