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Policing the Immune System

Not all T-reg cells are equally effective in policing immune responses.

Not all T-reg cells are equally effective in policing immune responses. Credit: iStockphoto

By Erika Cretney and Stephen Nutt

The discovery of cells that regulate the body’s immune response will help scientists to interpret the effectiveness of newly developed drugs and have wide-ranging repercussions for the treatment of conditions including cancer and multiple sclerosis.

Erika Cretney is a Senior Postdoctoral Fellow and Stephen Nutt is Division Head in the Molecular Immunology Division at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.

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How HIV Hides in the Brain

HIV-positive people are particularly susceptible to the early onset of dementia.

HIV-positive people are particularly susceptible to the early onset of dementia. Credit: Mehau Kulyk/Science Photo Library

By Lachlan Gray

With the introduction of the latest drugs and treatments, infection with HIV no longer represents a death sentence. However, HIV-positive people are particularly susceptible to the early onset of dementia and several other conditions of ageing, such as cardiovascular disease, frailty, cancers and bone disease. New research has found that when the HIV virus gets into the brain, it infects a key cell type, the astrocyte, leading to its dysfunction. This, in turn, triggers the development of HIV dementia, and at the same time provides HIV with a hideout where it is protected from the immune system and antiviral drugs.

Lachlan Gray is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Burnet Institute and Monash University.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

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By Stephen Luntz

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Dolphins Go Fishing with Conch Shells

By Stephen Luntz

One of the remarkable behaviours of the bottlenose dolphins of Shark Bay in Western Australia appears to be becoming more common, opening up exciting questions about these intelligent animals.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Multiple Risks for Multiple Sclerosis

By Stephen Luntz

Genes and Epstein-Barr virus increase MS risk

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Tumour Is Devilishly Complex

By Stephen Luntz

Devil facial tumour disease, which is threatening the survival of the largest carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian devil, is proving more complex than originally recognised.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

The Olympic Dam Story

Olympic Dam image courtesy BHP Billiton

It’s easy to think that the sheer size of Olympic Dam made its discovery inevitable. Image courtesy BHP Billiton

By David Upton

The discovery of the Olympic Dam mine is a story of innovative geologists who defied conventional thinking, and the corporate leaders who maintained faith in them.

David Upton is author of The Olympic Dam Story. This is an extract.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Vitamin Danger for Cancer Patients

Might vitamins actually be harmful for cancer patients? Image: iStockphoto

Might vitamins actually be harmful for cancer patients? Image: iStockphoto

By Ray Lowenthal

Cancer patients need to think twice before adding vitamins to their treatment.

Ray Lowenthal is Professor of Oncology at the University of Tasmania. This article was first published in The Conversation (theconversation.edu.au).

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

The Perfect Pill?

Sunflower seeds are an attractive system for making protein drugs.

Sunflower seeds are an attractive system for making protein drugs.

By Joshua Mylne

A protein found in sunflower seeds could be the key to developing plants as pharmaceutical factories.

Joshua Mylne is an Australian Research Council QEII Fellow based at the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Ageing Young

iStockphoto

iStockphoto

By Dannon Stigers, Samuel Fraser & Christopher Easton

New evidence suggests that age-related diseases can begin to develop much earlier than we expect, making prevention more important than cure.

Dannon Stigers is a Postdoctoral Fellow, Samuel Fraser is a PhD student and Christopher Easton is a Professor at the Australian National University’s Research School of Chemistry.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.