allergies

Several years ago, a school bus full of elementary students in Massachusetts was evacuated. A potentially deadly item was found on the floor. Was it a gun? A bomb? A blood-contaminated hypodermic needle?

No, it was a peanut.

Over-the-top responses to peanuts aren't uncommon. People are under the impression that the mere whiff of a peanut is enough to send some kids to the emergency room. But, that's simply not true. The molecules in peanuts that are responsible for aroma are not the same as the ones that trigger allergies. Also, an allergic reaction only occurs if...

Multiple myeloma is a type of blood cancer. B-cells, immune cells that play a crucial role in adaptive immunity, differentiate into plasma cells that secrete the antibodies we need to fight infections and other foreign invaders. Multiple myeloma is a cancer of these plasma cells.

A common treatment for multiple myeloma is itself an antibody called daratumumab. (Pro tip: A drug name that contains the suffix -mab indicates the drug is an antibody.) The antibody targets a cell membrane protein called CD38, which is highly expressed on malignant plasma cells. This triggers an immune response against the malignant cells, resulting in their death.

B-cells and plasma cells also play a role in allergies....

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Happy Spring! Cue the sniffles, scratchy throats, and sinus headaches. Experts warn that this year's pollen count is high, but how do they actually measure it?

It's actually pretty simple: pollen counts are generally taken with a system called a "rotorod." The sampling...

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An op-ed by family medicine practitioner Victoria Dooley, MD, in today s New York Times discusses the problems engendered when people who say they are allergic to certain antibiotics actually aren t and why this is a deadly problem.

For example, penicillin allergy the most commonly reported drug allergy is self-reported in about 5 to 10 percent of patients. However, in large-scale studies of penicillin...

Screen Shot 2013-12-24 at 12.36.48 PMThe mysterious world of allergies got a little stranger yesterday as a new study concluded that nut allergies in children can be greatly reduced if their mothers (if they are themselves not allergic to nuts) eat tree nuts and peanuts while they are pregnant.

It is not an urban myth that peanut allergies in children have increased in recent years. It is not only real, but the magnitude of the change is astounding. Indeed, during the period from 1997 to 2010, the prevalence of peanut...

894326_54591782If spring evokes thoughts of tissues rather than love because of allergies, there may be some new treatments on the horizon. As reported in a story in The New York Times, allergists may abandon the old series of injections to desensitize sufferers in favor of using drops or tablets placed under the tongue.

As most allergic people know,...