In the 1920s, the scientific community unanimously concluded that the brain was disconnected from the immune system. However, this notion of “immune privilege” is being debunked after researchers found a backdoor in the brain that allows immune cells to monitor the brain from a distance and strike when necessary. This discovery suggests that diseases such as Alzheimer’s may be caused not by brain problems, but by a communication malfunction between the brain and the immune system.
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With drug overdose deaths on the rise, authorities are attempting to curb the epidemic by tracking and sharing information in real time. In one unique effort, a nonprofit in New York City is using drug-testing equipment and stamping or marking habits of dealers to identify drug batches that may endanger users. Other approaches are also being used, such as monitoring drug-related chatter on Reddit and analyzing local wastewater for opioid and other drug levels. With the combination of these efforts, researchers hope to put a dent in the opioid crisis and reduce overdose deaths. Read full article here