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Latest Defensin Stories

2014-01-15 14:29:54

Recent highlights in Molecular Biology and Evolution Defensins, as their name implies, are small proteins found in plants and animals that help ward off viral, bacterial or fungal pests. One fascinating question of invertebrate evolution is how these proteins evolved into venoms to attack their prey. Based on structural similarity, it was proposed that scorpion toxins and antimicrobial invertebrate defensins could have a common ancestor. To address how a nontoxic protein develops into a...

2013-10-18 11:24:28

Leishmaniasis is a vector borne disease caused by different Leishmania species with different clinical manifestations. Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is endemic and widespread especially among young individuals in Iran. Currently prophylactic or therapeutic vaccines are not available, and in spite of vector control wherever possible, the disease has not been controlled. Although the majority of zoonotic CL cases heal within 6-9 months, anthroponotic cases persist much longer. Both types leave...

2012-07-25 09:31:19

Researchers: Findings about innate peptide may offer new avenue of research for combating HIV, other viruses Human defensins, aptly named antimicrobial peptides, are made in immune system cells and epithelial cells (such as skin cells and cells that line the gut). One of these peptides, human neutrophil peptide 1, under certain circumstances hinders HIV infection, but exactly how it works remains unclear. HIV entry into mature T-helper cells (cells essential to the immune system)...

2011-01-21 16:15:34

Mystery of 'inactive' defensin solved Under standard laboratory conditions, the human beta-defensin 1 (hBD-1), a human antibiotic naturally produced in the body, had always shown only little activity against microbes. Nevertheless the human body produces it in remarkable quantities. The solution to the puzzle was the investigation process itself, as the research group led by Dr. Jan Wehkamp at the Dr. Margarete Fischer-Bosch Institute for Clinical Pharmacology of the Stuttgart-based Robert...

2010-06-02 13:46:50

Since the beginning, plants and animals have deployed various mechanisms to fight pathogens. Proteins have always played an important part in this armoury, and a broad variety of defensin proteins have become part of the immune system of plants, insects and other animals except mammals. Now scientists from Regensburg discovered that those proteins also play a role in the "sex life" during the fertilization process of plants. These findings will be published next week in the online, open...

2010-01-27 11:18:48

Canadian research team publishes findings in Journal of Biological Chemistry A new study has found that Vitamin D, readily available in supplements or cod liver oil, can counter the effects of Crohn's disease. John White, an endocrinologist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, led a team of scientists from McGill University and the Universit© de Montr©al who present their findings about the inflammatory bowel disease in the latest Journal of Biological...


Word of the Day
tessitura
  • The prevailing range of a vocal or instrumental part, within which most of the tones lie.
This word is Italian in origin and comes from the Latin 'textura,' web, structure.