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Move over Batman. This time our hero is... bats?

There is an invisible force quietly lurking in our bodies: low-level inflammation. It’s meant to be benevolent, but is far from harmless. But, could bats hold the solution?

Welcome to the May 14 edition of The Digest.

Turns out our body’s inflammation response may be a bad guy in disguise.

Inflammation evolved as the body’s protection against pathogens, poisons, and traumas. But its role in the human body is not that simple, nor is it as easy to identify as a bruised knee. Inflammation plays a key role in autoimmune diseases, where our bodies turn against themselves. These aren’t the only times that inflammation plays the bad guy: low-level inflammation, or silent inflammation, may be a common thread weaving through the deadliest chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. Now that we’ve recognized it’s role, how do we start seeing what has long been unseen? Link.

Bats have a pretty bad wrap when it comes to human health.

They are known to be reservoirs for diseases like Ebola, SARS, Covid-19, and Nipah virus (among many others) - but could their ability to host these types of viral infections and survive hold the key to fighting human diseases of the future? Potentially, according to a new study. Researchers discovered that the ASC2 protein in bats can inhibit inflammasomes, which are responsible for overactive inflammation in many diseases, and effectively block the inflammatory response. This could be a game changer when fighting diseases like heart disease, varying cancers, and other chronic diseases. Link.