Understanding how the body’s immune system recognises and responds to microorganisms can be a major step in the development of new therapies against infectious diseases. Towards this aim, a paper just released in the October issue of Embo reports1 discusses the process used by mammals to respond to bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori, Listeria monocytogenes and Streptococcus pneumoniae which are responsible for ulcers, Listeriosis and pneumonia, respectively.
In order to protect against infection it is necessary to detect invading microorganisms/ microbes capable of inducing disease. This is done through the recognition by the immune system of molecules unique to these invading organisms. In bacteria for example, components of their cell walls such as peptidoglycan, a polymer of sugars and peptides which is involved in cells shape and wall integrity, is one such target. The innate immune system is the first line of defence as it can be mobilised almost immediately and have a crucial role in prevention of infection. But the molecules/receptors and the mechanism involved in the recognition and clearance of microrganisms by this part of the immune system are still poorly known. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a family of molecules which have recently emerged as key components in the recognition of infectious agents by the innate immune system.
Now, Leonardo Travassos and Ivo G Boneca from the Institute Pasteur, Paris, France together with colleagues from the Federal University of the Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil and the University Paris-Sud, in Orsay, France, found that TLR2, a member of the TRL family seems to recognise lipoteichoic acid (LTA) an important component of the bacteria cell wall, but does not recognize peptidoglycans, a result in clear disagreement with previous work by other groups. The differences found are due, according to Travassos, Boneca and colleagues, to contamination of the bacteria used in earlier research.
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
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Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
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For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
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An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
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A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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