Other uses of the immune system

Category archives for Other uses of the immune system

I know something’s amiss when my google news alert returns headlines like these: Why women who lust after Brad Pitt may just fancy his immune system It’s His Immune System That You Actually Want to Sleep With The key to male sexiness: A powerful immune system? and my personal favorite Antibodies, Not Hard Bodies: The…

A Vaccine for Drug Addiction

Cool: During the tests, mice were given access to deposits of heroin over an extended period of time. Those given the vaccine showed a huge drop in heroin consumption, giving the institute hope that it could also work on people[…] Using the immune system’s ability to make an immune response against any molecule is awesome,…

I promise, this will be my last semen post for a while. I’ve talked about allergy to semen. I’ve talked about allergens in semen. And I’ve talked about autoimmunity to semen. All of these are problems, leading to discomfort or infertility. But what if those problems could be leveraged for our benefit? [Source: These drawings…

Abbie over at ERV has a really great summary of a new Nature Medicine paper, in which the authors managed to turn a mouse’s immune system against prostate tumors by infecting them with viruses engineered to express prostate proteins. Some of the results struck her as a bit counterintuitive, but I thought of some possible…

You’ve all heard of Malaria. It’s bad. It infects hundreds of millions of people, mostly in developing nations. It rarely leads directly to death*, but the resulting illness can lay people out for days or weeks, increasing an already heavy economic burden on many of the poorest countries in the world. Folks from affluent regions…

Using the immune system to fight cancer

Cancer sucks. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that – it’s one of the leading causes of death in developed countries, and our treatment options are pretty thin. Basically, it amounts to cutting out the tumors that can be seen, and then giving a controlled administration of poison in the hopes that the…

Weight loss and macrophages

Macrophages are really good at gobbling stuff up. It’s all right there in the name – they are big (macro) eaters (phage). I study them in the context of the immune system – one of the things they do really well is eat up bacteria and other pathogens that have found their way into your…

Normally, I would feel woefully unqualified to analyze a Nature Neuroscience paper, but I’m going to do it anyway. How could I pass it up? It features a Toll-like receptor! Toll-like receptors are typically expressed in immune cells to regulate innate immunity. We found that functional Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) was expressed in C-fiber primary…

[This article was originally posted at webeasties.wordpress.com] About 4 years ago, I went to a seminar at TSRI that convinced me that cancer would be over in relatively short order. The man speaking (I wish I could remember who it was) showed that his group had been able to target radioactive heavy metals directly to…