Urban biodiversity to lower chronic disease

Replanting urban environments with native flora could be a cost effective way to improve public health because it will help 'rewild' the environmental and human microbiota, University of Adelaide researchers say.

Researchers discover the secret to bats' immunity

An international research team led by Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, has identified molecular and genetic mechanisms that allow bats to stay healthy while hosting viruses that kill other animals, according to a new study ...

More than 100 new gut bacteria discovered in human microbiome

Scientists working on the gut microbiome have discovered and isolated more than 100 completely new species of bacteria from healthy people's intestines. The study from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Hudson Institute of Medical ...

Gut microbiome differs among ethnicities, researchers find

Research increasingly links the gut microbiome to a range of human maladies, including inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes and even cancer. Attempts to manipulate the gut with food rich in healthy bacteria, such as yogurt ...

Microbiome implicated in sea star wasting disease

The culprit might be many microbes. Since 2013, a gruesome and mysterious disease has killed millions of sea stars along the West Coast from Mexico to Alaska—making the animals turn to goo, lose their legs, and pull their ...

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Inflammation

Inflammation (Latin, inflamatio, to set on fire) is the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. It is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli as well as initiate the healing process for the tissue. Inflammation is not a synonym for infection. Even in cases where inflammation is caused by infection, the two are not synonymous: infection is caused by an exogenous pathogen, while inflammation is the response of the organism to the pathogen.

In the absence of inflammation, wounds and infections would never heal and progressive destruction of the tissue would compromise the survival of the organism. However, an inflammation that runs unchecked can also lead to a host of diseases, such as hay fever, atherosclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. It is for that reason that inflammation is normally closely regulated by the body.

Inflammation can be classified as either acute or chronic. Acute inflammation is the initial response of the body to harmful stimuli and is achieved by the increased movement of plasma and leukocytes from the blood into the injured tissues. A cascade of biochemical events propagates and matures the inflammatory response, involving the local vascular system, the immune system, and various cells within the injured tissue. Prolonged inflammation, known as chronic inflammation, leads to a progressive shift in the type of cells which are present at the site of inflammation and is characterised by simultaneous destruction and healing of the tissue from the inflammatory process.

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