The study of the immune system in organisms, primarily responsible for fighting infection.

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More proteins from diet when common cold and flu?

My coach says that I need to eat 1.2 - 1.5 grams of proteins per kilogram when I have a common cold and flu. I normally eat one gram of proteins per kilogram, while double it when doing my exercise ...
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How are antibodies designed?

Antibodies have the ability of recognising highly specific peptide sequences and bind it at their antigen-binding site. This ability is harnessed as a tool in research to purify target structures in ...
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Can pets catch the cold?

Last night I was drying my cat with a towel after shenanigans in the rain and she sneezed! Questions Can cats/dogs/hamsters or other pets catch the cold? How quickly do they recover?
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Immune reaction to “new” protein

I read in Bruce Alberts Molecular Biology of the cell : Normal mice,for example, cannot make an immune response against one of their own protein components of the complement system called C5. ...
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28 views

Manufacturing toxoids

Toxoids produced by tetanus and diphtheria bacteria are detoxified with formaldehyde, yet their antigen properties remain. Source : Biological Science by Taylor What does formaldehyde do ?
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What is the distinction between chemokines, cytokines, interferons and interleukins?

They all seem to describe molecules of similar function and many people seem to use them interchangeably. Also please include any other similar molecules if I've forgotten any in the list above.
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Modern immunology textbooks

I am looking for recommendations to good textbooks introducing modern immunology. Review articles, preferably modern (post 2000) would also be useful. Please, include a brief comment with each book ...
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At what age do babies begin to synthesize their own antibodies?

When babies are first born, they receive their antibodies from their mother (I assume because they do not yet have the capacity to synthesize their own). So my question is, at what age do babies ...
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Is an antivenom venomous?

What happens when someone takes an anti-venom for an animal they weren't bit by, either for incorrect identification of the animal they were bit by or if they weren't bit at all? I am looking for the ...
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Are there any antigen electronic sensors?

Is it possible somehow to attach antibody to silicon or to other electronic component chemical, and have electronic detector of correspondent antigen? Does such devices exist?
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Adenosine metabolism

Are adenosine or its catabolites increased in inflamed airways? How can I assess this? I am trying to use inhibitors for adenosine deaminase, xanthine oxidase, and purine nucleoside phosphorylase, but ...
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Do T-cells express MHC molecules?

T-cells recognize the MHC molecules and body's own peptides. When it doesn't, it alarms the immune system. But do T-cells express MHC molecules ? If so, how are they using it? If not, what happens ...
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Transfer of antibodies in breast milk of humans

Why isn't the IgA secreted in breast milk digested due to proteases of the digestive system in the baby? Wikipedia says: The secretory component of sIgA protects the immunoglobulin from being ...
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Transfer of antibodies from mother to fetus

My questions: When does fetus begins to acquire antibodies from mother? Does it continue throughout the pregnancy? From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_immunity This occurs around ...
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Neutrophil elastase ELISA

I want to do the above assay but by mass spectrophotometry (MS). Hence I need to optimize in MS friendly buffers like formic acid, ammonium formate, ammonium acetate. Has any one done this ...
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A number of questions regarding chemotaxis assay using PBMCs

In our lab we would like to study the chemotaxis of PBMCs towards conditioned medium obtained following treatment of cancer cells with different compounds. My questions are regarding the method of ...
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54 views

Antibody production in secondary immune response

Can IgG antibodies be produced in the secondary immune response without the help of T cells? Is the affinity of antibody for antigens higher during secondary immune response?
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Presence of MHC on red blood cells

Do red blood cells have no MHC? (I have often heard that they do not.) If so why are they not destroyed by immune cells?
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Do you know of any disease where HLA / MHC association discovery has led to better treatment or management?

If we discover an association between a disease and a particular HLA type (MHC class I or class II molecule) then it may provide us with some insight into the disease in a very basic way. However, ...
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Number of MHCs in neurons

I have read that neurons have proportionately less MHC molecules than other cells of the body. What is the advantage of this?
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Variation in MHC in humans

What evolutionary process lead to so much variation in MHC? What is the advantage of having such variation?
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A possible cause of autoimmunity

I read that Doherty and Zinkernagel found that MHC- heterozygotes present more antigens to the immune system than homozygotes; yet, the infected heterozygous mice in their experiment all ...
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Can antibodies be formed against white blood cells after blood transfusion?

If antibodies are produced against other blood groups' red blood cells, why can't antibodies form against white blood cells, of any blood group? (even the same one, as MHC will be different in almost ...
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439 views

Difference between viral and human genetic material

I have heard that there is a difference between viral and human genetic material. What is that difference? If I take my cells and take DNA out of them and insert only a small part of it having a ...
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Adaptability in immune system

I read somewhere that recently some people are trying to use harmless bacteria that live symbiotically in humans to express some portions of antigens of the harmful ones. Some people have raised ...
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Why do people have antibodies against other blood types?

