Roughly a third of recent high school graduates have ridden in a motor vehicle with a substance-impaired driver, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.
Scientists have discovered a human antibody that protected mice from infection with the deadliest malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. The research findings provide the basis for future testing in humans to determine if the antibody can provide short-term protection against malaria, and also may aid in vaccine design. NIAID investigators led the research with colleagues at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Currently, there is no highly effective, long-lasting vaccine to prevent malaria.
Two new clinical trials testing an experimental vaccine to prevent influenza caused by an H7N9 influenza virus are now enrolling volunteers at sites across the U.S. The Phase 2 studies, sponsored by NIAID, will test different dosages of the inactivated influenza vaccine candidate (called 2017 H7N9 IIV) as well as different vaccination schedules. The studies also will evaluate whether an adjuvant boosts the immune responses of people receiving the vaccine.
To understand the link between aging and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, NIH scientists compared the genetic clocks that tick during the lives of normal and mutant flies. They found that altering the activity of a gene called Cdk5 appeared to make the clocks run faster than normal, and the flies older than their chronological age. This caused the flies to have problems walking or flying later in life, to show signs of neurodegeneration, and to die earlier.
With diverse proposals focused on everything from natural killer cells to therapeutic vaccines to treat HIV, three recipients have been selected for the 2018 Avant-Garde Award for HIV/AIDS Research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health. The awards will each provide $500,000 per year for up to five years (subject to the availability of funds) to support the research of three scientists, Drs. Catherine Blish, Nathaniel Landau, and Sara Sawyer.
Researchers are developing a promising alternative to antibiotic treatment for infections caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteria resistant to carbapenem antibiotics. The approach uses antibodies to target the K. pneumoniae protective capsule polysaccharide, allowing immune system cells called neutrophils to attack and kill the bacteria. The early stage, in vitro research was conducted by scientists at NIAID's Rocky Mountain Laboratories and the New Jersey Medical School-Rutgers University.
NIH-funded researchers used the gene editing tool CRISPR to rapidly identify genes in the human genome that might modify the severity of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) caused by mutations in a gene called C9orf72. The results of the search uncovered a new set of genes that may hasten neuron death during the disease.
A more intensive biomedical research approach is necessary to control and ultimately eliminate tuberculosis (TB), according to a perspective published in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. In the article, authors Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Robert W. Eisinger, Ph.D., special assistant for scientific projects at NIAID, discuss the need to modernize TB research by applying new diagnostic, therapeutic, and vaccine approaches.
Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) -- preparations of a type of antibody designed to bind to a single target -- have shown promise in the fight against cancer and autoimmune diseases. They also may play a role in future battles against emerging infectious disease outbreaks, according to an NEJM article by NIAID scientists. The article outlines the potential uses for mAbs as treatments for infectious diseases, as prevention for protecting at-risk individuals, and slowing disease outbreaks
Familial human prion diseases are passed within families and are associated with 34 known prion protein mutations. To determine whether three of the unstudied mutations are transmissible, scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) exposed research mice to brain samples from three people who died from a familial prion disease. After observing the mice for about two years, they found two of the mutations, Y226X and G131V, are transmissible.