Cancer can often evade the immune system by sending signals that fool it into thinking that the cancer cells are normal, healthy cells and that it should ignore them. Earlier this year, we reported on an approach to treating cancer in which the immune system can be taught to detect cancer by seeing past the…

T Cells are a major component of the formidable immune system that the body keeps at the ready to respond to the first sign of infection or disease. T cells detect if cells have been infected with a virus; upon detection, they trigger these cells’ ablation and destroy the virus. Unfortunately, the T cells do…

Natural killer (NK) cells are lymphocytes, immune cells which have a powerful arsenal of cytotoxic weaponry that they can use against tumors. Unfortunately, tumors protect themselves using a protective microenvironment that shields them from attack from NK cells. This microenvironment promotes tumor growth and survival and has an immunosuppressive effect that blunts the attempts of…

Atherosclerosis is the number one killer in the world, and science is working on solutions to combat this age-related disease. A new mouse study has shown that the drug trodusquemine can melt away the accumulated arterial plaques that lead to heart attacks and strokes. What is Atherosclerosis? Atherosclerosis is an age-related disease in which toxic,…

In recent articles, we have talked about the potential of the immune system to help repair tissue, including for peripheral nerve damage, Atherosclerosis, and Parkinson’s. Immune cells not only fight infection; as this new study shows, they also help the nervous system remove debris, paving the way for nerve regeneration following injury. While previous studies…

A research team at MIT has used synthetic biology to create a gene circuit that triggers the immune system to attack cancer when it first detects the signs of the disease. The circuit works by only activating the immune response when two specific cancer biomarkers are detected. The new study was published in the journal…

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a β-herpesvirus that infects the majority of people in the world, lying dormant and waiting for an opportunity to strike. This persistent virus remains in people for their entire lives once they are infected. CMV contributes to microbial burden as we age, and our dwindling immune cell populations are tied up keeping…

The levels of circulating inflammatory cytokines and other signaling factors increase with age, contributing to the loss of tissue maintenance, wound healing difficulties, immune system dysfunction, loss of stem cell mobility and a host of other problems. However, it remains a subject of much debate as to what starts the cascade of inflammation that drives…

The link between inflammation, cellular senescence, aging, and cancer is a complex relationship, but a new study sheds light on how these four interact. The light and dark side of inflammation and cellular senescence Cellular senescence is a protective mechanism that helps us to stay healthy and avoid cancer by removing damaged and aged cells…

The thymus gland is located at the top of the breastbone and is where the majority of T cells are produced by the immune system. One can think of the thymus as being like an army camp where new soldiers are trained and given their weapons to fight invading forces; in this case, the T…

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