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

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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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876 views

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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328 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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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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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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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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Reasons why people say that AIDS/HIV doesn't exist

It's been recurrent when I hear people saying that AIDS doesn't exist. When I ask why, they give weird reasons like HIV is a virus created to control economy and to develop medicine, etc. Also when I ...
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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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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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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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Do we have enough diversity of antibodies to overcome almost any antigen?

I always wonder about the capability of diversity of our antibodies. Do we have enough antibodies to fit to every kind of molecule? Wont't it be easier if our antibodies are like clay and can be ...
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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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68 views

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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117 views

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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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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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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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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HIV and T helper cells

As far as I know and could understand from reading about HIV, T helper cell is one of the main reasons to develop AIDS in patients infected with HIV virus, that because the absence of helper T cell ...
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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 ...
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How do the variable portions of antibody genes look in cells which don't produce antibodies?

There are several families of antibodies found in mammals. They may have two or more antibody domains which contain heavy and light chains. The variable regions of the light and heavy chains genes ...
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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 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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Are there any viruses or bacteria which have evolved to withstand higher temperatures due to fever

My question was raised after receiving this information: The primary reason the body raises its temperature (via the Hypothalamus in this case) is that bacteria and viruses tend to optimally ...
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363 views

If fever is a natural immune defense, why do people take drugs to lower it?

If fever is a natural defense against pathogens, why do sick people take NSAIDs to reduce the fever?
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Antibody-antigen database

Is there a database where I can find an affinity estimate if I provide a given antibody and a given antigen sequence ? Input : antibody + antigen sequence Output : quantitative binding/affinity ...
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Is there a strong reason to be sceptical about the “cured HIV patient” being reported by mainstream media?

There's a story going round the news about a baby that was, apparently, cured of HIV using a cocktail of drugs at an early age. The story piqued my interest, but details seem scarce. One of the main ...
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What factors must be taken into account for the maintenance of the immunogenicity of ovalbumin antigen?

What factors must be taken into account for the maintenance of the immunogenicity of ovalbumin antigen? If the ovalbumin is aggregated, could we inject it for induction of immune reponse?
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Is it possible to give a person an allergic reaction in a very specific place?

Can I give a person an allergic reaction at a very specific spot in a tissue? And if so, how accurate can i get?
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Can the immune system stop plasmodium from being active?

Suppose a female Anopheles infected with Plasmodium bites someone and transmits Plasmodium to their body. Can that person's immune system be strong enough that it can kill the Plasmodium before it ...
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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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What prevents a pregnant woman's immune system from recognizing her fetus as nonself (and attacking)?

I'm familiar with the scenario of Rh- mother with Rh+ fetus having complications (more so after her first child), but that's not what I'm curious about. I want to know mechanistically why a pregnant ...
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How to evaluate the efficacy of an antibody for fluorescence microscopy?

I'm trying to evaluate data taken from fluorescence microscopy with antibody staining, and am wondering whether there is any standard way to evaluate the specificity of the antibody for such ...
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variation in antigen binding site of antibodies

Antibodies or immunoglobulins are proteins made ​​by the immune system in response to alien(!) molecules. Each antibody binds to its specific antigen. This great diversity and specificity is cause of ...
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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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Why human body cannot defend against HIV? [closed]

Some says that HIV destroy IRF3, and some says HIV overruns T-cells.
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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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Is it possible to purify antigens from a vaccine and to separate them from the adjuvant?

I need to separate the antigens from several vaccines in order to use them for coating microplates to run an indirect ELISA. I at least need to remove the adjuvant from the vaccines. Is this possible ...
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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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160 views

Why does not the host produce any immune response to antiserum antibodies?

When an antiserum is injected to a person to protect oneself from a certain disease, the antibodies in the antiserum come from another organism. The question is: Why don't the injected antibodies ...
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192 views

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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113 views

Conjugate secondary antibody

Why is the secondary antibody conjugated to the enzyme in ELISA, instead of the primary antibody? Wouldn't it be easier to conjugate the enzyme to the primary antibody?
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183 views

Insulin and monoclonal antibody production

When producing insulin, the gene for its production is inserted into the plasmid of a bacterium that is allowed to replicate freely. Why can't the same thing be done with antibodies (as I understand ...
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51 views

Is it more likely to develop a throat-ache at night?

I have noticed that I rarely develop phlemmy throat-aches in the daytime, but often notice them after I have been sleeping. Is this a recognised phenomenon? Could it be because viruses or bacteria ...
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76 views

Why glycoproteins are better than non-glycoproteins in fulfilling biological tasks?

I have just an intuition that the carbohydrate part of glycoproteins help them to fulfil those tasks like in plasma membranes. You can also get many more receptors if you can use carbohydrates too. ...
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294 views

Can the RNA in the HIV virus make viral enzymes without entering the nucleus?

If the provirus was not formed yet, can the virus make viral enzymes? (I know that it already has some, but supposing it doesn't)