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Articles on Immunology

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When immune cells become overactive, your immune system itself can cause disease. NIAID/Flickr

Immune health is all about balance – an immunologist explains why both too strong and too weak an immune response can lead to illness

Dietary supplements claim to be able to ‘boost your immune system’ to combat disease. But attaining immune balance through a healthy lifestyle and vaccination is a safer bet to keep in good health.
Being feverish is unpleasant, but it can help your body overcome invading pathogens. Narisara Nami/Moment via Getty Images

How does fever help fight infections? There’s more to it than even some scientists realize

The heat and chills that come with fever are not only uncomfortable but also metabolically costly. Increased body temperature, however, can make all the difference when you’re sick.
This microscopy image shows a cytotoxic T cell (blue) attacking a cancer cell (green) by releasing toxic chemicals (red). Alex Ritter and Jennifer Lippincott Schwartz and Gillian Griffiths/National Institutes of Health via Flickr

Immune cells that fight cancer become exhausted within hours of first encountering tumors – new research

T cells recognize and kill cancer cells but quickly lose their effectiveness. This fast dysfunction may help explain why immunotherapy doesn’t lead to long-term remission for many patients.
Bacteria (clusters of light pink, surrounded by larger magenta blood cells) can cause deadly infections, but overreactive immune responses can deliver the lethal blow. Scharvik/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Sepsis is one of the most expensive medical conditions in the world – new research clarifies how it can lead to cell death

An overactive immune response to infection can be deadly. Studying how one key player called tumor necrosis factor, or TNF, induces lethal immune responses could provide new treatment targets.
Louis Pasteur was a pioneer in chemistry, microbiology, immunology and vaccinology. pictore/DigitalVision Vectors via Getty Images

Louis Pasteur’s scientific discoveries in the 19th century revolutionized medicine and continue to save the lives of millions today

On World Rabies Day – which is also the anniversary of French microbiologist Louis Pasteur’s death – a virologist reflects on the achievements of this visionary scientist.
Broadly neutralizing antibodies are able to recognize multiple strains of HIV at once. Naeblys/iStock via Getty Images Plus

HIV therapies currently need to be taken regularly for life – longer-lasting antibody treatments could one day offer an equally effective one-shot alternative

Antiretroviral therapies for HIV, while extremely effective, need to be taken daily for life. Designing antibody treatments that need to be taken only once could improve compliance and reduce drug resistance.

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