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

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How HIV Affects and Its Treatment using Combination Therapy

Can someone please help me with the following questions. I've written my specific questions right after the text question. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus. Its genome is a single ...
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55 views

What attracts cells to: pathogens, professional antigen-presenting cells, and cells with an antigen on its MHC-1 protein?

I have a few questions in regards to attraction/stimulation in the immune system. What attracts leukocytes and antibodies to pathogens in the first place? What attracts CD4+ cells to professional ...
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71 views

Calibration curve for single radial immunodiffusion

When we draw a calibration curve for single radial immunodiffusion, the curve does not pass through origin. Instead, there is a y intercept. Why does that happen ? Shouldn't zero antigen give zero ...
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What's the difference between naive and memory B cells?

I understand that when naive B cells are exposed to antigens, they become memory B cells, but what is the functional difference between the two? I've looked at the quite a few article on B cells, but ...
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60 views

How specific is the adaptive immune response?

When you read about the adaptive immune response, you are often told that the response is specific to each pathogen - that the response is tailored. My question is - to what extent is this really ...
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Allergic rhinitis vaccine

Note : Any answer to this question will not be (and should not be) taken as medical advice. One of my friends has allergic rhinitis and has been prescribed an oral vaccine. He is allergic to 3 ...
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Exocytosis of mast cell secretory granules

I've been doing a bit of reading about mast cell degranulation and have become thoroughly lost while trying to understand how the secretory granules are actually secreted. I understand that there are ...
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Why it is rare for person to get infected with two Pathogens?

Why is it rare for a person to have 2 (or more) infectious diseases (for example: Flu & Cold together at the same time)? Although it's rare, it happens when the immune system is weak (e.g when ...
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Tc and Th1 interaction and viral immune response

Tc is T cell which can give T killer cells and T helper cells. T helper cells (Th1) see the pathogen presented by antigen presenting cells (dendritic cells and macrophages). They then secrete antigens ...
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Why is there no way to remove an immune response?

We've known for a long time now how to "add a new entry to the database," as it were, of immune responses. It's called vaccination, and it's been one of the greatest success stories in the history of ...
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Why Rh conflict happen but no ABO conflicts?

I wonder why Rhesus conflict can happen during pregnancy and mother can make antibodies against Rh protein (I think the correct name is D protein), but it doesn't happen if mother has different ABO ...
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223 views

Dimerization of Immunoglobulin G

I would like to know the specific determinants for formation of IgG dimers. My understanding is the stem of the antibody is a homodimer of two heavy chains, covalently bonded through two disulfide ...
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Why will tissue from identical twin be rejected in some cases?

From Medline Plus : Also, transplants from one identical twin to another are almost never rejected. My question : Why can a tissue from an identical twin be rejected ?
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Is a naive immune system equally able to handle new antigens as an educated one?

This is a variation of the "does the immune system run out of memory" question. Here's a (possibly imperfect) thought experiment: You take two twins. One of them lives in a bubble from birth. One of ...
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When does exposure to an allergen increase / decrease allergy?

In immunotherapy a person is regularly exposed to an allergen to decrease the allergy. Yet apparently "repeated intranasal challenges ... induces robust allergic airway inflammation, " [0] So when ...
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81 views

Do any nonhuman species have effective ebola immunity?

I've read that ebola is an effective killer in humans because it has the ability to interrupt dendritic cells from manufacturing proteins that cause the immune system to destroy the dendritic cells ...
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187 views

Why mosquito bite is confined to a certain shape?

I think this problem should be asked in a physiology forum rather than biology@ stackex but I'll give it a try. So my question is simple - why a mosquito bite is usually confined to a certain shape ...
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If all B cells are present at birth, why should the primary response to an infection take longer than the secondary response?

When learning about the immune response, my teacher mentioned that all the bodies B cells are present at birth, and there is one to counter every disease. But if this is the case, why should the ...
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345 views

What is the beneficial function of IgE antibody?

