They have discovered an amino acid, called arginine, is required to let the body know that it's being attacked by an infection.
It is still early in their work but this discovery could have implications for the millions of people in third world countries that do not get enough food and consequently become ill with infection.
It may also be the mechanism involved in chronic inflammation, like arthritis because if you have too much arginine it may cause the body to be in a constant state of thinking it is being attacked.
In a healthy person, macrophages are the first cells to arrive at the site of infection. They eat the infected cells and present a molecule that is recognized by the immune system on the surface of the infected cell which attracts more immune fighting cells to the area. According to Lamb it is known that arginine is essential for the function of macrophages but until now no one realized that arginine has a much bigger role.
In their most recent work, Lamb and Mieulet presented arginine to a laboratory model. These models were better able to fight infection even if they were malnourished.
"This is a major work," said Lamb. "If this holds true in humans it shows that one aspect of nutrition that is critical is the level of amino acids."
The study, which is published in the August edition of journal Science Signalling, has taken the research group from the University of Alberta three years.
Quinn Phillips | EurekAlert!
Serious children’s infections also spreading in Switzerland
26.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern
New vaccine production could improve flu shot accuracy
25.07.2017 | Duke University
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.07.2017 | Life Sciences
26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences