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Why Viral Infections Are More Severe in People with Down Syndrome
In people with the genetic condition, inflammation can cause a mild infection to snowball out of control, a study finds.
Why Viral Infections Are More Severe in People with Down Syndrome
Why Viral Infections Are More Severe in People with Down Syndrome

In people with the genetic condition, inflammation can cause a mild infection to snowball out of control, a study finds.

In people with the genetic condition, inflammation can cause a mild infection to snowball out of control, a study finds.

innate immunity
Tiliqua rugosa, sleepy lizard, on reddish soil in western Australia
Researchers Probe Genetics Behind a Lizard’s Odd Immune System
Hannah Thomasy | May 10, 2022 | 4 min read
Deletions in the sleepy lizard genome leave it without an important type of T cells found in most other vertebrates.
Photo of a tiger moth
Antibiotics Given to Moths Spur Upregulation of Growth Genes
Devin A. Reese, PhD | Mar 1, 2022 | 2 min read
A new study has identified a molecular tradeoff between growth and immunity in moths in response to the administration of subtherapeutic doses of antibiotics, a common practice in animal husbandry.
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What's Mine is Yours: The Immunogenetics of Mating in Anglerfish
Sejal Davla, PhD | 1 min read
A suppressed immune system in anglerfish uncovers potential strategies for tissue transplantation.
Red blood cells are pictured in grayscale on a gray background
Red Blood Cells Activate Innate Immune System
Abby Olena, PhD | Oct 20, 2021 | 4 min read
Researchers link the ability of the cells to bind and present DNA from pathogens and cell death to anemia, which is common in COVID-19, and immune activation.
cartoon of a scientist holding a magnifying glass up to test tubes of blood
How the Second mRNA Vaccine Bolsters Immunity
Annie Melchor | Jul 23, 2021 | 6 min read
A study looks beyond T and B cell responses to show how the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine elicits a strong innate immune response.
A computer-generated graphic showing a cross-section of red-colored bacteria, with the locations of the protein APOL3 labeled in green.
Human Protein Dissolves Bacterial Membranes
Abby Olena, PhD | Jul 15, 2021 | 4 min read
The protein, apolipoprotein L3, destroys invading microbes by acting as a detergent in the cytosol.
the molecular structure of interferon-alpha
Lots of Rapid Evolution in Interferon-Stimulated Genes: Study
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Jul 1, 2021 | 2 min read
A comparison of interferon-related genes across 20 primate genomes reveals differences in the speed at which they evolve and new targets for antiviral discovery efforts.
Infographic: A Cellular Defense Against Ebola Virus
Rachael Moeller Gorman | Dec 1, 2020 | 1 min read
A recent study sheds light on a previously unknown mechanism for fending off the pathogen, and potentially other viruses as well.
Immune Genes Protect Cells from Ebola Virus and SARS-CoV-2
Rachael Moeller Gorman | Dec 1, 2020 | 3 min read
A pathway involved in the adaptive immune system, a relative newcomer in the world of pathogen defense, may have a more ancient role in protecting cells from invading viruses.
Lipid Droplets Are Intracellular Bacteria-Fighting Machines
Ruth Williams | Oct 15, 2020 | 3 min read
Far from being inert fat-storage depots within cells, these lipid-loaded organelles recruit immune proteins and block bacterial growth.
a child in a hospital bed
Kids’ Severe COVID-19 Reaction Bears Unique Immune Signature
Shawna Williams | Sep 29, 2020 | 4 min read
The rare complication known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) differs from both Kawasaki disease and severe adult cases of COVID-19, a study finds.
Special Report
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Seeking an Early COVID-19 Drug, Researchers Look to Interferons
Alakananda Dasgupta | Jul 20, 2020 | 9 min read
These antiviral proteins are produced by the body as a natural defense against viral infections and synthetic interferons might help prevent or treat the beginning stages of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
SARS-CoV-2 Protein Hampers Innate Immune Reaction In Vitro
Abby Olena, PhD | May 21, 2020 | 3 min read
The viral protein known as ORF3b limits the induction of the type I interferon response, which typically alerts other immune system components to the presence of a virus, in cultured cells.
Novel DNA-Sensing Pathway Found in Human Cells, Absent in Mice
Catherine Offord | Jan 24, 2020 | 4 min read
This previously unknown mechanism for spotting foreign genetic material in the cytoplasm launches antiviral defenses even when the well-known immune mediator STING is absent.
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Innate Immune Cells May Actually Remember Their Targets
Emma Yasinski | May 10, 2019 | 3 min read
Human natural killer cells, previously considered not to participate in adaptive immunity, remember viral antigens after initial exposures, according to a new study.
Image of the Day: An Infectious Glow
Carolyn Wilke | Mar 7, 2019 | 1 min read
In CRISPRed fruit flies that lack certain antimicrobial peptides, bacterial infections flourish, as revealed by fluorescent markers.
Some Antibiotics Rev Up Host Immune Response to Viruses
Shawna Williams | Apr 9, 2018 | 4 min read
The antimicrobial drug neomycin protects mice from some viral infections, complicating the picture of the relationship between antibiotics and susceptibility to viruses.
Natural Selection Kept Neanderthal DNA in Modern Humans
Anna Azvolinsky | Dec 29, 2016 | 4 min read
Interbreeding with Neanderthals appears to have reintroduced genetic sequences related to innate immunity that had been lost as humans migrated out of Africa. 
One Way Placenta Deflects Zika Infection
Kerry Grens | Apr 5, 2016 | 1 min read
Certain immune cells surrounding the organ appear to block viral entry.
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