News tagged with immune response

Related topics: immune system · vaccine · immune cells · cells · protein

Fighting cancer with the power of immunity

Harnessing the body's own immune system to destroy tumors is a tantalizing prospect that has yet to realize its full potential. However, a new advance from MIT may bring this strategy, known as cancer immunotherapy, closer ...

Oct 24, 2016
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Mobilizing our immune system to fight viruses

Last week marked the 20th anniversary of Professors Doherty and Zinkernagel's Nobel Prize in Medicine for discoveries concerning the immune system. Twenty years on, and Monash University-based researchers are making fundamental ...

Oct 21, 2016
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How does friendly fire happen in the pancreas?

In type 1 diabetes, the body attacks its own insulin-producing cells. Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München, partner in the German Center for Diabetes Research, and their colleagues at Technical University of Munich have ...

Oct 21, 2016
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Treating the inflammation in lymphedema

ETH researchers have discovered that certain cells in the immune system suppress the development of lymphedema. Anti-inflammatory therapies could therefore be the key to treating this previously incurable condition.

Oct 11, 2016
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Intestinal diversity protects against asthma

Children who develop asthma or allergies have an altered immune response to intestinal bacteria in the mucous membranes even when infants, according to a new study from Linköping University, Sweden, and Center for Advanced ...

Oct 10, 2016
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Immune system

An immune system is a collection of biological processes within an organism that protects against disease by identifying and killing pathogens and tumour cells. It detects a wide variety of agents, from viruses to parasitic worms, and needs to distinguish them from the organism's own healthy cells and tissues in order to function properly. Detection is complicated as pathogens can evolve rapidly, producing adaptations that avoid the immune system and allow the pathogens to successfully infect their hosts.

To survive this challenge, multiple mechanisms evolved that recognize and neutralize pathogens. Even simple unicellular organisms such as bacteria possess enzyme systems that protect against viral infections. Other basic immune mechanisms evolved in ancient eukaryotes and remain in their modern descendants, such as plants, fish, reptiles, and insects. These mechanisms include antimicrobial peptides called defensins, phagocytosis, and the complement system. Vertebrates such as humans have even more sophisticated defense mechanisms. The immune systems of vertebrates consist of many types of proteins, cells, organs, and tissues, which interact in an elaborate and dynamic network. As part of this more complex immune response, the human immune system adapts over time to recognise specific pathogens more efficiently. This adaptation process is referred to as "adaptive immunity" or "acquired immunity" and creates immunological memory. Immunological memory created from a primary response to a specific pathogen, provides an enhanced response to secondary encounters with that same, specific pathogen. This process of acquired immunity is the basis of vaccination.

Disorders in the immune system can result in disease. Immunodeficiency occurs when the immune system is less active than normal, resulting in recurring and life-threatening infections. Immunodeficiency can either be the result of a genetic disease, such as severe combined immunodeficiency, or be produced by pharmaceuticals or an infection, such as the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) that is caused by the retrovirus HIV. In contrast, autoimmune diseases result from a hyperactive immune system attacking normal tissues as if they were foreign organisms. Common autoimmune diseases include Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus type 1 and lupus erythematosus. Immunology covers the study of all aspects of the immune system which has significant relevance to human health and diseases. Further investigation in this field is expected to play a serious role in promotion of health and treatment of diseases.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA

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