Immunology

Around 25.8 million Americans have diabetes and up to 79 million may be at risk for for it.

A paper in the European Journal of General Practice
 says that a simple blood test reveals an individual's risk of developing type-2 diabetes before they develop either condition — far earlier than previously believed.

In healthy people, glucose is absorbed from the blood for use by various tissues. But the cells of people with type-2 diabetes are resistant to insulin, which is produced by the pancreas and is central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. These individuals have higher-than-normal blood glucose levels. People with a "prediabetes" risk of getting diabetes have blood glucose levels somewhere between normal and diabetic. 


Everyone with a sense of adventure wants to go to 'the final frontier' and explore strange new worlds.

But bring your medication. It might not be good for your immune system.

It's so surprise that spaceflight affects immune responses but the new paper clarifies that a bit and says that being born in and growing up on the Space Shuttle weakened a key arm of the immune system in Drosophila flies, while being in a centrifuge under hypergravity conditions improved resistance. 


Excess abdominal fat is an indicator for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer and a person's measure of such belly fat is reflected in the ratio of waist circumference to hip circumference.

Some estimate that genetics account for a broad range, 30 to 60 percent, of this waist-to-hip ratio (WHR).


U.S. President Barack Obama has been explaining the value of spying on the American public throughout history, as a way of deflecting concern about his administration and government overreach. Critics will dismiss his claims along the lines of 'why it was wrong when Bush did what I do but it is right for me to do it now' rationalization, so he should instead leverage the value spying has in public health.

Traditional surveillance methods for detecting infectious diseases such Dengue Fever and Influenza take weeks because it relies on doctors reporting cases. Today, people tend to Google for an online diagnosis before visiting a GP and a paper in Lancet Infectious Diseases says Internet-based surveillance can be a big help.


Because of the prevalence of sports in popular culture, there is a belief that younger is always better. But coaches know differently. They talk about the value of a 'veteran' presence on the field. And a saying goes, 'if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen' - it turns out that no one has been taking the heat longer than older firefighters and that adds to the value of veteran presence. They can simply take heat better.


An analysis of pregnant mothers found that children appear to be less at risk for developing peanut or tree nut allergies if their mothers are not allergic and ate more nuts during pregnancy.

In the United States, the prevalence of childhood peanut allergy has more than tripled from 0.4 percent in 1997 to 1.4 percent in 2010. That corresponds with medical recommendations that mothers eat fewer nuts.


Consumers who buy organic products do not want synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, microbials or antioxidants in their food - they only want natural carcinogens - but that is a recipe for disaster and a key reason why so many foodborne outbreaks are related to organic products.


Irradiation using light in the blue spectra has proven to have powerful bacteria-killing ability in laboratory studies using human and animal tissues.  


Blood clots may be a good thing - at least in protecting the body from the deadly effects of bacteria by absorbing bacterial toxins, according to a new paper in PLoS ONE.

Even with modern antibiotics, septic shock from bacterial infections afflicts about 300,000 people a year in the U.S., with a mortality rate of 30 to 50 percent. Septic shock is caused by Gram-negative bacteria, which release a toxin called lipopolysaccharide or endotoxin. In small amounts, lipopolysaccharide triggers inflammation. When infections with these bacteria get out of hand, lipopolysaccharide courses through the bloodstream, causing catastrophic damage to organs and tissues.

Almost 90 percent of children and adults with a highly aggressive form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) showed no evidence of cancer after receiving a personalized cell therapy that reprograms a patient's immune system.

In pilot studies of bio-engineered T cells that attack leukemia, 24 of 27 patients (89%) experienced complete responses within 28 days after treatment. In all, 27 patients received the treatment - 22 children treated at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and five adults treated at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.