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Allergies

 Researchers have found one of the underlying processes of skin-based immunity (Photo: Shu...

The skin is the body's first line of defense against infection, with an extensive network of skin-based immune cells responsible for detecting the presence of foreign invaders. However, in addition to pathogens, an immune response can be triggered by allergens or even our own cells, resulting in unwanted inflammation and allergies. Researchers have now shed new light on the way the immune system in our skin works, paving the way for future improvements in tackling infections, allergies and autoimmune diseases.  Read More

Researchers have cured children of peanut allergies using a probiotic treatment (Photo: Sh...

Last year, scientists from the University of Chicago found that a probiotic therapy using a common gut bacteria prevented sensitization to peanut allergens – in mice. Now researchers at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, have shown that a similar probiotic treatment, this time involving Lactobacillus rhamnosus, has a similar effect, but this time in children.  Read More

UF researcher Wade Yang is using pulsed light to inactivate proteins within peanuts that t...

We've seen various research efforts aiming to cure nut allergies in people, from tricking the immune system into ignoring certain proteins to building up a tolerance, or using common gut bacteria. But Wade Yang from the University of Florida is taking a different approach. Rather than altering the body's response to peanut allergens, he is altering the peanuts themselves.  Read More

Researchers have found that common gut bacteria prevent sensitization to peanut allergens ...

As someone who almost shuffled off this mortal coil after downing a satay, I'm always hopeful when potential breakthroughs for the treatment of food allergies arise. The latest cause for hope, which could one day let food allergy sufferers order in restaurants without worrying about potentially life-threatening ingredients hidden within, comes from scientists at the University of Chicago Medicine, who have found that a common gut bacteria protects against food allergies in mice.  Read More

TellSpec is a handheld food scanner that connects to your smartphone to inform you about a...

Figuring out whether the fries on your plate contain traces of trans-fat, or if those celery sticks are truly pesticide-free can be tricky, if not impossible. That's why Isabel Hoffmann along with mathematician Stephen Watson set out to create TellSpec, a hand-held device that you can simply point at a food item, to identify what's in it. Not only does the device warn you about chemicals, allergens and ingredients you'd rather avoid, it'll also help you figure out food sensitivities and track your vitamin intake. The goal, the company says, is to help people make clean food choices by letting them "check their food as easily as they check their mail."  Read More

A newly-developed device known as a soft x-ray electrostatic precipitator has demonstrated...

Help may be on the way for people with compromised immune systems, severe allergies, or who otherwise have to be wary of airborne nasties. A team of scientists have created something known as a soft x-ray electrostatic precipitator, or an SXC ESP for short. It filters all manner of bacteria, allergens, viruses, and ultrafine particles from the air – plus, it kills everything it catches.  Read More

The iTube device and app

If you’re the parent of a child with food allergies, you know how terrifying they can be. Such allergies can be life threatening and, despite food labeling laws, it isn't always possible to be certain some potentially deadly ingredient isn't lurking in an item. In an effort to improve on the bulky and complex allergen detectors currently available, researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have developed a device called the iTube that turns a smartphone into an allergen sensor.  Read More

Allergens such as peanuts may not be quite so dangerous, if a dose of DARPin E2-79 is clos...

While many of us may have irritating allergic reactions to things like wool or cats, it can be a much different story for other people – for them, the anaphylactic shock that results from exposure to allergens such as peanuts or bee venom can result in hospitalization, or even death. Fortunately, scientists from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Switzerland’s University of Bern have recently made a discovery, that should stop severe allergic reactions within seconds.  Read More

Ford wants its cars to provide motorists with allergy alerts

Seasonal allergies strike 20 percent of Americans every year. Some people suffer so badly that they check the pollen count with the devotion that others pay to the stock market. For some asthma sufferers, an allergy attack can even lead to a life-threatening asthma episode. As part of its program to help motorist manage their health, Ford has announced that cars equipped with its SYNC AppLink system will be able to alert drivers about pollen and other health-related conditions.  Read More

The hypoallergenic egg team: Tim Doran (left), Cenk Suphioglu and Pathum Dhanapala

Of all the childhood allergies, an allergic reaction to eggs is one of the most common. Typically, reactions can include wheezing, nausea, headache, stomach ache, and hives. In extreme cases, however, anaphylactic shock can result, which can itself sometimes lead to death. Eggs are difficult to avoid, too - they find their way into many foods that might not seem particularly "eggy," and are even used in flu vaccines. Needless to say, for some time now, scientists have been working on making eggs safe for everyone. A team from Australia's Deakin University is now claiming that they're well on the way to producing not just hypoallergenic eggs, but the chickens that lay them.  Read More

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