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Author: Simon McGrath

The microbiome hypothesis: Lipkin’s collaborative, part 1

The microbiome hypothesis: Lipkin’s collaborative, part 1

A gut reaction is the problem in ME/CFS – that’s the main idea being pursued by Dr W. Ian Lipkin of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University. He believes that the body’s response to changes in the gut could be what’s driving ME/CFS for at least some patients. Lipkin’s collaborative group, the Center for Solutions for ME/CFS, will test this theory as part of a $9.6 million, five-year research programme, which Lipkin was good enough to discuss…

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Dr Ron Davis’s big immune study is looking at HLA genes. Here’s why.

Dr Ron Davis’s big immune study is looking at HLA genes. Here’s why.

Dr Ron Davis has won a large NIH (US National Institutes of Health) grant for an immunology project with a strong focus on HLA genes. Which may have led some to wonder, ‘What are they?’ HLA (human leukocyte antigen) molecules play a critical role in the immune system, particularly by activating T cells. There is a huge amount of variation in the HLA genes that different people have, and Davis’s theory is that certain types of HLA genes could increase the…

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Analysis of data from 500,000 individuals in UK Biobank demonstrates an inherited component to ME/CFS

Analysis of data from 500,000 individuals in UK Biobank demonstrates an inherited component to ME/CFS

Guest blog by Professor Chris Ponting and colleagues. UK Biobank – a national biobank different from the ME/CFS biobank – has data from around 500,000 individuals, including both healthy people and those with one or more of the many different diseases in the UK population. About 2,000 people in the sample reported that they had been given a diagnosis of CFS. Analysis of data from this biobank indicates an inherited biological component for ME/CFS. The results show only one statistically…

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A plan to replicate Mark Davis’s remarkable findings of immune activation in ME/CFS

A plan to replicate Mark Davis’s remarkable findings of immune activation in ME/CFS

A team led by Edinburgh University’s Professor Chris Ponting has won funding for a PhD student who would follow up and expand on remarkable recent findings made at Stanford University, where Dr Mark Davis may have pinpointed a major issue in the immune system in ME/CFS. Last year, Davis produced strong evidence of T cell clonal expansion, similar to that seen in illnesses including multiple sclerosis and acute Lyme disease. His discovery came from a new and sophisticated way of…

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There’s a yawning gap in ME/CFS research funding. Take action.

There’s a yawning gap in ME/CFS research funding. Take action.

When I got ME more than 20 years ago, I thought that science would soon provide the answers to my illness. Instead, I saw little good research going on, and there’s been a spectacular lack of progress since then. We have no treatments and still don’t even know what causes the disease. Why not? The fundamental reason for the lack of good science is that there is not enough funding: money is the sun that powers the research world. And…

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