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» cell & molecular biology 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: Taste in the Mouth, Gut, and Airways

Taste in the Mouth, Gut, and Airways

By | December 1, 2011

The tongue may be the epicenter of taste sensation, but taste receptors are scattered throughout the digestive and respiratory tracts.

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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: Helpful Bacterial Metabolites

Helpful Bacterial Metabolites

By | August 1, 2011

While gut microbiota appear to have both positive and negative impacts on our  health, in the guts of healthy, lean individuals, the good outweighs the bad.  

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image: Harmful Bacterial Metabolites

Harmful Bacterial Metabolites

By | August 1, 2011

Gut bacteria that feed on healthy food appear to amplify the nutritional benefits of those foods. However, they also appear to amplify the undesirable effects of unhealthy food. 

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image: Exosome Basics

Exosome Basics

By | July 1, 2011

Exosomes are small membrane vesicles secreted by most cell types. Internal vesicles form by the inward budding of cellular compartments known as multivesicular endosomes (MVE). 

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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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