Immunology

A new type of single-dose vaccine comes in a nasal spray and doesn't require refrigeration.

The latest design and testing of these "nanovaccines" sets the stage to dramatically alter the public health landscape because it can get more people vaccinated around the world squash the looming threats of emerging and re-emerging diseases. 


Nature is always looking for new ways to stay ahead. To-date, resistance to pesticides has been recorded in more than 500 insects, 218 weeds, and 190 fungi that attack plants.

The recorded cases of resistance in insects, mites and other arthropods, which include resistance to multiple pesticides per species, more than doubled between 1990 and 2013, from 5,141 to 11,254.

How will a new glossary help? The authors of updated definitions in the Journal of Economic Entomology say a common vocabulary is needed because the current jumble of terms fosters confusion among scientists in academia, industry and government.  


Crohn's disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease, is a condition that occurs when your body's immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. The exact cause of Crohn's disease is unknown.  

A new report in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology shows for the first time precisely what type of immune cells are involved in driving the inflammation process in the disease. With this knowledge, new compounds can be identified which reduce the activity of these cells or lessen their inflammatory effects. 


Most of the public doesn't know this, but some people are allergic to metal. 10 percent of the Germany public is allergic to nickel, according to background information in a new paper.

But medical implants use nickel. Nickel-titanium alloys are increasingly used as material for cardiovascular implants in minimal invasive surgery and, once implanted, these alloys can release small amounts of nickel due to corrosion. Is that dangerous? 


Polio is an incurable, crippling, contagious and possibly fatal viral disease. The United States last experienced a polio epidemic in the 1950s, before a vaccine was introduced. 

Today, it has been eradicated from most of the planet, but a polio-like syndrome has been found in a cluster of children from California over a one-year period, according to a case report released today.


A few years ago, sugar was engaged in a ground war against corn syrup, and the public relations campaign against high fructose corn syrup was so successful that even corn syrup carried labels saying 'no HFCS' while bleached white sugar was portrayed as a healthier alternative.

But now bleached white table sugar is under the gun also. It doesn't make much difference, really, sugar is sugar. And replacing fructose with glucose won't do a thing to make people healthier, according to a paper in Current Opinion in Lipidology, which shows that when portion sizes and calories are the same, fructose and glucose are the same.


No more killing the good bacteria along with the bad. An antibiotic "smart bomb" can identify specific strains of bacteria and sever their DNA, eliminating the infection and reducing multi-drug resistant bacteria.

The new approach works by taking advantage of a part of an immune system present in many bacteria called the CRISPR-Cas system. The CRISPR-Cas system protects bacteria from invaders such as viruses by creating small strands of RNA called CRISPR RNAs, which match DNA sequences specific to a given invader. When those CRISPR RNAs find a match, they unleash Cas proteins that cut the DNA.


Two of the world's most devastating plagues, the Justinian Plague and the famous Black Death hundreds of years later, were each responsible for killing as many as half the people in Europe.

A new study finds that they were caused by distinct strains of the same pathogen - one that faded out on its own, but the other spreading worldwide and then re-emerging in the late 1800s.  A form of that plague still kills thousands every year and these findings suggest a new strain of plague could emerge again in humans in the future.


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.