Research Spotlight

The fight against cancer is a fight against a living thing, with its own intelligence. Our bodies are smarter than our minds by whatever metric you might pick.

Scientists and clinicians have developed and used immune-based therapies, or more simply immunotherapies, to attack cancer in multiple ways.

The human brain can process a picture in just 13 milliseconds. The cellular functions underlying this incredible processing speed involve not just neurons, but also a supporting cast of other types of brain cells.

The immune system surveys the body by sampling proteins, called antigens, from both the human host and any invaders. So how does the immune system keep from attacking the host?

Your fat is alive. Your fat is alive and it is talking. It is listening. It is reading its DNA and deciding what to make. It is coordinating more complex processes than an air traffic controller. It is smarter than Matt Damon in The Martian.

While our immune system functions to protect us from such things as invading microbes, these same defenses can also erroneously turn against the body.

This past weekend I sliced my finger while attempting to slice a carrot. The Wusthof cut through the nail on my left pinkie, aggravating a piece of flesh that, until that point, had successfully avoided combat.

Reproducibility in biological research — or more specifically the lack of it — is an ongoing issue.

As you read these words, hold out your hand. Notice the space between your fingers, the fragments of MacBook you can see through these windows. Think about how these digits formed, precisely arrayed and extended.

Today, HIV infection is no longer a death sentence for those with access to anti-retrovirals. These drugs suppress replication of the virus and keep viral levels low in patients. However, as HIV patients on anti-retrovirals age, they show higher rates of age-related diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Understanding HIV pathogenesis is the focus of the laboratory of Warner C. Greene MD PhD, HIV expert and Director of the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology.