Why is ebola deadlier than other viruses?

Ebola is the nightmare virus. It kills ninety percent of people infected, and was for some time feared as the second coming of the plagues of the 1400s. Why is this one virus so much more deadly than other viruses? » 8/29/13 11:08am 8/29/13 11:08am

Is your immune system affecting how you think?

Over at Discover, Carl Zimmer tackles a question that many of us are wondering about during flu season. Why do our brains get sluggish when we're sick? It turns out that a neuroscientist named Jonathan Kipnis is working on an answer. He studies how T cells, major players in our immune system, collect in the lining… » 2/15/13 11:58am 2/15/13 11:58am

New wonder-drug could give us all super-memory

It sounds like science fiction, but neuroscientists have identified a molecule in mice that, when suppressed, significantly boosts memory. It's meant as a radical treatment for Alzheimer's patients, but there's no reason the rest of us couldn't take it, too. » 12/18/11 3:30pm 12/18/11 3:30pm

All the winners of this year's Nobel Prizes in science!

The 2011 Nobel Prizes have been announced, honoring preeminent achievements in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, the promotion of peace, and economics. Here's what you need to know about the three science-related Nobel Prizes. » 10/13/11 6:04pm 10/13/11 6:04pm

Scientists figure out how to switch off peanut allergy

The peanut allergy is one of the eight most common types of food allergies, and the common use of peanuts in a wide range of foods makes it particularly dangerous. But now scientists have a solution: trick your immune system. » 10/11/11 4:30pm 10/11/11 4:30pm

How fruit flies control their own immune systems with a song

Humans aren't the only animals that have to guard against potential infection during sex. Fruit flies are at greatly increased risk of infection during their mating season, which is why the male's mating call actually boosts the female's immune system. » 10/05/11 3:18pm 10/05/11 3:18pm

How a handful of tiny RNA gives women better immune systems

There's a longstanding belief that, on average, women are healthier than men, and with good reason. Women live longer, and studies reveal women fight off disease better than their male counterparts. But where does this advantage come from? Turns out it's all thanks to some microRNA on the X-chromosome. » 9/28/11 7:40am 9/28/11 7:40am

Infection-resistant monkeys could be crucial in the fight against HIV

Sooty mangabeys are a monkey species found on the western coast of central Africa. Their unique immunity to SIV, a relative of HIV, has intrigued medical researchers for decades. Now we know just how their immunity works. » 6/27/11 1:09pm 6/27/11 1:09pm

Sex with Neanderthals gave humans the strength we needed to conquer the…

It's only relatively recently that the scientific community has begun to accept that early humans interbred with our Neanderthal cousins. Now it looks as if it was not only possible, it was essential for providing us with immunity from strange diseases. » 6/16/11 11:35am 6/16/11 11:35am

Swine flu and bird flu may team up to create a supervirus

In 2009, swine flu created a minor pandemic, only killing about 15,000 people but infecting millions more. The avian flu H9N2 is ravaging bird populations throughout Asia. They're bad enough on their own...but what if they joined forces? » 2/28/11 1:54pm 2/28/11 1:54pm

Swine flu gives its survivors supercharged immunity

The swine flu pandemic of 2009 was one of the worst flu scares in recent memory, even if its actual effects ended up being relatively moderate. Now something unambiguously good could come of all this: a universal flu vaccine. » 1/11/11 12:58pm 1/11/11 12:58pm

Having intestinal worms could prevent allergic reactions

Intestinal worms have figured out a way to keep themselves protected from your body's immune system, by taking control of part of it. The job of flushing out these worms would normally go to your T cells, which attack invaders. But the worm Heligmosomoides polygyrus makes a protein which restrains the production of T… » 9/30/10 4:00pm 9/30/10 4:00pm

Specially engineered killer T-cells could make organ rejection a thing…

Specially engineered killer T-cells could make organ rejection a thing of the past">The greatest problem for transplant procedures is that the body's immune system will reject the life-saving replacement organ. But mice have special cells that can selectively suppress the immune response - and they could revolutionize… » 8/22/10 11:30am 8/22/10 11:30am

Top Medical Discovery of 2007 Explained via Cartoon

For a long time, it seemed as if a medical discovery that Science called "one of the greatest of 2007" might never get covered by the mainstream media because it was just too complicated. But then an enterprising journalist and artist with the Philadelphia Inquirer boldly went where no reporters dared go. Writer Tom… » 3/26/08 3:00pm 3/26/08 3:00pm