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Rabies vaccine might fight disease

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            HEALTH TIPS - Friday, April 6, 2007
"News That Keeps You Healthy"

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Rabies vaccine might fight disease

PHILADELPHIA, -- U.S. scientists have used a
weakened rabies virus to vaccinate laboratory primates
against an AIDS-like disease. Researchers at Jefferson
Medical College used a drastically weakened rabies virus
to ferry HIV-related proteins into animals, in essence
vaccinating them against an AIDS-like disease. The study
suggests rabies might hold a key to defeating the human
immunodeficiency virus -- the cause of AIDS. The scientists
said two years after the initial vaccination, four
vaccinated non-human primates remained protected from
disease, even after being "challenged" with a dangerous
animal-human virus. Two control animals developed an AIDS-
like disease. "We still need a vaccine that protects from
HIV infection but protecting against developing disease can
be a very important step," said lead investigator Professor
Matthias Schnell, noting researchers aren't sure how long
the viral immunity will last. The study is reported in the
Journal of Infectious Diseases.


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Scientists study cells -- one at a time

ALBUQUERQUE, -- A U.S. Sandia National Laboratories research
team is taking a new approach in studying how immune cells
respond to pathogens immediately after exposure. Led by
chemical engineering researcher Anup Singh, the scientists
are studying individual cells as they fight invading path-
ogens. Singh said understanding the early stages of pathogen
infection might lead to more effective therapeutics to stop
disease before symptoms appear. Most existing research into
how immune cells respond has been done by looking at large
cell populations. But the Sandia researchers say information
gathered from a large population of cells may mask under-
lying mechanisms at the individual cell level. "Cells have
different life cycles, just like any living being. And not
all cells are exposed to the pathogen at the same time,"
Singh said. "We wanted to look at cells in the same life
cycle and same infectious state. This can only be done cell
by cell. We also want to study populations, but one cell at
a time." Sandia is teaming on the project, now in the second
of three years of funding, with the University of Texas and
the University of California-San Francisco.


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New dietary fat molecule is identified

LOS ANGELES, -- U.S. scientists have identified a new
molecule that might help regulate the delivery of fats to
cells for energy and storage. The researchers at UCLA's
David Geffen School of Medicine said their finding could
lead to a better understanding of how humans utilize fats
from their foods. "We thought that we had figured out how
the body digests and uses fats, but we have identified a
completely new player in the game," said study author Anne
Beigneux. The research, funded by the American Heart
Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Inst-
itute, appears in the April issue of the journal Cell

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