Dont tell me the "function" of IgE is to cause allergy ! In whatever texts I have seen it is written that IgE is important to cause allergies but what is the beneficial function of IgE ? Why was it ...
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592 views

Antigenic and non antigenic

Can any foreign molecule be non- antigenic ? Can any foreign peptide be non-antigenic ? What is the difference between an antigenic and a non-antigenic peptide ?
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How do B memory cells provide immunological memory? Do they differentiate into plasma cells?

My text book doesn't say anything about how B memory cells actually ensure a faster response the second time the antigen is encountered. My guess is that they differentiate into plasma cells which ...
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What are the purposes of granulocytes in acute inflammation?

I heard the phrase Neutrophilic leucocytes are kings in the acute inflammation. Neutrophils are granulocytes, while leucocytes are not granulocytes. I think this statement refers to the fact ...
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Do we actually get more sick (flu/cold) during winter?

The word flu derives from the Italian phrase "influenza de freddo" meaning "influence of the cold". Indeed it is that time of the year when my colleagues seem to have the flu/cold more often than ...
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Functioning of BCG vaccine

I read (from Nature Volume507, S4–S7 (06 March 2014) : For reasons that are poorly understood, BCG protects only infants; it is ineffective in older children and adults. Its efficacy also ...
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How are T cells transported?

T cells are formed in bone marrow and mature in Thymus. How are they transported from bone marrow to thymus ? Through the lymph vessels ?
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Conserved proteins are non immunogenic

I read that proteins that have been highly conserved are non-immunogenic. Why is it so ? What is the special thing that makes it non immunogenic(antibodies against them are hard to make) ?
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Do's and Don't's of Undergraduate Research? [closed]

I was fortunate enough to get a position as a researcher for the Mayo Clinic's SURF Program this year. My PI's lab focus is on the the immune system's role in CNS axonal and neuronal injury, ...
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How do TLR1/TLR2 activate the MyD88 dependent pathway

Recently, I've been reading about the MyD88 dependent signalling pathway, with particular reference to its activation in Macrophages and other cells of the immune system on recognition of a pathogen. ...
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Can cancer be an immune system disorder? [closed]

Can cancer result from a weakened immune system? Would this mean that cancer could be considered an immune system disorder?
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What cell types produce immunoglobins and where are those cells found?

I know B cells found in bone marrow produce immunoglobin G. But IgM is produced in mucosal cells at least in the gut. Can you find immunoglobin expressing cells in other tissues in the human body? ...
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What is immunosuppression? Why would one use it? [closed]

What is immunosuppression? I know it is used in cancer patients, but why would one want to suppress the immune system? Do homeopathic physicians ever use immunosuppression, or do only allopathic ...
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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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How does human body deal with inert solid material in the bloodstream?

How does human body deal with inert solid material in the bloodstream? For example, if there is a powder of glass injected into our bloodstream, will the white blood cells do anything or will kidney ...
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51 views

How does your body ultimately recover from a cold?

Is it the eradication of the virus (assuming rhinovirus) by white blood cells? Or does your body somehow adapt to presence of the virus?
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Can more than one antibody bind the same antigen

I'd like to clear something up about antibodies that I'm not sure I've understood in the articles I've read. Looking at concepts such as "affinity maturation", "monovalent antigens" and "polyvalent ...
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Thymus and maternal microchimerism

I read in Bruce Alberts Molecular Biology of The Cell : ....If,however,cells from one strain of mouse are introduced into a neonatal mouse of another strain , some of these cells survive for most ...
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Why are haploid cancer cells not killed by immune system?

I have seen haploid cancer cells (I think it was leukemia cells) in a lab. Sperms and eggs are haploid but are not destroyed by the body because they are protected by other cells surrounding them. ...
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Is the complement system a part of innate or adaptive immunity

I've been reading about the complement system, as part of the human immune system. The complement system is introduced as part of the article on innate immunity on Wikipedia. This classification makes ...
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Question about the expression of MHC

Is it possible to express both the MHC class-1 and MHC class-2 both in one cell?
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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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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? [closed]

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 ...