The ABO blood type divides each blood type according to whether they have the "A" and "B" antigen(s) (AB has both, O has none). People also have antibodies against the antigens they don't have (AB has ...
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What is the genetic basis of blood type (ABO) system?

What is the genetic basis of the A/B/B+/O/etc. blood type system? Are there definitive loci that correspond to each or can multiple different genotypes produce the same antigen profile? Also, is the ...
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What are the effects of excessive UV exposure on the human immune system?

In my readings, several authors have suggested that excessive/prolonged exposure to UV (particularly UVA) can have harmful long term effects on the human immune system. This leads to my question, ...
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Biological/molecular basis of nutritional need differences between blood types?

There are many nutrition books and websites (like http://www.aqua4balance.com/Healthy-Diet/blood-type-nutrition-educational-workshop.html) that assign very different nutritional needs to individuals ...
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Up to date B cell review

Where would I find an up to date (last 6-7 years max) review on B cells? I've tried searching through pubmed with filters, cochrane library, medline and various other resources including searching old ...
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Cell identification by Body Cells

How do the B-cells and T-cells recognize or distinguish a body cell from a foreign particle? I suspect something to do with this causes Auto Immune Disorders.
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How is antibody production stopped?

Once clonal selection is done, B cells would start dividing and producing antibodies. So, after an antigen is eliminated, what stops the division of B cells and antibody production?
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Is there a link between autoimmune diseases and X-chromosome inactivation?

I was reading about the necessity of niche formations to adequate development of blood progenitors and this idea reminded me of the patchy inactivation of the X chromosome which followed that maybe, ...
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Why don't we form immunity to some infections?

I read another question, and its answers, about how vaccines work, but I don't see there, and and don't understand, why some infections can, seemingly, not be immunized against at all. For example, ...
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Who would win in a fight: an amoeba or a leukocyte?

(sorry, I couldn't resist the rhyming, silly title) I find it facinating that humans can suffer from an amoeba infestation. Amoeba must reproduce far more slowly than bacteria. In size, they seem to ...
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Can antimicrobial peptides be called antibiotics?

Antibiotic peptides are present in almost all multicellular eukaryotes. So can they be called antibiotics ? ( which are usually defined only for fungi and bacteria )
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Possibility and feasibility of producing designed antibodies with bacteria

As stated here it is possible to produce fragments of antibodies in bacteria and harvest them (from the medium, I guess, but I don't have access to the full article). As it is possible to design ...
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In which order did the cells of the immune system evolve?

Thinking about how complex the interactions between different types of immune system cells (T-helpers, T-Killers, Phagocytes, B-Cells etc.) are, it's fascinating how they all combine to get the ...
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Autophagy in eukaryotic cells

What is autophagy? How and under which circumstances is it used by the cell? I believe The reason for autophagy is some kind of recycling, am I right? But why does it occur in infections?
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Plasma cells and memory cells

What decides whether an activated B cell will get converted to plasma cell or memory B cell? Is it necessary that out of a mitotic division one will convert to memory B cell and the other to plasma ...
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Movement of stem cells from mother to fetus

Recent results from J Lee Nelson and colleagues (Sci Am. 2008 Feb;298(2):64-71; available as full text through Google) show that cells from the mother were found in a person aged 46. Logically, these ...
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Can you cure allergies?

A common solution is allergy shots, which helps you adapt to the allergy. But are there ways to tell the body that this allergy is safe and there is no need to amount a response to it? So that there ...
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How do infectious bacteria know when their numbers are high enough to attack a host?

When you get sick, you generally don't contract enough bacteria at once for them to succeed in battling your immune system, right? Their numbers must gradually increase in the host's body before they ...
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How does the immune system distinguish own and foreign antibodies?

Therapeutic antibodies, for example Rituximab which recognises CD20 on B lymphoma cells, can cause adverse effects (e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19399690) One reason behind these adverse ...
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Immunity during pregnancy

I have learnt that our immune system distinguishes self from non-self by using MHC. So a mother during pregnancy should also develop antibodies against the fetus as it is also a genetically different ...
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How does the immune system “learn” from a vaccine?

According to Wikipedia: A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins or one ...
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Do cockroaches have less health issues than humans?

Cockroaches are known to live in very dirty places like sewers. Does this cause them to evolve to be stronger against parasites and bacteria? Recently I read online that cockroaches can sustain ...
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How does paracetamol interfere with immune system?

Paracetamol is used to reduce body temperature when it is to high. The high body temperature (fever) is known to be an indication that immune system fights against an infection. In this context I ...
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What is the smallest molecule that can present as an antigen to the immune system in the context of allergies?

People often claim, in a colloquial sense, that they are "allergic to everything". Is it possible to have a full-fledged IgE mediated allergic response to very small molecules? I was always under ...
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What causes peanut allergies?

Surveys show that 0.6 percent of the US population has an allergic reaction to peanuts. This prevalent allergy has even prompted some to ban peanuts from schools altogether. I am completely ...