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

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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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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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58 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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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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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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271 views

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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131 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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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 ...
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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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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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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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Why do dendritic cells have CD4/CD8 on their surface?

Why do dendritic cells have CD4 or CD8 antigens on their surface? What is their function without the presence of a T-cell receptor?
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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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182 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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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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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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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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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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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)
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How does herpes (HSV) infection suppress HIV?

HIV compromises the human body to defend against infection. Yet people who are infected with herpes are at less risk of developing AIDS. How does this work?
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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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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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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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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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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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Do antigens protrude through the capsule/slime layer in prokaryotic organisms where these features are present?

In prokaryotic organisms that have a slime layer or capsule, do intrinsic/extrinsic proteins and other molecules that could be used as antigens protrude through the capsule? I assume that they ...
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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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What are the clotting factors' effect on avascular necrosis development?

Do clotting factors tpa and pai-1 lead to degenerative osteoarthritis in the same way that lupus anticoagulant and prothrombin might? Is one of these pathways particularly detrimental during formation ...