Course Notes & other materials

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Blog ideas

News & information

These items were posted on the front page, and are now archived here since most remain of general interest.

News Archive

Remember the man with AIDS and leukemia who got a CCR5 delta-32 stem cell transplant? He now lives in San Francisco, and there is a CBS article and video about him. It's very interesting, though the video reporter does not understand the story very well.

Nobel Prizes for Innate Immunology! Announced on 3 October, 2011, were Nobel Prized in Physiology or Medicine for three pioneers. Ralph Steinman of Rockefeller won his prize for identifying, naming, and showing key roles for the dendritic cell. Sadly, he died a few days before the announcement, unknown to the Nobel organization; nevertheless, they have decided that he will indeed receive the award, posthumously. Jules Hoffmann of Strasbourg won for the identification of Toll as a key molecule in the fruit fly's innate defenses. And Bruce Beutler of Scripps was recognized for identifying the Toll-like receptors and their roles in mammalian innate immunity.

The first small trial of a monoclonal antibody against IL-17, the effector cytokine of Th17 cells, has been reported. It worked well in some patients with psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, or uveitis, consistent with Th17 cells being at least part of the pathogenesis of those conditions.

There will be a Keystone meeting on Molecular and Clinical Insights in Rheumatoid Arthritis in Santa Fe in January 2012. Drs. Bill Arend and Mike Holers of CU School of Medicine are speaking; Dr. Arendt will give the keynote address.

A new report by the World Health Organization slams the use of tests for antibody to tuberculosis, which are widely used in the Third World. These kinds of test can be great, but depend critically on the purity and consistency of the antigen preparation used; and WHO found results all over the place. Furthermore, though the report doesn't stress it, since antibody is not protective against TB, measuring antibody seems a bit, well, misdirected. There are better tests but unfortunately they're more expensive.

The New York Times has an interesting article about whether boys should be immunized against human papilloma virus (HPV). Seems quite bloggable!

Rinderpest, one of the most devastating diseases of cattle and wildlife, was declared eliminated from the world last week by the Food and Agricultural Organization. It's only the second infectious disease we've been able to eradicate so far. Does someone want to blog about that achievement? There is a lot on the Web.