56 votes

What is the benefit of fever during infections?

Fever is a trait observed in warm and cold-blooded vertebrates that has been conserved for hundreds of millions of years (Evans, 2015). Elevated body temperature stimulates the body's immune ...
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38 votes
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Why are scientists saying that the Omicron COVID-19 variant is a reason to get a booster?

(note: I'm simplifying things a bit here by only talking about antibodies; I don't mean to downplay other aspects of the immune response, just to keep it focused for a lay audience) Natural antibody ...
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25 votes
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Can fever cure Ebola disease?

Short Answer: Fever cannot cure Ebola simply because the virus is not temperature-sensitive. Background: Fever is a defense mechanism of the body which is specific to temperature-sensitive virus and ...
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20 votes
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Why does immunity from the flu vaccine appear only after two weeks?

Most information here can be found broadly in Cellular and Molecular Immunology, 8th Ed. Here's how the flu vaccine works: Scientists forecast months in advance which strains they think stand to ...
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  • 8,031
14 votes

Why are scientists saying that the Omicron COVID-19 variant is a reason to get a booster?

Some Clarification: Scientist were not opposed to a third dose, they were opposed to the rich country getting a third dose before we vaccinated the rest of the world. The WHO is right to call a ...
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  • 251
12 votes
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Viral vector vaccines - why doesn't the viral vector get attacked by the innate immune system?

These Chimpanzee adenoviral vectors do not bypass the innate immune system at all. In fact they are used precisely because of their activation of the innate immune system, which then results in ...
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  • 6,278
11 votes
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Is honey in hot green tea unsafe?

Heated Honey and HMF In this paper, Studies on the physicochemical characteristics of heated honey, honey mixed with ghee and their food consumption pattern by rats, by Annapoorani, et.al.;...
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9 votes
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Does vaccination make the immune system "lazy"?

Contrary to many beliefs our immune system needs no "training". It is permanently active and confronted with dozens to hundreds of antigens in our food, from dust we inhale and so on. This all happens ...
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9 votes
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Is the covid-19 vaccine-induced copy of the protein spike also damaging cells?

The spike proteins expressed by cells that take up mRNA or ChAdOx vaccines are modified so they cannot induce membrane fusion. However, the research article you refer to indicates that circulating ...
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  • 3,095
8 votes

What are the effects of removing CD4 receptors?

The CD4 receptor is vital for the proper functioning of the immune system. It is found not only on T-Lymphocytes, but also on macrophages and dendritic cells. Its function on T-cells is to stabilize ...
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  • 4,970
8 votes

Why it is important to vaccinate a human newborn within 24 hours since birth?

In the US, infants are vaccinated against Hep B at birth and again a month or two later as well, because of the risk of maternal transmission. If the mother is known to be HepB positive, HBIG will ...
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8 votes
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Immune System - B-cell receptors

This is an excellent question. You are on the right track with the random match idea. B-cells (as a group) develop receptors that bind every possible antigen and then get rid of the receptors that ...
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7 votes

what if there is a door for which our immune system has no key?

The Native Americans and smallpox First I want to note that some of the posted answers are not quite accurate. For example, smallpox ravaged the Native American population because they did not have ...
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7 votes
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Why don't we build up an immunity to sore throat?

Short Answer It should be noted that there are many non-pathogenic causes of sore throat, and I would suspect that you are not always distinguishing these causes from actual illness. In most cases, ...
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7 votes
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Why does influenza sometimes cause GI symptoms?

Article: How influenza virus infection might lead to gastrointestinal symptoms Source study: Respiratory influenza virus infection induces intestinal immune injury via microbiota-mediated Th17 cell-...
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7 votes
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Do intestinal flora have the same DNA as their host?

Could you suggest a good source for beginners. - Louis Somers The interactions between the human body and its microbiome are quite complex. I am going to provide you with an answer that will be based ...
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  • 4,970
7 votes

What is the benefit of fever during infections?

Fever normally under hypothalamic heat center's control which stays at limbic system of brain . Hypothalamus sets its own set point 36.4-37.2 in healthy peoples by some molecules named exogenous and ...
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7 votes
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Why it is important to vaccinate a human newborn within 24 hours since birth?

Since another posted answer addresses HepB vaccination at least as effectively as I would have, I'll say something about first-day scheduling for BCG, which is consistent with WHO guidelines (emphasis ...
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  • 4,553
7 votes

Spike protein production by mRNA vaccines?

I am asking this question to understand whether the cells which are used to create spike proteins are attacked by the immune system. Yes, that is the aim of RNA vaccinations! But don't worry, that's ...
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7 votes

Why are scientists saying that the Omicron COVID-19 variant is a reason to get a booster?

(Update Dec 15: See update in my 2nd answer below, describing new study based on actual patient data, published in just the last few days, relevant to the current question.) This answer is a ...
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6 votes

What is the purpose of requiring two separate binding systems for the antibody response?

Immunity can be a double edge sword. It is aimed to detect and destroy invading pathogens but it can also target the self, as exemplified in autoimmune diseases. To avoid this, many failsafe ...
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6 votes
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Why don't phagocytes eliminate mutualistic foregin organisms residing in our body?

Molecular context is important here. E.coli in your colon is OK with the body, it is taken up by phagocytes as part of normal "surveillance". Your immune system will learn and gain "tolerence" to ...
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6 votes

Where and how is information about pathogen immunity stored in a cell?

All the body does is produce a ton of cells that can recognize single antigens. Each time you encounter pathogens, some of these naïve cells contact antigen that can activate them. The activated clone ...
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  • 8,031
6 votes

Where do the antibodies that trigger the specific immune response come from?

First: What your teacher says about the free floating antibodies is not correct. The first contact with a new antigen to generate specific immunity is done by naive B cells which have a membrane bound ...
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6 votes

Does avoiding medication that alleviates symptoms shorten the length of a cold?

It is plausible but by no means established that antipyretics (fever suppressors) in particular could increase the duration of infection/symptoms, because fever is part of a functional immune response....
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  • 4,553
6 votes

Why exactly does the immune system weaken with age?

We don't know. More precisely, we know of many, many different reasons why the immune system deteriorates with age, but we don't really know which are different measures of the same thing, which ...
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6 votes

Is it logical for someone to be allergic to the water molecule, but be perfectly fine with drinking milk since it's only 87% water molecules?

Short answer Aquagenic urticaria is though to be caused by dissolved allergens in water and not by water per se. background Aquagenic urticaria is a rare condition in which urticaria (hives) develop ...
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6 votes

Is covid vaccine helpful for a covid patient?

In short, no. It's not harmful but it won't do anything to prevent or mitigate the current infection. How vaccines work in general is that they train the immune system to respond to an infection so ...
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6 votes
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Why do the mRNA vaccines for COVID need special lipids?

Lipid nano particles are bound by serum proteins, the opsonins which are part of the innate system and are subsequently eliminated from the body by uptake through macrophages. Binding PEG to the ...
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  • 49.1k
6 votes

Viral vector vaccines - why doesn't the viral vector get attacked by the innate immune system?

The innate immune system has many different components to it. If we consider a natural virus, like the base adenovirus used as a vector used in the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, then we can assume that ...
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