immune system

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It's a Little Gross, but Snot Is Also Crucial

When healthy, we produce half a cup a day

(Newser) - There's a lot of snot oozing out of people's nostrils this time of year, but did you know we produce half a cup a day just when we are healthy, and unwittingly swallow almost all of it? PBS Digital Studios has published two "gross science" videos on... More »

100-Year-Old Antiseptic Could Battle Viruses and Superbugs

It does double duty, binding to DNA of both patients and bacteria

(Newser) - An antiseptic that German scientists invented in 1912 using coal tar has the potential to help treat and prevent both viral and bacterial infections, according to new research out of the Hudson Institute of Medical Research in Australia. Acriflavine was used throughout both world wars as a shotgun approach to... More »

Peanut Allergy Skin Patch Looks Promising in First Trial

It was particularly effective in younger kids

(Newser) - Peanut allergies are on the rise, and some are so severe as to result in anaphylaxis (often causing swelling, vomiting, and a drop in blood pressure) and death, reports the Mayo Clinic . Even without harmful exposures, constant vigilance can be stressful, but treatments don't yet exist—while research suggests... More »

Our Bodies Fight Off Illness Far Better in the Mornings

Some viruses and pathogens even manipulate our molecular 'clockwork' to up their chance of thriving

(Newser) - Studies have suggested that the time of day one receives a flu shot can actually affect how effective it is, and now University of Cambridge researchers are reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that our immune systems are better at fighting off viruses and pathogens at... More »

Nasty Parasite in Cat Poo May Be a Cancer Fighter

In mice, it fights ovarian tumors

(Newser) - Again and again, research on the parasite toxoplasma gondii, commonly found in cat feces, reveals just how nasty and widespread it is. It's linked to rage disorder , might boost one's risk of schizophrenia and other mental disorders, and in an odd and probably fatal twist, makes the mice... More »

Go Ahead, Suck Your Thumb

Study finds kids who do have fewer allergies

(Newser) - Kids who suck their thumbs or bite their nails past preschool age may drive their parents crazy, but at least the habits appear to incur a health benefit: a reduced risk of allergies. So report researchers in a new study showing that the protective effect lasts into adulthood. Their findings... More »

Discovery of Hidden Vessel in Brain Called 'Stunning'

It may rewrite textbooks on immune system, has implications for Alzheimer's

(Newser) - It may not sound like much to those without neuroscience degrees: A researcher at the University of Virginia spotted a lymphatic vessel while studying the brain of a mouse. But the reason words like " stunning ," " dazzling ," and " landmark " are being used to describe the... More »

Binge Drinking Does a Number on Immune System

Immune system slows down a few hours after 'peak intoxication'

(Newser) - If you're set on doing some heavy pouring to ring in the new year, you've probably already resigned yourself to a recovery hangover tomorrow. But binge drinking—defined by the CDC as having five or more drinks in two hours if you're a guy, four or more... More »

To Regenerate Immune System: Fast for 3 Days?

Body makes new white blood cells: researchers

(Newser) - Scientists in California believe they have a tip for those with weakened immune systems: Fast for three days. The brief period "flips a regenerative switch" in the body, the University of Southern California researchers say, via the Telegraph : "It gives the 'OK' for stem cells to go... More »

(Moderate) Boozing Boosts Your Immune System

New study gives you a reason to have that New Year's drink

(Newser) - Brace yourself for the best news you'll hear this New Year's Eve: A moderate amount of alcohol can strengthen your immune system, according to a new study. The study monitored three groups of monkeys over the course of 14 months. In the beginning of the study, all the... More »

New Treatment Kills Cancer Like It's a Cold

T-cells are infused with genes to kill off cancer

(Newser) - What if people's immune cells could battle cancer like they fight off the common cold? Researchers at three US cancer centers are testing just such an idea by reprogramming the T-cells of cancer patients to destroy cancer cells—and it's working remarkably well, CNN reports. "This is... More »

A Secret to Women's Longer Life Revealed

New study finds that women's immune systems decline more slowly

(Newser) - Why do women typically walk the Earth longer than men? According to a new Japanese study, the immune system is to thank—or blame, depending on your gender. It found that men's immune systems weaken more quickly than women's, leaving males more susceptible to disease, the BBC reports.... More »

Dead Bats Could Provide AIDS Clue

Study finds similar immune system response

(Newser) - One positive development may come out of the study of white nose syndrome , the devastating disease killing off swaths of bats: insight into AIDS. Researchers studying bats who survived white nose, only to die anyway, eventually realized the bats' own aggressive immune response was to blame. After fighting off the... More »

Low Social Status Bad for Your Health

The immune system is happier on top

(Newser) - It's not only good to be king—it’s good for your health, according to a new study. British research has long shown that underlings in the corporate pecking order suffer from more stress-related, life-threatening health problems than the executives who order them around. Now the Economist reports that... More »

My, What a Sexy Immune System You Have

Hunky men seem to be healthier, too: Study

(Newser) - Why do women swoon over handsome men like Brad Pitt? Not merely for their rippling muscles or striking faces, but because of their robust immune systems, according to a new study. Men who appear seductively macho have higher testosterone, and the study found a correlation between testosterone levels and a... More »

Immune System Researchers Win Nobel

International scientists paved the way to better vaccines

(Newser) - The week of Nobel Prize announcements has begun, and first up was medicine, which was awarded today. The winners: three researchers who have made key discoveries about the immune system. American Bruce Beutler, Luxembourg native Jules Hoffmann, and Canadian-born Ralph Steinman "have revolutionized our understanding of the immune system... More »

Women Better at Fighting Disease

The extra X chromosome makes them healthier

(Newser) - Ever wonder why women tend to live longer than men? Well, it turns out the fairer sex is made of stronger stuff when it comes to fighting off disease and riding out shocks to their systems, according to a study published today from Ghent University in Belgium. Researchers found that... More »

Scientists Find Trick to 'Disarm' HIV

Without its cholesterol, virus can't harm immune system

(Newser) - A group of US and European scientists have discovered a way to prevent the HIV virus from harming the immune system, in a breakthrough that could lead to an entirely new approach to fighting AIDS. They discovered that by extracting cholesterol, they could render the virus a sitting duck for... More »

Sex With Neanderthals Boosted Our Immunity

Scientists make 'stunning' discovery in genome comparison

(Newser) - Three years ago, scientists thought humans had never had sex with Neanderthals. Last year, they changed their tune—and now it looks like DNA passed down from Neanderthals has had a “profound impact” on our immune systems. Scientists compared a section of the modern human genome to the same... More »

Happiness Leads to Longer Life, Say 160 Studies

Chronic anger, anxiety leads to higher disease rates

(Newser) - Being happy—or at least optimistic—makes you live longer, found scientists analyzing the combined results of more than 160 studies. "Happiness is no magic bullet," one scientist said, but there's "clear and compelling evidence" linking positivity and longevity. Some studies, for example, linked an upbeat, "... More »

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