Chaos in bodily regulation can optimize our immune system according to a recent discovery made by researchers at the University of Copenhagen’s Niels Bohr Institute. The discovery may prove to be of great significance for avoiding serious diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
de gaps exist in our understanding of how the immune system works and how we might avoid diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Now, two researchers at the University of Copenhagen’s Niels Bohr Institute have made a discovery that could prove to be an important piece of the puzzle. PhD Mathias Heltberg and Professor Mogens Høgh Jensen have found an entirely new mechanism in the way that bodily cells regulate themselves – through chaos.
The researchers investigated how a particular protein produced within cells, NF-kB, stimulates genes. Among other things, this particular protein is vital for maintaining the body’s immune defense system and thereby, the body’s ability to combat disease. The concentration of NF-kB fluctuates over time, and these swings impact the genes and subsequently, the condition of cells.
The researchers demonstrated that chaotic swings in the concentration of the protein – what in mathematics is known as chaotic dynamics – can increase the activation of a number of genes that are otherwise not activated. In other words, when in a chaotic state, the NF-kB protein is most effective at activating genes and optimally “tuning” the immune system.
“The results can have a tremendous impact on our understanding of how the immune system functions and how the incidence of some of the most serious illnesses, including diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s, might be avoided. For example, we know that cancer is related to a failure of signaling within the body. So, to avoid cancer, it is imperative to have the right dynamic at work in cells,” says Mogens Høgh Jensen, a professor in biocomplexity at the University of Copenhagen’s Niels Bohr Institute.
Improved knowledge can improve cancer treatment
The researchers point out that this new knowledge can be deployed in future therapies.
“These could come in the form of new medications that ensure proper protein function. Therapies could also involve the withdrawal and testing of cells from a body to gauge whether cells are in the right condition to have the correct swings. If they aren’t, it may be possible to predict and discover illnesses before they occur,” explains Mathias Heltberg, a PhD student in Biocomplexity.
The research results are among the first to prove that chaos can be an important aspect of the mechanisms that steer the enormous complexity characteristic of all living things. Even the researchers were surprised by their discovery, as chaotic dynamics is often seen as something that living organisms seek to avoid. The new knowledge opens up an entirely new understanding of how genes can be regulated through varied swings in the proteins that control them.
“Chaos is a mathematically well-defined dynamic, one that, for example, has previously been used to explain great changes in weather systems. With the enormous complexity that characterizes higher order living things, it is evident that chaotic dynamics will occur in different types of systems. But how chaos plays a decisive role in living cells is entirely new,” concludes Mogens Høgh Jensen.
Based upon a range of experimental results, the researchers arrived at their conclusions through mathematical calculations and theoretical arguments.
Learn more: Chaos in the body tunes up your immune system
The Latest on: Immune system
via Google News
The Latest on: Immune system
- Disrupting the gut microbiome may affect some immune responses to flu vaccinationon September 6, 2019 at 4:50 pm
The normal human gut microbiome is a flourishing community of microorganisms, some of which can affect the human immune system. Researchers have now found that oral antibiotics, which can kill gut ...
- Nanotech turns pro-tumor immune cells into cancer-killing triple agentson September 5, 2019 at 6:25 pm
and we haven’t seen any of the toxicities that could be associated with treatments that modulate the immune system throughout the body, such as checkpoint inhibitors,” he said. And unlike other ...
- Researcher studies differences in the immune systems of men and womenon September 5, 2019 at 9:55 am
Females are less susceptible to infection but are 10 times more likely than males to develop an autoimmune disorder, such as hypothyroidism or rheumatoid arthritis. The female immune system is "a ...
- Histologics Cervical Brush Biopsy Imparts Immune Responseon September 5, 2019 at 5:47 am
We realizenot all precursors advance because of the protection of a woman's immune system. This early microscopic observation of a robust immune response following frictional brush biopsy of the ...
- Global Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Market Report, 2019-2022 - Opdivo & Keytruda Presents Significant Growth Opportunity - ResearchAndMarkets.comon September 5, 2019 at 4:17 am
Some of these checkpoints are called PD-1, PD-L1, and CTLA-4 receptors. They work by activating the body's immune system against antigens expressed on tumor cells. Drugs that target these checkpoints ...
- Arbovirus manipulation of plant immune systems to favor disease spreadon September 4, 2019 at 8:07 am
Arthropod-transmitted viruses, known as arboviruses, can cause pandemic diseases in humans, animals, and crops. The Zika virus and cassava geminivirus are two such arboviruses. These pathogens ...
- Pneumonia uses hydrogen peroxide to weaken the immune systemon September 2, 2019 at 11:17 pm
Pneumonia is a lung infection, filling up the alveoli with pus and fluid. At present, it’s the leading cause of death among children. The lung infection accounts for 15 percent of all deaths in ...
- Grant to fund Tulane research on men's, women's immune systemson September 1, 2019 at 6:32 am
NEW ORLEANS — (AP) — Scientists at Tulane University have been awarded a $1 million grant to learn more about the differences between the immune systems of men and women. Tulane says in a news release ...
- 29 Fall Superfoods That Will Boost Your Immune Systemon August 29, 2019 at 6:19 pm
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which is found in orange-colored foods. The body converts the provitamin (a substance that is converted into a vitamin) into vitamin A ...
- Meet The Synthetic Biology Company Engineering Your Immune Systemon August 27, 2019 at 10:45 pm
It’s taken 30 years of biotech, but synthetic biology can now engineer antibodies in the lab faster than the body can do it, with potential cures for everything from snake bites to a universal flu ...
via Bing News