Studying twins, scientists have described how the gut's immune system and the gut's resident microbes co-develop.

Development of gut microbes and gut immunity linked

Studying twins from birth through age 2, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that the gut’s immune system develops in sync with the gut’s tens of trillions of microbes. The findings have implications for understanding healthy growth and, potentially, the origins of various immune disorders.

How to stop dividing cancer cells in their tracks

Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis made a discovery that uncovers the molecular logic of how dividing cells are stopped in their tracks. The team zeroed in on a specific protein, whose job is to stop a cell from dividing or to slow the division.
A hand scratching a wrist.

Itching for no reason? Immune system may be at fault

People who suffer itching with no clear cause may have previously unrecognized immune system defects. In a small study of such patients, researchers from the Center for the Study of Itch at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis identified immune system irregularities that may prompt the urge to scratch.
Marijuana leaves

As more states legalize marijuana, adolescents’ problems with pot decline

A survey of more than 216,000 adolescents from all 50 states indicates the number of teens with marijuana-related problems is declining. Similarly, the rates of marijuana use by young people are falling despite the fact more U.S. states are legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana use and the number of adults using the drug has increased. Researchers at the School of Medicine examine the data.
New research from engineers at Washington University in St. Louis suggests elastic bands in the coronary arteries might be a contributing factor to plaque buildup.

Research suggests new contributor to heart disease

Medical professionals have long known that the buildup of plaque in arteries can cause them to narrow and harden, potentially leading to a whole host of health problems — including heart attack, heart disease and stroke. While high blood pressure and artery stiffness are often associated with plaque buildup, new research from engineers at Washington University in St. Louis shows they are not the direct causes. Their findings suggest a new culprit: elastic fibers in the arterial wall.
Robert Boston

Robert C. Strunk, MD, (right) discusses results of a decades-long pediatric asthma study that involved Janae Smith, (middle) a patient and study participant, and Denise Rodgers, (left) who retired earlier this year as a clinical research coordinator. The findings emphasize that lifelong attention may be needed to prevent worsening lung function. Strunk, a renowned pediatric allergist, died of cardiac arrest April 28, before the new study's publication May 12 in The New England Journal of Medicine.  (Photo: Robert Boston/School of Medicine)

Persistent childhood asthma sets stage for COPD

Children with mild to moderate persistent asthma are at greater risk of developing chronic lung disease as young adults and, therefore, may require lifelong treatment even if their asthma symptoms subside for extended periods, according to a major national study co-led by researchers at the School of Medicine.
Huntington’s Disease is a devastating, fatal, inherited disease that causes nerve cells in the brain to break down, and there is no cure. The School of Engineering's Rohit V. Pappu has received $4.5 million in grants to study new ways to stop the disease.

Huntington’s Disease target of $4.5 million in NIH grants

Rohit V. Pappu, the Edwin H. Murty Professor of Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis, has received two grants from the National Institutes of Health totaling more than $4.5 million to study the causes behind Huntington’s disease that may ultimately provide clues for a treatment or cure.
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