Tag Archives: Immune system

Your immune system is as unique as your fingerprint – new study

Christoph Burgstedt/Shutterstock Albert J.R. Heck, Utrecht University Every person appears to have a unique immune system. My colleagues and I discovered this immune diversity after charting antibodies in the blood from healthy and sick people. The discovery could help explain why, for example, COVID vaccines appear to be less effective for some people. At the same time, it points to …

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How well your immune system works can depend on the time of day

Our body clock has evolved over millions of years to help us survive. kanyanat wongsa/ Shutterstock Annie Curtis, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences When microorganisms – such as bacteria or viruses – infect us, our immune system jumps into action. It’s highly trained to sense and eliminate infections and clear up any damage caused by them. It’s typically …

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Immune response might be more about signalling to others that you need help and less about protecting your body

Rido/Shutterstock Jonathan R Goodman, University of Cambridge A major debate during the pandemic, and in infectious disease research more broadly, is why infected people die. No virus “wants” to kill anyone, as an epidemiologist once said to me. Like any other form of life, a virus’s goal is only to survive and reproduce. A growing body of evidence instead suggests …

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How the trees in your local park help protect you from disease

Dmitry Naumov/Shutterstock Jake M Robinson, University of Sheffield; Martin Breed, Flinders University et Ross Cameron, University of Sheffield On your next visit to the park, try and count all the different species you can see. Away from the closely mown grass, you might spot wildflowers attended by pollinating insects, like bees, wasps and hoverflies. Overhead there are the gnarled branches …

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Should pregnant women get the COVID-19 vaccine? Will it protect against asymptomatic infections and mutated viruses? An immunologist answers 3 questions

I am a physician, and I just got my first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. William Petri, CC BY-SA William Petri, University of Virginia This week I was vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer mRNA vaccine, which brought to mind some frequently asked questions about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. I am a professor of infectious diseases at the …

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Coronavirus treatments: keep your eye on anti-complement drugs – they look promising

Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock Bryan Paul Morgan, Cardiff University Although the vaccine cavalry is finally coming over the hill, the need for better drugs to treat those with COVID-19 remains. Many drugs are being tested in patients at different stages of the disease, but with a few notable exceptions, results so far have been disappointing. In patients with severe COVID-19, runaway inflammation …

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