Surface proteins on a virus enable it to attach to and get inside a cell to start replicating.
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Viruses can get into cells in several ways. Figuring out how to stop them from entering in the first place is a key to developing better vaccines and stopping future pandemics.
When immune cells become overactive, your immune system itself can cause disease.
Dietary supplements claim to be able to ‘boost your immune system’ to combat disease. But attaining immune balance through a healthy lifestyle and vaccination is a safer bet to keep in good health.
Itching, and the subsequent urge to scratch, can make eczema worse.
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Itch-sensing neurons in your skin are intertwined with your immune cells. Counterintuitively, the molecule that connects them triggers responses that both worsen and improve skin conditions.
Blocking viruses from replicating their RNA is one way antivirals work.
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The human body has been making antivirals for eons, long before scientists did. A protein in your cells called viperin produces molecules that work similarly to the COVID-19 antiviral remdesivir.
Programmed cell death such as apoptosis is a common stage of cellular life.
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Your cells die to keep you alive. Cell death does everything from fighting cancer cells and pathogens to forming your fingers and toes.
Being feverish is unpleasant, but it can help your body overcome invading pathogens.
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The heat and chills that come with fever are not only uncomfortable but also metabolically costly. Increased body temperature, however, can make all the difference when you’re sick.
How are people with long COVID faring two years after their initial infection? Many have recovered. Some still struggle with symptoms – this is more likely for those who were initially hospitalised.
This microscopy image shows a cytotoxic T cell (blue) attacking a cancer cell (green) by releasing toxic chemicals (red).
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T cells recognize and kill cancer cells but quickly lose their effectiveness. This fast dysfunction may help explain why immunotherapy doesn’t lead to long-term remission for many patients.
We know from other viruses that viral fragments can remain in different tissues for months or even years. This could be the case for long COVID.
Cancer vaccines are an emerging personalised treatment for cancer. Using the same mRNA technology as COVID vaccines, they stimulate the immune system to destroy cancer cells.
Why are Australian black swans so quick to die from bird flu? A new genome study comparing them to their bird brethren helps to unravel the mystery.
Bacteria (clusters of light pink, surrounded by larger magenta blood cells) can cause deadly infections, but overreactive immune responses can deliver the lethal blow.
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An overactive immune response to infection can be deadly. Studying how one key player called tumor necrosis factor, or TNF, induces lethal immune responses could provide new treatment targets.
Nasal vaccines for COVID-19 are still in early development.
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An effective nasal vaccine could stop the virus that causes COVID-19 right at its point of entry. But devising one that works has been a challenge for researchers.
You might not know you’ve had it. Or perhaps your immune system or genes have given you a boost. Or maybe you’re just lucky.
Rheumatoid arthritis leads to painful joint inflammation, often in the hands and wrists.
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A new species of bacteria that doesn’t normally live in the gut may trigger an immune response so strong that it spreads to the joints.
Louis Pasteur was a pioneer in chemistry, microbiology, immunology and vaccinology.
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On World Rabies Day – which is also the anniversary of French microbiologist Louis Pasteur’s death – a virologist reflects on the achievements of this visionary scientist.
Broadly neutralizing antibodies are able to recognize multiple strains of HIV at once.
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Antiretroviral therapies for HIV, while extremely effective, need to be taken daily for life. Designing antibody treatments that need to be taken only once could improve compliance and reduce drug resistance.
Evidence is growing there are changes to your immune system that may put you at risk of other infectious diseases.
Approximately 30% of people who get COVID-19 develop long-term symptoms, or long COVID-19.
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A new study finds that misdirected immune responses can persist for months in those who are suffering from long COVID-19.
Bacteria can team up with viruses to cause coinfections.
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Coinfections with bacteria can make viral infections even deadlier. Researchers have identified a protein in immune cells that may play a role in fighting both types of pathogens.