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Health & Medicine

Vaccines help prevent disease by inducing immunological memory, the ability of immune cells to remember and respond more quickly when re-exposed to the same pathogen. While certain phases of the pathway are well understood, little is known about the role of helper T cells, a "master orchestrator" of the immune response that send signals to activate the immune system.

AIDS & HIV


This is an illustration of how the engineered protein facilitates destruction of latently HIV-infected immune cells.
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have created a protein that awakens resting immune cells infected with HIV and facilitates their destruction in laboratory studies. The protein potentially could contribute to a cure for HIV infection by helping deplete the reservoir of long-lived, latently HIV-infected cells that can start making the virus when a person stops taking anti-HIV drugs. Further studies in animals and people are needed to determine the viability of this approach.

Bioinformatics


The largest genetic study of atopic dermatitis ever performed permitted a team of international researchers to identify ten previously unknown genetic variations that contribute to the development of the condition.
The largest genetic study of atopic dermatitis ever performed permitted a team of international researchers to identify ten previously unknown genetic variations that contribute to the development of the condition. The researchers also found evidence of genetic overlap between atopic dermatitis and other illnesses, including inflammatory bowel disease. The results was published in Nature Genetics online on Oct. 19.

Biology


The researchers demonstrated that social insects, including bees, ants and wasps, are more complex than previously was thought.
Chemical signaling among social insects, such as bees, ants and wasps, is more complex than previously thought, according to researchers at Penn State and Tel Aviv University, whose results refute the idea that a single group of chemicals controls reproduction across numerous species.

Bioinformatics


This is a structure showing EGFR -- a cancer driver -- in it's active dimer conformation. Red indicates mutations that destroy the protein-protein interface
La Jolla, Calif., October 20, 2015 - In a collaborative study led by Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP), researchers have combined two publicly available 'omics' databases to create a new catalogue of 'cancer drivers'. Cancer drivers are genes that when altered, are responsible for cancer progression. The researchers used cancer mutation and protein structure databases to identify mutations in patient tumors that alter normal protein-protein interaction (PPI) interfaces. The study, published today in PLoS Computational Biology, identified more than 100 novel cancer driver genes and helps explain how tumors driven by the same gene may lead to different patient outcomes.

Health & Medicine

Researchers who combed YouTube for videos regarding peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage that causes weakness, numbness, and pain in the hands and feet, found 200 videos, but only about half of them were from healthcare professionals, mostly chiropractors. Alternative medicine was cited most frequently among the treatment discussions, followed by devices and pharmacological treatments. Only a minority of treatment discussions were based on recommendations by the American Academy of Neurology.