8/3/2012 7:23:36 AM
Allergies, or hypersensitivities of the immune system, are more common than ever before. According to the Asthma and Allergies Foundation of America, one in five Americans suffers from an allergy -- from milder forms like hay fever to more severe instances, like peanut allergies which can lead to anaphylactic shock. While medications like antihistamines can treat the symptoms of an allergic reaction, the treatment is too limited, says Prof. Ronit Sagi-Eisenberg, a cell biologist at Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine. Cells release dozens of molecules during an allergic reaction, and available medications address only a small subset. Now she and her fellow researchers are working to identify what triggers allergic reactions in the body, with the goal of stopping an allergic reaction before it starts.
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