Researchers at the Board of Governors' Gene Therapeutics Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have confirmed the existence of anatomical structures that channel information exchanges between a T cell and its target, an antigen-presenting brain cell, in laboratory rats. This immunologic synapse, or junction where signals are shuttled between two immune cells, has previously only been observed in cell cultures, in part because of the limitations of imaging and the rapid, touch-and-go nature of the communication itself.
According to the researchers, this work should settle the controversy over the existence and functional significance of mature immunological synapses in vivo during antiviral immune responses. The findings will allow further experimental exploration of immunological synaptic function during normal and pathological immune responses in vivo.
The full study can be accessed at www.jem.org.
The mechanism of how immunological synapses "speak" to each other in vivo has not been observed prior to this research. Although formal proof of this awaits the development of drugs or mutations that interfere selectively with synapse formation, the confirmation of these cellular structures increases the understanding of the immune system and paves the way for further research on the body's immune response system. New knowledge in this area may ultimately improve treatment for immune disorders such as MS, cancer, and AIDS.
Pedro Lowenstein, M.D., Ph.D., co-director, Board of Governors' Gene Therapy Research Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and principal investigator of this study, is available for interviews.
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
08.12.2016 | Life Sciences
08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences