Without an immune system you don't last long in this world.
A constant stream of bacteria, viruses and other parasites want to make our bodies their home. Fortunately, our immune systems are one of the greatest creations of the evolutionary arms race, able to rapidly adapt to new threats and combat them.
It's not all roses and sunshine though. Just ask anyone with hayfever, chronic psoriasis, or type one diabetes, for example. With great immune power comes...errors; misfires against either our own bodies or otherwise inoffensive environmental antigens.
In many cases, autoimmunity may be a small price to pay for the ceaseless guarding against pathogens and potentially cancerous cells. But the immune system is still not perfect.
Increasing our knowledge of the immune system will be a key part of our future health. Recent developments in the understanding of the immune system are leading to a host of new therapies, for illnesses both minor and major.
From induced tolerance using regulatory T-cells, vaccines and T-cell adoptive transfers for treatment of cancer, to cytokine based immunotherapies; we believe that immunology is leading the way in a new world of medicine and is one of the most exciting areas of research in modern science.
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Among the manufacturers we work with are:
Toll-like receptors: 2BScientific has an in depth review on TLRs and an excellent range of products for TLR research: please click here for more information.
If you're interested in cytokines, click here!
Custom Antibody Service from Abcore – get the highest quality custom antibodies (Rabbits, Goats, Chicken etc) to suit your needs.
All about adiponectin
Take a look at the robust & reliable C4d Complement
Stress no more – with the innovative range of Oxidative Stress products
Like all things in history, the true story of immunology doesn’t quite fit a tidy narrative, tending to be somewhat biased towards a Euro-centric view of the world. Many will know the name ‘Edward Jenner’, famous for developing the first safe vaccine for smallpox in the late 1700’s. But let’s not forget that a form of vaccination – variolation – was in use 700 years before, in the 10th century in China. Here powdered smallpox sabs were blown up the nose of people in an effort to bring about immunity. Not pleasant, but also probably not ineffective.
But, untidiness aside, we generally consider the history of immunology as beginning with Jenner. The following link ‘A Concise history of Immunology’ by Steven Greenberg (pdf) gives, a concise history of immunology, by no means comprehensive, but pretty good none-the-less.
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Cells of the immune system: Jeanne Kelly, via Wikimedia Commons