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Immunology is the name for a branch of science studying all aspects of the immune system. This includes the different components and working modes of the bodies defence against disease, disorders of this defence, vaccinations and organ transplantation and much more.
Why is it worth reading our blog?
The immune system is our protection against the outer world and disease. So learning more about it can only be good, right?
The immune system shields us from a wide range of different bacteria and viruses so we won’t get sick. At the same time it has the tricky job to distinguish the outer world from the body’s health tissue. If this differentiation between “foreign” and the healthy tissue (“self”) is not working normally, the immune system attacks the body and autoimmune disease ensues. There are over 80 autoimmune diseases known, you probably heard of Diabetes and Rheumatoid arthritis.
But not just that, the immune system is also important in a wide range of other health aspects not immediately associated with the immune system. One example is aging. It’s known that older people suffer from more infections due to an aged and therefore weakened immune system. Increased immune activation has also been shown to coincide with or even worsen neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. However it is not all bad- the immune system can attack cancer cells and immune function has been harnessed as cancer therapy.
So, given the multiple important functions and possible dysfunctions it can’t be bad to understand more about the immune system.
Who are we to tell you about immunology?
We are two people with a passion for science. Nerds really.
We studied biology at University and then went on to study different aspects of the immune system in the lab – making us Immunologist. Working in a lab you tend to focus on your little, highly specific part of a certain cell type or disease and sometimes forget about the big picture. So by starting this blog we want to look out into the big world, as well as share our knowledge and experience with science, immunology and life in a lab. Importantly we want to do this in easy to understand way, to try and engage the public into science.
We aim to explain the basic principles of the immune system, including insights into life in the lab and the methods used to make scientific discoveries. We will discuss current news about immunology (think current Ebola epidemic or new immune therapies for cancer or autoimmune diseases), not in a sensationalist big headline kind of way but by explaining the science behind it. But we also want to tell you about our favourite publication of the month and why it’s so important for the research community – so you can understand what drives us scientists.
So please follow us for the latest news and feel free to ask us anything immunology-related and we will do our best to answer you guys!!