Human Lymphocyte

Turning the Immune System into an Equal Opportunity Cancer Killer

Results from a small clinical trial comprising 86 cancer patients have prompted scientists to rethink how different cancers are classified and treated. The drug being assessed was Keytruda, a recent addition to oncologists’ arsenal of cancer immunotherapy drugs.  Unlike traditional chemotherapies, which poison and kill cancer cells directly, cancer immunotherapy recruits the body’s own self-defense machinery to attack tumors.  Although our immune systems are very good … Continue reading Turning the Immune System into an Equal Opportunity Cancer Killer

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Cancer Immunotherapy: Fighting fire with fire

by Kimberly Hagel figures by Alexandra Was We, as humans, tend to idealize that which is bigger, better, faster, and stronger. It is in our nature to strive towards the best. To improve. To win. Indeed, the penetrance of this mentality reaches to our very core, even to the individual cells of which we are composed. A prime example of this: cancer. Today, cancer is … Continue reading Cancer Immunotherapy: Fighting fire with fire

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Ocrelizumab: The first treatment for primary progressive multiple sclerosis

by Tianli Xiao figures by Abigail Burrus Multiple sclerosis begins when a patient is as young as 20. It can start with blurry vision, tingling in the arms or legs, or a persistent feeling of tiredness. MS is a long-term, progressive disease that worsens over time, but there are few drugs available today. Even worse, patients diagnosed with a less common form of MS known … Continue reading Ocrelizumab: The first treatment for primary progressive multiple sclerosis

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A Sight For Sore Eyes

  Have you ever experienced itchy, watery eyes as a result of seasonal allergies? The objects in this picture are to blame. This microscope image shows conjunctival tissue from an eye in the presence of a single mast cell. Mast cells are important regulators of the immune system. Upon invasion of the eye with foreign objects, such as allergens, the mast cell is recruited to … Continue reading A Sight For Sore Eyes

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HIV: Still America’s Most Wanted

by Rose Filoramo figures by Daniel Utter A Report that Changed History On June 5th, 1981, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a medical report documenting something peculiar: within the span of one year, five previously healthy men from Los Angeles were all diagnosed with an incredibly rare lung infection. Scientists and health professionals were baffled. The infection normally only affected people … Continue reading HIV: Still America’s Most Wanted

GFAP-Coronin1a Yu Wang

Retinal Corona

Image contributed by Yu Wang, a third year graduate student at Harvard Medical School. Glial cells support the proper function of neuronal cell types and are also responsible for cleaning up cell debris such as leftover neurotransmitter molecules (what neurons use to communicate with each other). Certain types of glia, called microglia, function as the first line of defense in immune-privileged places such as the … Continue reading Retinal Corona

Colistin Resistant E-Coli

Bacteria Resistant to Last-Line Antibiotic Found in US

In May, researchers identified for the first time a bacterial infection in the US that was resistant to the last-resort antibiotic colistin. Colistin was the last remaining antibiotic effective against all bacteria in the country – a weapon of last resort. This particular infection was sensitive to other antibiotics and was cured, but the presence of colistin resistant bacteria in the US (it was known … Continue reading Bacteria Resistant to Last-Line Antibiotic Found in US