BCRs (antibodies) and TCRs (T cell receptors) are the recognition molecules of our immune system; the molecules they bind are called antigens. BCRs and TCRs are similar in many ways, but their differences form the core of how self and non-self are recognized. Read more
Immuno-bioinformatics is a fast growing subdiscipline of immuno-biotechnology. New technologies like immune-profiling and targeted cancer therapies are leading to job growth and demands for new skills and knowledge in biomanufacturing, quality systems, informatics, and cancer biology. Read more
Lately I’ve been thinking about immunology, and not just because it is flu season, it is because Digital World Biology (DWB) is collaborating with Shoreline Community College to design a five-week bioinformatics course that will be component of their one year immuno-biotechnology certificate (1).
An aspect of the course will cover the ways in which industry studies and utilizes components of the immune system from vaccines to making antibodies to measuring T-Cell Receptor (TCRs) repertoires as biomarkers. In the classes, bioinformatics methods will be used to to reinforce ... Read more
In 1925, dog sledders raced through the frozen Alaskan bush to bring antiserum to the isolated village of Nome. The antiserum arrived in time, saved the lives of many villagers from the horrors of diphtheria, and inspired the Iditarod, a famous race in celebration of the dog sledders' heroic feat. West Africa could use a similar effort today.
Vaccines work by stimulating the immune system to respond to a specific thing. Most of the vaccines we use are designed to prime the immune system so that it's ready to fight off some kind of disease, like whooping cough, polio, or influenza. Some vaccines can have more specialized functions, like stimulating the body to attack cancer cells, kill rogue autoimmune cells, or prevent pregnancy. We'll look at what they do in later posts, for now, let's look at the kinds of things that can be used as vaccines.
A long time ago, I saw a movie called "The Other Side of the Mountain." The movie told the story of Jill Kinmont, a ski racer who contracted polio and lost the use of her legs. I was sad for days for afterward, but also relieved to know that Jill Kinmont's fate wasn't going to be mine. I wasn't going to wake up in an iron lung after a ski race, and neither were my friends, because most of the children in my generation had been vaccinated against the Polio virus.