Immune system

Category archives for Immune system

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…

Immunity to Spunk

At the risk of seeming like a one-trick pony, and piggybacking on my recent appearance on the Savage Lovecast, I thought I would close the loop on immune reactions to semen. I’ve already written about allergens being transmitted in semen, and about women having allergies to seminal plasma itself. In the latter case, I say…

In case anyone landed here after listening to this week’s Savage Lovecast, I wanted to point you in the right direction. Please be gentle – that was my first time being interviewed for anything like that, so I was a bit of a nervous wreck. For the uninitiated – a couple of weeks ago on…

Obesity, Inflammation, and Diabetes

This entry is cross posted from the the SITN Flash, a bimonthly publication written and edited by Harvard graduate students. You can find my piece, as well as archives of previous articles written by many graduate students at the Science in the News website. In 1985, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) began tracking the…

Allergies 101: Part the Third

I know this post has been a long time coming. In the first part of this series, I told you that allergies are the result of an immune response against an external, but normally not harmful substance. In part 2, I told you that allergies are the result of a specific type of immune response…

Allergies 101 – Part deux

Earlier this week, I wrote a little bit about what causes allergic symptoms – your immune system confuses pollen (or some other allergen) for a worm, and then arms your granulocytic grenades to explode every time you come into contact with it. But why does this confusion happen? This is a bit more complicated.

Allergies 101

One of my favorite places on the internet is r/askscience, a place on reddit where people come and ask questions, and a panel of scientists answer. People can ask follow-up questions, and there is often some great back-and forth (to be honest, part of the reason I haven’t been writing as much here is because…

That one looks delicious

While researching my recent post on the Nobel Prize, I discovered that the website has a series of “educational productions,” including games and written/illustrated primers on different topics. I’ve been playing the malaria game all morning – you have to fly a mosquito around drinking the blood of humans while avoiding bug spray and mosquito…

Monday’s announcement for the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine should have been a happy occasion for my lab. On the one hand, it was given for early discoveries in the field of innate immunity – my field! On the other hand, it was given to a scientist that many* feel is undeserving of the…