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Cytokine levels could predict immunotherapy problems

The development of immunotherapy, which mobilizes the body’s own immune system to destroy cancer cells, is one of the greatest advances in cancer treatment, but immunotherapy can cause harm to healthy tissue in some patients. Researchers at UT Southwestern have identified blood-based biomarkers that may help identify those patients at greatest risk of developing autoimmune side effects from the treatment.

Laughing Gas May Have Helped Warm Early Earth and Given Breath to Life

More than an eon ago, the sun shone dimmer than it does today, but the Earth stayed warm due to a strong greenhouse gas effect, geoscience theory holds. Astronomer Carl Sagan coined this “the Faint Young Sun Paradox,” and for decades, researchers have searched for the right balance of atmospheric gases that could have kept early Earth cozy.

Genomic Study of 412 Anthrax Strains Provides New Virulence Clues

By analyzing genomic sequences from more than 400 strains of the bacterium that causes anthrax, researchers have provided the first evidence that the severity – technically known as virulence – of specific strains may be related to the number of copies of certain plasmids they carry. Plasmids are genetic structures of the cell that can reproduce independently, and are responsible for producing the anthrax toxin and other virulence factors.

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