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The Immune System

Health & Wellbeing

Getting tattoos could help keep you from getting sick

Whether you love them or hate them, new research shows that tattoos might actually strengthen your immunological responses ... if you get enough of them, that is. Much in the same way that your muscles feel sore when you first start going to the gym, getting a tattoo can be exhausting, with the body's defenses lowered by the stress of the experience. But just as you'll feel less fatigued the more you exercise, the more tattoos you get, the more your body becomes able to deal with the experience, and the stronger its response becomes.Read More

Medical

Bats' 24/7 immunity holds clues to tackling infectious disease

If bats were as susceptible to viruses like Ebola as humans are, then blindness would be the least of their worries. But despite serving as a natural host for more than 100 different viruses, these nocturnal mammals don't display any resulting signs of disease. Australian scientists are claiming to have now figured out why, in a revelation that potentially brings us a step closer to safeguarding the human population from Ebola and other deadly diseases.Read More

Medical

New technique bodes well for lung transplant success rate

Our bodies have developed a particularly unforgiving immune response when a threat is posed to our lungs. This is great for warding off infections and illness, though is something of a double-edged sword regarding transplants, with the recipient's body often perceiving the incoming organ as a threat and seeking to destroy it. But a new approach promises to boost the success rate of such procedures, by both repairing unhealthy donor lungs that wouldn't otherwise make the grade and reducing the chances of rejection once it is implanted. Read More

Medical

Time-lapse captures the death of white blood cells for the first time

With a pivotal role in fending off infections and disease, white blood cells are the engine room of the body's immune system. But little was known about what happens exactly when these cells reach the end of their life cycles. Scientists have now captured the death of white blood cells on camera for the first time, showing that they eject much of their contents while decomposing. One reason for this could be to warn neighboring cells of dangerous pathogens in the area. The researchers say learning more about their expiration could help bring about improved health treatments in the future. Read More

Medical

Newly discovered protein ramps up immune response to cancer

One of the body's defenses against deadly cancer cells may have just received a much-needed boost. Researchers at Imperial College London have happened upon a previously unknown protein that ramps up the presence of all-important cytotoxic T cells, which destroy virus-infected and cancerous cells. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Researchers shed new light on skin-based immune system

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

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