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During an autoimmune disease, the endogenous defence system (the immune system) loses the ability to distinguish between "self" and "foreign".     As a consequence, the immune system directs its defense against itself, with fatal consequences.

In the case of multiple sclerosis, a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disease, the immune system attacks the protective layer encapsulating the nerve fibres: This protective layer formed by myelin works like insulation for electrical cables. If the insulation is damaged, the nerves can no longer transmit messages effectively. 
Artificial bone marrow that can continuously make red and white blood cells has been created in a University of Michigan lab.   This development could lead to simpler pharmaceutical drug testing, closer study of immune system defects and a continuous supply of blood for transfusions.

The substance grows on a 3-D scaffold that mimics the tissues supporting bone marrow in the body, said Nicholas Kotov, a professor in the U-M departments of Chemical Engineering; Materials Science and Engineering; and Biomedical Engineering.

The marrow is not made to be implanted in the body, like most 3-D biomedical scaffolds. It is designed to function in a test tube.

JetBrains, creators of intelligent and innovative productivity-enhancing tools for software developers, have announced the Beta version of their new product - Meta Programming System, or MPS. Meta Programming System is a brand new concept of software development environment implementing the Language Oriented Programming paradigm. After several years of research and development, JetBrains has released its Beta version now, targeting 1.0 for early 2009.

Meta Programming System is an environment for professional software developers to create new custom languages, extend existing languages, and use them to develop programs. MPS is also an instrument for creating Domain Specific Languages (DSLs).

The probability of having one’s child receive an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis involves a mother’s own medical conditions and her use of health services prior to having the child, a new study finds. 

Using records from a Northern California Kaiser Permanente database, the researchers identified three groups: mothers of children with ADHD, mother of children without ADHD and mothers of children with asthma. Authors then compared the mothers’ diagnoses, health care use and costs among the groups.
Human and veterinary medicine could receive a big boost through use of larger animals, especially pigs and dogs, in research, with Europe at the forefront, according to a recent workshop organized by the European Science Foundation (ESF), which called for a European pig clinic to facilitate generation and characterization of models of human disease that would be funded within the EU's Seventh Framework program, the main source of EU funding for research projects.

They say this will improve the prospects of bringing drugs to the market more quickly at less cost, as well as accelerating progress in other forms of therapy, notably the use of stem cells in regenerative medicine.
Scientists say they have discovered the trigger that pulls together X chromosomes in female cells at a crucial stage of embryo development. Their discovery could also provide new insights into how other similar chromosomes spontaneously recognize each other and are bound together at key parts of analogous cell processes. This is an important mechanism as the binding togetgher of too many of too few of a particular chromosome can cause a number of medical conditions such as Down's Syndrome or Turner's Syndrome.