Low Carb Diet Rich in Animal Fat and Protein Increases Risk of Death

Those who adhered to a diet low in carbohydrates but rich in animal-based fats and proteins increased their risk of death – especially by cancer, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, led by Simmons College nutrition professor Teresa Fung, Sc. D.

This study is the first of its kind to demonstrate the link between different types of low carbohydrate diets and mortality. It also sought to determine the long-term impact of low carbohydrate diets, which have been promoted as an effective option for weight loss and improving health.

Conversely, the study found that a diet low in carbohydrates but rich in plant-based fats and proteins was associated with a lower risk of mortality. Continue reading “Low Carb Diet Rich in Animal Fat and Protein Increases Risk of Death”

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Novel sensing mechanism discovered in dendritic cells to increase immune response to HIV

Dendritic cells are the grand sentinels of the immune system, standing guard 24/7 to detect foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria, and bring news of the invasion to other immune cells to marshal an attack. These sentinels, however, nearly always fail to respond adequately to HIV, the virus causing AIDS. Now a team of scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center has discovered a sensor in dendritic cells that recognizes HIV, spurring a more potent immune response by the sentinels to the virus. They report their findings in the September 9, 2010, issue of Nature.

HIV-1 viral particles, shown here as dark spheres, are recognized by infected human dendritic cells, the sentinels of the immune system, through a newly discovered sensor. The viruses are then released in special packets that are presented to T-cells to indicate which invaders the T-cell army should attack. Manipulating this novel response system could aid in vaccine design, a new study shows.

(Photo Credit: : Nicolas Manel, Alice Liang and Eric Roth) Continue reading “Novel sensing mechanism discovered in dendritic cells to increase immune response to HIV”

New Research Finds Evidence of Charitable Behavior in Bacteria

Researchers from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard and from Boston University have discovered that charitable behavior exists in one of the most microscopic forms of life—bacteria.  Their findings appear in the current issue of Nature.

In studying the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, the researchers found that the populations most adept at withstanding doses of antibiotics are those in which a few highly resistant isolates sacrifice their own well being to improve the group’s overall chance of survival.
Continue reading “New Research Finds Evidence of Charitable Behavior in Bacteria”