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A common bacterial pathogen called Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces a virus that substantially increases the pathogen's ability to infect us, according to a study by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine. P. aeruginosa weaponizes its resident virus to exploit the immune system's distinct responses to bacterial versus viral infections. This marks the first time a bacteria-infecting virus, otherwise known as a bacteriophage or just phage, has been observed inducing the immune system to mount an antiviral response and, in doing so, causing it to ignore the bacterial infection. When the scientists generated a vaccine directed at the virus, they showed that it dramatically lowered the bacteria's ability to infect wounds in mice. Read More
In the context of a project funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, the microbiologist Franz Radner was able to identify an important mechanism of skin metabolism and develop new treatment options for the skin disease ichthyosis. The therapy could also be effective against ageing of the skin. Named after the Greek word for fish, ichthyosis is a rare genetic disease which results in the skin becoming very dry and scaly. There are mild types that do not prevent patients from leading a normal life, but there are also severe types that can be fatal. The condition cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be alleviated with baths and ointments. Franz Radner, a researcher from Graz, was now able for the first time to explore in greater detail how a genetic defect leads to the disease. Read More
Scientists from the National University of Science and Technology "MISIS" developed nanomaterial, which will be able to restore the internal structure of bones damaged due to osteoporosis and osteomyelitis. A special bioactive coating of the material helped to increase the rate of division of bone cells by three times. In the future, it can allow to abandon bone marrow transplantation and patients will no longer need to wait for suitable donor material. An article about the development was published in Applied Surface Science. Such diseases as osteoporosis and osteomyelitis cause irreversible degenerative changes in the bone structure. Such diseases require serious complex treatment and surgery and transplantation of the destroyed bone marrow in severe stages. Read More
In recent months, hepatitis A, Shigella bacteria, and typhus outbreaks have all been reported in cities across the country. Yes, you read all of that correctly. Recent cases of these rare conditions have been cropping up in particularly vulnerable communities in large urban areas. These diseases have especially been on the rise in homeless communities, where lack of medical care and unhygienic conditions have served as a breeding ground for so-called “medieval” diseases — diseases that typically don’t pose a threat to the general American population in the 21st century. Read More