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Articles on Immune system

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Viewing immunity as a carpet that we weave together evokes labour and artistry, and suggests we have a role in crafting something rather than simply being acted upon by a virus. (Shutterstock)

How we think about immunity can help us navigate COVID-19 risks together

The metaphor of a collective “carpet of immunity” invites us to imagine immunity as a collaborative project, spreading out to protect those for whom the end of mandates means increased vulnerability.
The estimated lifetime costs of antiretroviral therapy for someone who acquires HIV at age 35 is $358,380. YakubovAlim/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Combining an HIV vaccine with immunotherapy may reduce the need for daily medication

People with HIV need to take daily medication to keep the virus at bay. A study has found that a new treatment combination could boost immunity and control virus levels even after stopping medication.
Several thousand protestors opposed to the COVID-19 vaccine march through the streets of midtown Manhattan in New York on Sept. 18, 2021. Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis News via Getty Images

Can healthy people who eat right and exercise skip the COVID-19 vaccine? A research scientist and fitness enthusiast explains why the answer is no

A growing body of research shows that nutrition, sleep, exercise and a host of other lifestyle choices can help optimize the immune system. But they are no substitute for life-saving vaccines.
Emergency medical technicians aid a COVID-19 patient at his home in Louisville, Kentucky. Like much of the U.S., Louisville is experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 patients requiring emergency transport to medical facilities. John Cherry/Getty Images

New treatments for COVID-19 may stave off the worst effects of the virus

Medications to treat COVID-19 are in no way a substitute for the vaccine. But under the right circumstances, some show great promise for helping patients.
People getting vaccinated may still have questions about COVID-19 vaccines, like why it takes two doses — and then two weeks — to take full effect. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

I work at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic. Here’s what people ask me when they’re getting their shot — and what I tell them

A medical student answers questions he gets asked at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic: Efficacy versus real-world effectiveness, immune response and how the mRNA vaccines compare to vaccines already in wide use.
During pregnancy, the body’s specialized immune cells must learn to recognize the fetus as part of the self so that they don’t attack it. Raja Segar via Wikimedia Commons

Specialized cells maintain healthy pregnancy by teaching the mother’s immune system not to attack developing fetus

How the immune system learns not to attack a developing fetus and placenta is important to understanding pregnancy and its common complications, like miscarriage.

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