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The immune system

This category contains 13 posts

INTERFERing: the immune responses helping cancer cells resist treatment

Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy generally work by causing damage to the DNA of cancer cells. Unfortunately, cancer cells can become resistant to this DNA damage and therefore resistant to the treatments. Recent collaborative research in the WIMM between labs in the Department of Oncology and the MRC Human Immunology Unit sheds light on … Continue reading

Multiple Sclerosis – Action and Reaction

Brain Diaries is an exhibition and series of events organised by the Oxford Museum of Natural History in partnership with Oxford Neuroscience. The aim is to show the public how the latest neuroscientific research is transforming what we understand about our brain – from birth to the end of life.  In order to celebrate the … Continue reading

Cells have a skeleton, and a very clever way of organising it

Just like humans, each of our cells have a skeleton in order to maintain their shape. Up until recently, we didn’t have the ability to see their skeleton in great detail. But with new technology creating ever-more powerful microscopes, we can now see the skeleton and the patterns it creates to maintain the cell’s structure. … Continue reading

A Not-So-Special Delivery: Zika Virus in its Envelope

In the first WIMM blog post of 2017, Layal Liverpool and Antonio Gregorio Dias Jr (two DPhil students working in the MRC Human Immunology Unit) describe how our understanding of the dengue virus could hold the key to developing a vaccine for Zika. This article was originally published by Science Innovation Union.  “Deu zika!” is a … Continue reading

Pinch by pinch

What does your genome have in common with a Michelin-starred chef? Find out in this article by Yale Michaels, a DPhil student in Tudor Fulga’s lab, written for the MRC Max Perutz Science Writing Award.  You have always dreamt of becoming chef de cuisine at a Michelin-starred restaurant. You started sweeping floors and peeling potatoes and have worked … Continue reading

Scratching the itch: towards a new treatment for eczema

Atopic dermatitis is a common form of eczema that affects millions of people worldwide, and for which there is currently no cure. Characterised by dry skin sometimes over the entire body, and intensely itchy lesions in places such as the knees and elbows, the condition makes life extremely uncomfortable for the many people that suffer … Continue reading

From stem cell to specialized cell: but what happens in between?

Stem cells have the remarkable ability to develop into a whole host of highly specialized cell types, but the process by which this happens is extremely transient and therefore enormously challenging to study. However, a new paper from Claus Nerlov’s and Sten Eirik Jacobsen’s labs, published in Nature Cell Biology two weeks ago, is one of … Continue reading

Knowing your enemy: viruses as the Trojan Horses of our immune system

It’s that time of year when we all seem to pass around the same cold; everyone seems to be sniffing a bit more than usual, or suffering from that irritating cough that you just can’t get rid of. A cold is just one of many ailments caused by viral infections, and although it might not … Continue reading

How students see scientists: Part X

In the last of our series of blogs written by students who chose to spend their summers at the WIMM, Kristian Rutenberg-Houchen tells us how his time in Jan Rehwinkel’s lab has inspired him to pursue this ‘exciting and ever-changing career’. This summer I spent two weeks with Professor Jan Rehwinkel and his team after … Continue reading

Vitamins help your immune system fight infection – but not how you might think!

We all know that it’s important to eat our greens, but can any of us actually explain why? Vitamins are critical for the normal growth and function of our bodies, but not always in entirely expected ways. In this latest blog, Lauren Howson explains how a subset of white blood cells can use vitamins to … Continue reading

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