Mathematically speaking, the way a tiger charges a herd of antelope resembles a white blood cell attacking a colony of bacteria. That’s the conclusion of a new paper by an international team of physicists, just published in Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical.
Last week, researchers announced they had discovered a physical connection between the immune system and the brain’s blood supply. The finding gives researchers a novel approach to understanding diseases ranging from autism to multiple sclerosis, and strengthens the bridge between neuroscience and immunology.
Does your skin get really itchy when you run, bike, or lift weights? If it does, you could suffer from a physical allergy that causes you to itch when you exercise. Greatest allergy ever? Sure, maybe – unless you've got the version that makes it miserable to even climb stairs.
Malaria is one of the deadliest diseases on the planet, killing about 2,000 people every day. Much effort has been put into developing a vaccine, and while there have been some encouraging results, it's proved difficult to control the malaria parasites and their mosquito carriers. Now, a new vaccine actually makes…
Why do some salamanders regenerate limbs faster than others? A team of biologists has identified genetic factors that may dictate the rate at which limbs and organs re-grow in these incredible amphibians, shedding much-needed light on one of the most remarkable physiological feats in the animal kingdom.
There's a common bit of folk wisdom that being physically cold triggers the onset of common cold symptoms. How much of this claim is the truth? And how much is fiction?
Australian researchers have isolated an immune system cell in salamanders which helps it regenerate missing limbs and damaged organs — and they suspect the same thing could work in humans, too.
Researchers looking for a novel strategy to fight pancreatic cancer say that radioactive bacteria can attack and kill diseased cells without harming healthy tissue.
More and more diseases are becoming resistant to antibiotics. Within a few decades, we’ll enter the “post-antibiotic era,” a time when even the most routine infections could threaten our lives. It’s a frightening prospect — but we may have some novel bacteria-fighting tricks up our sleeve.
If you love bacon, then you ought to be careful about getting a bite from a lone star tick — unlike other tick bites, which can spread diseases like Lyme disease, a lone star tick bite can actually make you allergic to red meat.
As someone who deals with academic press releases on a frequent basis, I have to sympathize with journal and university press offices. They have to put together a press release that's attention grabbing enough to pique the interest of writers, is clear enough to explain the concepts to the untrained, but doesn't lose…
Hookworms are ghastly little creatures. Tiny, parasitic, and frighteningly invasive, these wriggling hell-spawn consistently rank among leading causes of morbidity in underdeveloped nations, abound in regions of the world suffering from poor sanitation, and have been described by various epidemiologists as "the…
In 2009, student Shanyna Isom experienced an allergic reaction to a steroid treatment she received for an asthma attack. Since then, she's been afflicted by a medical disorder that's left physicians at Johns Hopkins University stumped. What was initially mistaken for eczema and a staph infection has left Isom with…
Ticks are known for transmitting disease, but they've also been known to make people deathly allergic to meat.
Diabetes. Cardiovascular disease. Depression. These are the effects you typically see associated with stress. While it can cause disease, stress is also good for you. It's part of important cognitive and physiological functions that extend far beyond keeping us alive in "fight or flight" scenarios.
Allergies were pretty much completely unknown until the beginning of the twentieth century, and allergic diseases have skyrocketed in the last twenty years, and well over half of all Americans are allergic to an airborne substance. What's going on here?
How do you stop the spread of a disease most effectively? By vaccinating all children, or only half? A new Dutch study suggests that the counterintuitive solution for halting HPV is to vaccinate only girls. How can protecting fewer children actually protect more?
Shigella is an incredibly nasty bacteria related to E coli and Salmonella, and it's only found in apes — including us humans. When we get infected, it can cause lethal dysentery, so we've evolved a cunning way of fighting off the bug, a technique which has only just been observed. The human cells attack the invading…
The 2011 Nobel Prizes have been announced, honoring preeminent achievements in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, the promotion of peace, and economics. Here's what you need to know about the three science-related Nobel Prizes.
The peanut allergy is one of the eight most common types of food allergies, and the common use of peanuts in a wide range of foods makes it particularly dangerous. But now scientists have a solution: trick your immune system.