immunology

Frog peptides versus superbugs

Neutrons and native frogs are an unlikely but dynamic duo in the battle against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, commonly known as superbugs, recent research has shown. The skin secretions of the Australian green-eyed and growling grass frogs contain peptides (small proteins) that help frogs fight infection. Researchers hope these peptides will offer a new line of defence […]

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Starving cancer and other stories

Prostate cancers are made up of hungry, growing cells. Now we’ve discovered how to cut off their food supply thanks to a study published in Cancer Research and supported by Movember. More below. Also Australian science discoveries you may have missed…

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How a molecular assassin operates

The secrets of a molecular assassin could lead to more effective treatments for cancer and viral diseases, better therapy for autoimmune conditions, and a deeper understanding of the body’s defences enabling the development of more tightly focused immunosuppressive drugs.

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Skin deep discovery reveals immune mysteries

Cells involved in the first line of our immune defence have been located where they never have been found before—a discovery that could provide insight into diseases like psoriasis and other auto-immune conditions of the skin.

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Life’s work closer to saving lives

What began decades ago as the discovery of an antibody from mice that targets human cancer cells is now undergoing human trials in the US as the basis of a treatment for acute leukaemia. The antibody targets a protein called EphA3, which is found in about half of all acute leukaemias as well as many […]

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Helping eyes to help themselves

Donor corneas conditioned with DNA before being transplanted into new eyes are already actively contributing to their own success in experimental animals such as sheep. The DNA is inserted into the cells of the cornea after it has been harvested. Then, following implantation, it produces proteins that help overcome immunological rejection.

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Some secrets of breast milk revealed?

Most mothers are aware that breast milk helps boost their baby’s immune levels, but up to now it has been thought that it is mainly because of the mother’s antibodies found in human milk.

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Vaccine hope for shellfish allergies

A new oral vaccine against shellfish allergies is being developed by researchers at RMIT University.

Assoc. Prof. Andreas Lopata and his team in RMIT’s School of Applied Sciences are working to help find a different method for vaccination against the potentially deadly allergy.

“We want to create a vaccine that people can eat or swallow, rather than inject.” he said.

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Know your enemy

Diseases such as leptospirosis, fowl cholera, bovine respiratory diseases or footrot in sheep have devastating impacts on livestock industries worldwide. They have a debilitating effect on animals, leading to food shortage and major economic losses.

Many of these diseases have proved difficult to control because we just don’t know enough about the enemy. We don’t know how various microbes interact to cause diseases such as footrot or bovine respiratory diseases.

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H1N1 still a threat

Why does influenza make some of us much sicker than others? What are the implications for swine flu (H1N1)? Australian scientists are looking to past outbreaks for the answers.

In July 2009, the Australian Government responded to urgent global calls to use the Southern Hemisphere’s flu season as a catalyst for investigating the severity and global threat of the H1N1 flu strain.

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