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

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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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1answer
151 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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146 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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829 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
2k views

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
200 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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1answer
676 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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1answer
118 views

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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114 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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171 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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78 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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1answer
192 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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2answers
85 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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247 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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1answer
103 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
294 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 ...
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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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584 views

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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8k views

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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1answer
84 views

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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1answer
273 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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2answers
225 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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1answer
154 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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1answer
349 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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1answer
61 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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1answer
90 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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1answer
442 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)
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1answer
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Multi-nucleated cells: advantages and examples?

This question arises because I saw that monocytes and leukocytes are commonly called 'mononuclear cells' in the scientific literature. The implication of course being that other immune sub-types are ...
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Why do vaccines cause your arm to hurt?

When you get a shot for a vaccine (for example, the annual flu vaccine), the nurse frequently indicates that your arm will ache for a day or two, maybe more. This ache is typically not just a pain ...
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196 views

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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334 views

Do antibiotics attenuate immune response on subsequent exposure to same bacteria?

A healthy immune response to a bacterial infection includes "memory" to permit the body to thwart subsequent exposure to same bacteria. What are the dynamics of using antibiotics on initial exposure ...
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1answer
87 views

During human ageing, which immune cell sub-types are most affected?

It is now well established that human ageing is accompanied by an increase in systemic, low-grade (chronic) inflammation, sometimes termed inflammaging (Franceschi, 2007). This is in part due to more ...
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1answer
103 views

What is the biological mechanism linking temperature and probability to be infected with a virus?

It is common knowledge that when you're cold you could get a cold. What is the mechanism linking temperature and viral infection?
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1answer
525 views

How and when did a dedicated immune system evolve?

I have recently been doing a lot of research into the interplay between the innate and adaptive immune systems in humans, and mammalian laboratory models. This has led to my reading some interesting ...
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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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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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75 views

Macrophage pathogen fixation

Overly simplified, macrophages recognise pathogenic patterns and endocytose anything that matches them. That also works on bacteria, which are quite often very mobile. What if a bacterium was just ...
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1answer
1k views

Is there a maximum amount of antibodies your body can keep?

I am wondering if you were theoretically able to get vaccinations or antibodies for any and every diseases and/or illness, would there be a limit to how many you can get and keep in your body at one ...
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1answer
264 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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1answer
189 views

From inflammation to sickness and depression: when the immune system subjugates the brain

Recently, some research, for example this article has proposed that inflammation can cause innate immune cells to produce pro-inflammatory cytokines that act on the brain to cause sickness behaviour. ...
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1answer
132 views

Using the IMGT/GENE-DB service to find RSS

I'm trying to get the data for the Human and Mouse 12 and 23 Recomination Signal Sequences (RSS), to run a classification algorithm on it. I'm not a biologist, so I apologise in advance for my ...
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1answer
174 views

Organ cloning - possible to make a non-antigenic organ?

From a J. Neil Schulman article on Organ Cloning: Cannibalizing organs from other people also entails the risk of rejection because of incompatibilities, not only for tissue-typing but also ...
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1answer
225 views

Why do people dying of immune deficiency diseases appear sick?

Please forgive the obviously silly appearance of this question, and/or of the tenor which may come across as flippant or dismissive of real world suffering. My intention is none of the above. As a ...
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1answer
241 views

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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659 views

What's the advantage of autocrine signalling?

In the antibody-mediated immune response, when the helper T cell gets activated by the costimulus (IL-2 and TNF-α secreted by the APC) which in turn produces IL-2, IL-2 acts in an autocrine manner. ...
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2k views

Harmless virus?

Is it possible for a virus to live symbiotically with its host? Is the human body plagued with viral infections that do negligible harm, or even serve a beneficial role?
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4k views

What cells would have the CD3 marker on them (other than T-cells)

Do you know of any peripheral blood mononuclear cells that would express any amount (beit low or high) of CD3 on their surface (other than T-cells)?
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923 views

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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2k views

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 ...