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» biochemistry and immunology

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image: Inflammation, Pain, and Resolvins

Inflammation, Pain, and Resolvins

By | January 1, 2012

Not all inflammation leads to pain. Despite widespread infection followed by fever, colds rarely cause pain. But when some cytokines and certain immune cells are active near pain-sensing nerves, they trigger receptors that convey pain sensations to the brain.

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image: The Cytokine Cycle

The Cytokine Cycle

By | September 1, 2011

The initiating cause of Alzheimer’s disease is still unknown. However, from our studies it’s clear that many types of neuronal damage—­­from traumatic brain injury, to epilepsy, infection, or genetic predisposition—­can activate brain immune cells—microglia and astrocytes-- promoting them to produce IL-1 and S100 inflammatory cytokines.

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image: The Anatomy of a High

The Anatomy of a High

By | June 3, 2011

When someone snorts or smokes cocaine, which is composed of small crystalline alkaloid molecules, the drug enters the bloodstream and from there eventually crosses into the heart, brain, and other organs. 

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image: Part Human, Part HIV

Part Human, Part HIV

By | June 3, 2011

Like other enveloped viruses, HIV exits its host cell enshrouded in the cell’s membrane, which contains membrane molecules such as the human leukocyte antigens (HLA). 

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image: Where Cancer and Inflammation Intersect

Where Cancer and Inflammation Intersect

By | April 1, 2011

Recent clinical trials have reignited the interest in simple anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin for controlling the inflammation associated with cancer. 

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image: Epigenetics—A Primer

Epigenetics—A Primer

By | March 1, 2011

Epigenetic events regulate the activities of genes without changing the DNA sequence. Different genes are expressed depending on the methyl-marks attached to DNA itself and by changes in the structure and/or composition of chromatin. 

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image: Intestinal Molecular Signaling

Intestinal Molecular Signaling

By | January 1, 2011

Microbes, both good and bad, can exert direct effects on host cells and vice versa. 

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