Survival of very premature infants is improving in France

Since 2011, nearly 7,000 premature infants have been enrolled in the Inserm EPIPAGE 2 study. This study is aimed at assessing the survival of infants born between 22 and 34 weeks’ gestation, and their subsequent outcomes. Compared with data from the EPIPAGE 1 cohort in 1997, the proportion of infants born in 2011 from the 25th week of gestation, who survived without severe neonatal disease, showed a definite increase. However, survival is still rare for infants born before 25 weeks. —> Read More Here

Genetically engineered antibody-based molecules show enhanced HIV-fighting abilities

Capitalizing on a new insight into HIV’s strategy for evading antibodies — proteins produced by the immune system to identify and wipe out invading objects such as viruses — Caltech researchers have developed antibody-based molecules that are more than 100 times better than our bodies’ own defenses at binding to and neutralizing HIV, when tested in vitro. The work suggests a novel approach that could be used to engineer more effective HIV-fighting drugs. —> Read More Here

Among gut microbes, strains, not just species, matter

Sophisticated genomic techniques now allow scientists to estimate the strains, not just the species, in samples of the human gut’s microbe collection. Differences in the strains of microorganisms present might account for the variable influence the gut’s microbe community has on human health and disease. Understanding the effects of various strain combinations on such functions as metabolism, immunity and drug reactions might suggest ways to manipulate the gut microbiome to improve health. —> Read More Here

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