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

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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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343 views

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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263 views

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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21 views

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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953 views

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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44 views

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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38 views

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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52 views

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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46 views

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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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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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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438 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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1answer
44 views

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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3answers
54 views

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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126 views

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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3k views

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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1answer
38 views

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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426 views

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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3answers
155 views

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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65 views

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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1answer
133 views

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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2answers
221 views

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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77 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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1answer
135 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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2answers
120 views

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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118 views

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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206 views

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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1answer
109 views

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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132 views

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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487 views

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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1answer
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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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1answer
139 views

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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434 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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91 views

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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80 views

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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73 views

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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140 views

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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63 views

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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210 views

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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69 views

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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2answers
191 views

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 ...