Researchers at Oxford University’s Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics have located a variant form of a polynucleotide sequence in the MHC region of chromosome 6p and identified its association with an increased secretion of TNF. Potential applications for this discovery include the diagnosis of asthma in patients, or a predisposition to asthma, and a patients’ suitability for treatment with anti-TNF therapy.
Asthma is a disease in which the airways become inflamed leading to blockage and narrowing, with resultant symptoms including wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and tightening of the chest. Asthma sufferers can be of any race, age or sex, and over 17 million people in the United States alone suffer from the disease.
Most asthma is initiated by an IgE mediated allergy (atopy) to inhaled environmental allergens, including pollen, air pollutants and irritants. The susceptibility to asthma is strongly familial, and is due to both genetic and environmental factors. The identification of other genetic factors will lead to further understanding of susceptibility to asthma and an ability to develop a pharmacogenomic approach to treatment, new therapeutic approaches to treat sub-groups of patients who will benefit most from them. Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) is a potent pro-inflammatory cytokine that is found in increased concentrations in asthmatic airways and in lavage fluid from asthmatic lungs.
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More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
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The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
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