Plasma cells at the center of a novel treatment approach — ScienceDaily

Researchers from Charité — Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum (DRFZ) Berlin, a Leibniz Institute, have successfully treated two patients with the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus. Using daratumumab, a monoclonal antibody which targets specific immune cells known as plasma cells, the researchers were able to modulate the abnormal immunological memory processes found in these patients. Treatment induced sustainable clinical responses and resulted in a reduction in systemic inflammation. The results of this research have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The body’s immunological memory enables the immune system to respond more rapidly and effectively to pathogens that have been encountered before. This immune response is mediated by both memory T lymphocytes and antibodies, which are produced by cells known as ‘plasma cells’. Mature memory plasma cells reside in special niches in the bone marrow and are able to produce large amounts of antibodies for decades

Read More

NASA inspector general criticizes high-risk approach to CLPS program

WASHINGTON — NASA’s inspector general warned in a recent report that the agency’s planetary science division was taking “undue risk” in its current approach to a commercial lunar transportation program.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), in an audit of the agency’s planetary science division released Sept. 16, highlighted several issues with the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program established in 2018 to buy payload space on commercially developed lunar landers to transport science and technology demonstration payloads to the surface of the moon.

“If not adequately addressed, these risks could result in mission failure and the loss of expensive NASA payloads and significant taxpayer investment,” the report noted.

The OIG report highlighted several issues with the CLPS program. It criticized NASA for failing to perform due diligence on companies selected for CLPS awards as required under Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). “Specifically, NASA contracting personnel did not obtain sufficient information

Read More