Body

Spiky filaments for egg fusion: sperm wield tiny harpoons

Spiky filaments for egg fusion: sperm wield tiny harpoons

Could the sperm harpoon the egg to facilitate fertilization? That's the intriguing possibility raised by the University of Virginia School of Medicine's discovery that a protein within the head of the sperm forms spiky filaments, suggesting that these tiny filaments may lash together the sperm and its target.

Injectable cryogel-based whole-cell cancer vaccines

Injectable cryogel-based whole-cell cancer vaccines

New research led by Wyss Core Faculty member David Mooney, Ph.D., in collaboration with researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute could potentially yield a new platform for cancer vaccines. Leveraging a biologically inspired sponge-like gel called "cryogel" as an injectable biomaterial, the vaccine delivers patient-specific tumor cells together with immune-stimulating biomolecules to enhance the body's attack againstcancer. The approach, a so-called "injectable cryogel whole-cell cancer vaccine", is reported online in Nature Communications on August 12.

New approach to tackling uncontrolled high blood pressure shows significant results

Scientists from Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust have successfully improved blood pressure control among patients with severe intolerance to antihypertensive medication - by using medicines in unconventional ways and treating patients with a 'stepped care' approach (where the most effective yet least intensive treatment is delivered to patients first).

Shifting focus from calories to nutritional value for heart health - another dangerous fad or sound science?

It's time to stop counting the calories, and instead start promoting the nutritional value of foods if we are to rapidly cut illness and death from cardiovascular disease and curb the rising tide of obesity, say experts in an editorial published in the online journal Open Heart.

Drawing on published evidence, Drs Aseem Malhotra and James DiNicolantonio and Professor Simon Capewell argue that rather like stopping smoking, simple dietary changes can rapidly improve health outcomes at the population level.

Life expectancy has risen - but it just means a longer time of illness and disability

People around the world are living longer, even in some of the poorest countries, but a complex mix of fatal and nonfatal ailments causes a tremendous amount of health loss, according to a new analysis of all major diseases and injuries in 188 countries.

Immunotherapy agent benefits patients with drug-resistant multiple myeloma

In its first clinical trial, a breakthrough antibody therapy produced at least partial remissions in a third of patients with multiple myeloma who had exhausted multiple prior treatments, investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other organizations report today online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Genetic study finds association between reduced vitamin D and multiple sclerosis risk

Genetic findings support observational evidence that lower vitamin D levels are associated with increased risk of multiple sclerosis, according to a new research article by Brent Richards, from McGill University, Canada, and colleagues published this week in PLOS Medicine.

Influenza vaccines provide moderate protection throughout the entire flu season

Individuals who received the flu vaccine were protected for up to 6 months post-vaccination, the duration of most flu seasons, according to a study presented at the 2015 International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Each flu season, researchers work to find out how effective the flu vaccine was in order to measure its value as a health intervention. Factors such as age and health of an individual, as well the level of similarity between the flu virus and the flu vaccine can play a role in how well an influenza vaccine works.

Genetic ancestry partially explains a racial sleep difference

A new study clearly establishes a partial genetic basis underlying racial differences in slow-wave sleep, suggesting that it may be possible to develop sleep-related therapies that target specific genetic variants.

Anti-aging tricks from alpha lipoic acid dietary supplement seen in mice

In human cells, shortened telomeres, the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes, are both a sign of aging and contribute to it. Scientists at Emory University School of Medicine have found that the dietary supplement alpha lipoic acid (ALA) can stimulate telomerase, the enzyme that lengthens telomeres, with positive effects in a mouse model of atherosclerosis.

The discovery highlights a potential avenue for the treatment for chronic diseases.

The results were published Thursday, August 20 in Cell Reports.