The immune system not only responds to infections and other potentially problematic abnormalities in the body, it also contains a built-in brake in the form of regulatory T cells, or Tregs. Tregs ensure that inflammatory responses don’t get out of hand and do damage. In autoimmune diseases, sometimes these Treg cells don’t act as they should.
Big data sets are important tools of modern science. Mining for correlations between millions of pieces of information can reveal vital relationships or predict future outcomes, such as risk factors for a disease or structures of new chemical compounds.
At a rock outcropping in southern France, a jagged fracture runs along the granite. The surface in and around the crevice is discolored black, as if wet or covered in algae.
In small plastic tubs lining the shelves of a basement laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, a million organisms live in complex societies.
Working with yeast and worms, researchers found that incorrect gene expression is a hallmark of aged cells and that reducing such “noise” extends lifespan in these organisms. The team published their findings this month in Genes & Development.
The importance of a diet rich in fish oils – now a billion dollar food-supplement industry -- has been debated for over half a century. A few large clinical trials have supported the idea that fish oils confer therapeutic benefits to patients with cardiovascular disease. Researchers think that hearts and blood vessels may benefit in part from their anti-inflammatory properties.
Sleepy Fruitflies Get Mellow: Sleep Deprivation Reduces Aggression, Mating Behavior in Flies, Penn Study Finds
Whether you're a human, a mouse, or even a fruitfly, losing sleep is a bad thing, leading to physiological effects and behavioral changes. One example that has been studied for many years is a link between sleep loss and aggression. But it can be difficult to distinguish sleep loss effects from stress responses, especially in rodent or human models.
The lymphatic system provides a slow flow of fluid from our organs and tissues into the bloodstream. It returns fluid and proteins that leak from blood vessels, provides passage for immune and inflammatory cells from the tissues to the blood, and hosts key niches for immune cells. How this system develops hasn’t been well understood, but now researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have found from experiments in mice that the early flow of lymph fluid is a critical factor in the development of mature lymphatic vessels.