Science Daily, Oct. 11, 2006 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061010022641.htm GALVESTON, Texas -- One of the most dangerous risks of contracting a serious bacterial infection is that the victim may develop sepsis--an overreaction by the immune system causing destructive inflammation throughout the body, often leading to heart and other organ failure and death. Even the best hospital intensive care units may be helpless to save patients stricken by severe sepsis.  Muppets creator Jim Henson died of the disease in 1990 at age 53. Now, Assistant Professor Kota V. Ramana and Professor Satish Srivastava of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) and their collaborators have discovered that in laboratory mice, blocking the activity of a single enzyme known as aldose reductase can short-circuit sepsis, protecting heart function and greatly reducing sepsis deaths. (Also featured in Innovations (Germany) and BiologyNet.)