Immunology

Energizing the immune system to eat cancer

Immune cells called macrophages are supposed to serve and protect, but cancer has found ways to put them to sleep. Now researchers at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania say they've identified how ...

Immunology

Masterswitch discovered in body's immune system

Scientists have discovered a critical part of the body's immune system with potentially major implications for the treatment of some of the most devastating diseases affecting humans.

Medical research

CRISPR gene editing makes stem cells 'invisible' to immune system

UC San Francisco scientists have used the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing system to create the first pluripotent stem cells that are functionally "invisible" to the immune system, a feat of biological engineering that, in laboratory ...

Cancer

Immune stimulant molecule shown to prevent cancer

A research team at the University of Louisville has discovered that an immune checkpoint molecule they developed for cancer immunotherapy, also protects against future development of multiple types of cancer when administered ...

HIV & AIDS

Researchers find new clues to controlling HIV

The immune system is the body's best defense in fighting diseases like HIV and cancer. Now, an international team of researchers is harnessing the immune system to reveal new clues that may help in efforts to produce an HIV ...

Immunology

Lab discovers how the immune system 'thinks'

New research from the laboratory of cancer scientist Dr. Tak Mak, renowned for cloning the human T-cell receptor, has demonstrated that immune cells make brain chemicals to fight off infections.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Why your kid's strep throat keeps coming back

Each year, some 600 million people around the world come down with strep throat. But for some children (and their parents) it's more than an occasional misery. It's a recurring nightmare. Yet, it was unclear why some kids ...

HIV & AIDS

Finding clues to a functional HIV cure

George Mason University's Yuntao Wu is the lead scientist on a research team that has identified a measurable indicator that could prove instrumental in the fight against HIV.

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Immunity (medical)

Immunity is a biological term that describes a state of having sufficient biological defenses to avoid infection, disease, or other unwanted biological invasion. Immunity involves both specific and non-specific components. The non-specific components act either as barriers or as eliminators of wide range of pathogens irrespective of antigenic specificity. Other components of the immune system adapt themselves to each new disease encountered and are able to generate pathogen-specific immunity.

Adaptive immunity is often sub-divided into two major types depending on how the immunity was introduced. Naturally acquired immunity occurs through contact with a disease causing agent, when the contact was not deliberate, whereas artificially acquired immunity develops only through deliberate actions such as vaccination. Both naturally and artificially acquired immunity can be further subdivided depending on whether immunity is induced in the host or passively transferred from a immune host. Passive immunity is acquired through transfer of antibodies or activated T-cells from an immune host, and is short lived, usually lasts only a few months, whereas active immunity is induced in the host itself by antigen, and lasts much longer, sometimes life-long. The diagram below summarizes these divisions of immunity.

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