Ancient Egyptian Cosmetics: ‘Magical’ Makeup May Have Been Medicine for Eye Disease

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Queen Nefertiti and other ancient Egyptian women may have worn heavy makeup to protect against eye infections that were a constant threat in the time of the pharaohs.

There’s more to the eye makeup that gave Queen Nefertiti and other ancient Egyptian royals those stupendous gazes and legendary beauty than meets the eye. Scientists in France are reporting that the alluring eye makeup also may have been used to help prevent or treat eye disease by doubling as an infection-fighter.

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Biological Basis of ‘Bacterial Immune System’ Discovered

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Bacteria and archaea (first discovered in extreme environments such as deep-sea volcanic vents, such as the one shown above) manage to survive thanks in part to a built-in defense system that helps protect them from many viruses and other invaders.

Bacteria don’t have easy lives. In addition to mammalian immune systems that besiege the bugs, they have natural enemies called bacteriophages, viruses that kill half the bacteria on Earth every two days.

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Researchers Working To Treat Pandemic Flu By Arming The Immune System

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Researchers creating a new vaccine against H1N1 hope to harness the power of the immune system’s dendritic cells, which are responsible for directing the body’s immune response.

Viruses multiply incredibly quickly once they’ve infected their victim–so fast that antiviral medications such as Tamiflu are only effective if given during the first few days of an infection. After that, the viral load is just too high for a single drug to fight off. But researchers are working on a treatment for the H1N1 virus (or swine flu) that uses a different approach. Rather than disabling the virus with a drug, they’re creating a vaccine that can activate and steer a patient’s own immune cells to attack the invader.

 

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Some Germs Are Good for You: Surface Bacteria Maintain Skin’s Healthy Balance

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Bacteria growing in a cell culture.

On the skin’s surface, bacteria are abundant, diverse and constant, but inflammation is undesirable. Research at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine now shows that the normal bacteria living on the skin surface trigger a pathway that prevents excessive inflammation after injury.

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New Synthetic Molecules Trigger Immune Response To HIV And Prostate Cancer

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Artist’s rendering of viruses. Scientists have developed synthetic molecules capable of enhancing the body’s immune response to HIV and HIV-infected cells, as well as to prostate cancer cells.

Researchers at Yale University have developed synthetic molecules capable of enhancing the body’s immune response to HIV and HIV-infected cells, as well as to prostate cancer cells. Their findings, published online in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, could lead to novel therapeutic approaches for these diseases.

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Major Step In Making Better Stem Cells From Adult Tissue

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Scientists have developed new technique that is 200 times more efficient and twice as fast as conventional methods for transforming adult human cells into induced pluripotent stem cells.

A team led by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute has developed a method that dramatically improves the efficiency of creating stem cells from human adult tissue, without the use of embryonic cells. The research makes great strides in addressing a major practical challenge in the development of stem-cell-based medicine.

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New Strategy For Mending Broken Hearts?

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This immunofluorescence staining image shows the cardiomyocytes in green and the fibroblasts interspersed around them in red. The cells are aligned around the central pore.

By mimicking the way embryonic stem cells develop into heart muscle in a lab, Duke University bioengineers believe they have taken an important first step toward growing a living “heart patch” to repair heart tissue damaged by disease.

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Blood-brain Barrier As Therapy Delivery System: Enzyme Delivered Through Bloodstream Corrects Deficiencies In Brain

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A model of the human brain.

The blood brain barrier is generally considered an obstacle to delivering therapies from the bloodstream to the brain. However, University of Iowa researchers have discovered a way to turn the blood vessels surrounding brain cells into a production and delivery system for getting therapeutic molecules directly into brain cells. Continue reading… “Blood-brain Barrier As Therapy Delivery System: Enzyme Delivered Through Bloodstream Corrects Deficiencies In Brain”

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Potential Way To Make AIDS Vaccine Found

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The first new HIV antibodies to have been identified in more than 10 years, PG9 and PG16

The discovery of immune system particles that attack the AIDS virus may finally open a way to make a vaccine that could protect people against the deadly and incurable infection, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.

 

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Retina Cells Created From Skin-derived Stem Cells

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early retinal cells (green) and early brain cells (blue).

A team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health has successfully grown multiple types of retina cells from two types of stem cells — suggesting a future in which damaged retinas could be repaired by cells grown from the patient’s own skin.

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Colon Cancer Vaccine

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X-ray image shows a barium enema in a patient with cancer of the bowel

A cancer vaccine with a twist is making headway in clinical trials at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Rather than targeting a cancer-related virus–the way Gardasil targets human papillomavirus to prevent some cervical cancers–the new vaccine triggers the immune system to attack a faulty protein that’s often abundant in colorectal cancer tissue and precancerous tissue.

 

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Experimental New Treatment For Peanut Allergy In Children

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New treatment for peanut allergies

Children suffering from potentially lethal nut allergies can now live normal lives for the first time following the success of an experimental new treatment.

Doctors at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge have developed a pioneering therapy which effectively “retrains” the immune systems of patients who have food allergies so that they become desensitised to the food.

 

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