Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

What makes an mRNA vaccine so effective against severe COVID-19?

The first two vaccines created with mRNA vaccine technology—the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines—are arguably two of the most effective COVID vaccines developed to date. In clinical trials, both were more ...

Immunology

Antibody-producing b cells may be 'predestined' for their fates

The master regulator behind the development of antibody-producing cells has been identified in a study by investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine. The findings provide new insight into the inner workings of the immune system ...

Medical research

Putting the brakes on immune reactions

When we are exposed to a pathogen, the immune system's B cells swarm to our lymph nodes, spleens, and tonsils. There, those cells mutate in germinal centers—microscopic boot camps that rush the B cells through volleys of ...

Immunology

How the immune system deals with the gut's plethora of microbes

The gut is an unusually noisy place, where hundreds of species of bacteria live alongside whatever microbes happen to have hitched a ride in on your lunch. Scientists have long suspected that the gut's immune system, in the ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

COVID-19 cytokine storms may prevent a durable immune response

Shiv Pillai, MD, Ph.D., investigator in the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard and professor at Harvard Medical School (HMS), recently published a paper in Cell showing that high levels of some cytokines seen in COVID-19 ...

Medical research

New clues about why a universal flu vaccine is so elusive

Every year, we're reminded to return to the pharmacy for a flu shot. Why can't we have a flu vaccine that offers long-term protection, like those for measles or polio? That's because the influenza virus continuously evolves, ...

HIV & AIDS

New HIV vaccine strategy 'pumps' the immune system

A new HIV vaccine delivery strategy appears to enhance the protective immune response in a preclinical model. Scientists at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) have discovered that delivering an HIV vaccine in small ...

Immunology

Researchers uncover origin of virus-fighting plasma B cells

Plasma B cells, which move through the body releasing antibodies, are an important component of the body's fight against viral infections and other invaders. They are relatively rare, however, and increasing their ranks is ...

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