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 ...

Why macrophages rest in healthy tissue

ETH scientists have shown that the immune system's macrophages are regulated not only biochemically, but mechanically as well. This could explain why the cells are less active in healthy body tissue.

Seal serum offers protection from inflammation

Seal lungs can take a terrible pounding when one of the mammals leaves the surface. When the lungs collapse during deep descents in order to protect the animal, the delicate tissues incur damage as they are crushed, then ...

Hydrogel heals without additives

Sometimes when you're invested in a project you fail to notice things that turn out to be significant.

Inflammatory responses in flies give insights into human diseases

Francis Crick Institute scientists have discovered that fruit flies and humans have much in common when it comes to inflammatory responses to stress or injury. Their research gives insights into human diseases and possible ...

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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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