Articles

The Surprising Similarities between Cilia and Immune Synapse Signaling

Biology is full of complex, yet efficient, systems. Signaling pathways, for example, have multiple components that often need to be specifically arranged in order to function. As evolution favors efficiency, cells have often adopted components of an already established signaling pathway for a new purpose rather than creating new pathways from scratch. Researchers from Madrid … Continue reading The Surprising Similarities between Cilia and Immune Synapse Signaling

Objection (not) Sustained: Macrophages Prevent Transplant Rejection

If you’ve ever watched a medical drama, chances are that you’ve seen an episode centered around an organ transplant. These transplants are high risk and important - someone may need a new heart, lung, or liver to survive. The surgeries themselves are inherently dangerous - and that is before you account for the risk of … Continue reading Objection (not) Sustained: Macrophages Prevent Transplant Rejection

The Golden Star Tunicate: A Golden Star of Immunology Research

The hematopoietic system is responsible for the formation of all blood cell types from hematopoietic stem cells (immature cells that are able to mature into any type of blood cell).  This is a key process for the immune system because it produces white blood cells (along with red blood cells and platelets). With this in … Continue reading The Golden Star Tunicate: A Golden Star of Immunology Research

What’s gut got to do with it? How the gut microbiome affects cancer immunotherapy

Bacteria are virtually everywhere—on bus seats, on our hands, and even inside of our gut—but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. These bacteria are part of the microbiome, the collection of microorganisms that live in or on an environment (such as the human body). The microbiome is thought to influence many aspects of human health, … Continue reading What’s gut got to do with it? How the gut microbiome affects cancer immunotherapy

Tick Bites and Red Meat Allergies: a surprising cause of idiopathic anaphylaxis

Whether you or someone you know has suffered from them, many will undoubtedly recognize the puffy, watery eyes, scratchy throat, hives, and difficulty breathing that are often triggered during an allergic reaction. The irritants that cause most allergies are generally quickly identifiable, as responses to them are generated rapidly after exposure. However, some allergic reactions … Continue reading Tick Bites and Red Meat Allergies: a surprising cause of idiopathic anaphylaxis

Somatic Recombination

The cells of the adaptive immune system attack foreign pathogens by producing proteins, such as antibodies, that use a lock-and-key mechanism to recognize pathogenic antigens, or molecules that can elicit an immune response (Figure 1).  In order to defend our bodies against the millions of different pathogens that could harm us, the adaptive immune system … Continue reading Somatic Recombination

The regulatory role of IL-9/IL-9R signaling in memory B cell response

Our body can remember specific pathogens and other foreign substances (antigens) years after the first encounter. B cells, the type of lymphocytes that produce antibodies, are one of the key players for the establishment of this long-term memory. Upon activation, B cells proliferate and give rise to antibody-secreting plasma cells (PCs) or memory B cells … Continue reading The regulatory role of IL-9/IL-9R signaling in memory B cell response