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Seminal Finding Has Major Implications For The Development Of New And Better Vaccines

A research team led by the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology has identified the specific gene which triggers the body to produce disease-fighting antibodies -- a seminal finding that clarifies the exact molecular steps taken by the body to mount an antibody defense against viruses and other pathogens. The finding, published online today in the prestigious journal Science, has major implications for the development of new and more effective vaccines. The La Jolla Institute's Shane Crotty, Ph.D., was the lead scientist on the team, which also included researchers from Yale University. "The finding is enormous in terms of its long-term benefit to science and society as a whole because it illuminates a pivotal piece of the vaccine development puzzle -- that is, 'what is the molecular switch that tells the body to create antibodies?

What Is a Ganglion? What Is a Ganglion Cyst?

Ganglion cysts are fluid-filled swellings that tend to form on top of joints or tendons in the wrists, hands, and feet. They have the appearance of firm or spongy sacs of liquid and their insides consist of a sticky, clear, thick, jelly-like fluid. Ganglion cysts are idiopathic, which means they generally form for unknown reasons. As painless and benign (not dangerous) growths, ganglion cysts often do not require treatment and go away on their own. According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary, a ganglion cyst is "A cyst containing mucopolysaccharide-rich fluid within fibrous tissue or, occasionally, muscle bone or a semilunar cartilage;

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Potential Fix For Damaged Knees Identified By Study

Investigators from Hospital for Special Surgery have shown that a biodegradable scaffold or plug can be used to treat patients with damaged knee cartilage. The study is unique in that it used serial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and newer quantitative T2 mapping to examine how the plug incorporated itself into the knee. The research, abstract 8372, was presented during the annual meeting of the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, June 9-12, in Keystone, Colo. "The data has been encouraging to support further evaluation of this synthetic scaffold as a cartilage repair technique, " said Asheesh Bedi, M.D., a fellow in sports medicine and shoulder surgery at Hospital for Special Surgery who was involved with the study.

Gene Regulates Immune Cells' Ability To Harm The Body

A recently identified gene allows immune cells to start the self-destructive processes thought to underlie autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and rheumatoid arthritis, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found. Researchers showed that mice without the Batf gene lacked a type of inflammatory immune cell and were resistant to a procedure that normally induces an autoimmune condition similar to human MS. They plan to look for other genes and proteins influenced by Batf that could be targets for new treatments for autoimmune diseases. "Batf allows immune cells to head down a pathway that's been a very hot topic in immunology because of its potential links to autoimmune disease, " says senior author Kenneth Murphy, M.

Act On Official Audit, Arthritis Care Challenges 'Half-Hearted' Health Services, UK

Arthritis Care, the UK's largest support charity for people with arthritis, welcomes the National Audit Office report into rheumatoid arthritis services and urges health chiefs to implement its recommendations as swiftly as possible. The audit highlights 'minimal' GP training in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and poorly co-ordinated services, which the charity says means thousands of people with this devastating disease are failed by the system. 'The NAO report echoes what people with RA have been telling Arthritis Care for years - that it takes too long to get diagnosed. Early diagnosis and referral for suitable treatment is crucial as it can literally stop this debilitating condition in its tracks.

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Childhood Arthritis: Common But Preventable Consequence Of Lyme Disease

When left untreated, children infected with Lyme disease can experience many severe complications as a result including arthritis, problems with the heart or central nervous system. Lyme disease in children is often overlooked in its earliest stages, leading to these complications later on, according to Emma Jane MacDermott, M.D., pediatric rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. This problem is particularly common in the Northeast: the ticks that carry the disease are found in this area and up to 90 percent of the cases occur here. After the initial exposure, which occurs when a tick bites an infected animal usually a deer or a mouse and then feeds on a child, the disease is considered to be in its early stage.

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