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immunology

Illustration of pathogens, vaccines, and other necessary factors for eradicating a disease.
Quantized Columns

How to Permanently End Diseases

December 3, 2019

Smallpox was eradicated relatively quickly, but other diseases have proved harder to eliminate. The reasons are a mix of biology and psychology.

Lungs made from a collection of “tasting” tongues.
immunology

Cells That ‘Taste’ Danger Set Off Immune Responses

November 15, 2019

Taste and smell receptors in unexpected organs monitor the state of the body’s natural microbial health and raise an alarm over invading parasites.

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a T lymphocyte.
Abstractions blog

Immune Cells Measure Time to Identify Foreign Proteins

June 3, 2019

Immunologists confirm an old hunch: T-cells identify what belongs in the body by timing how long they can bind to it.

Lede photo for "How Vaccines Can Drive Pathogens to Evolve"
immunology

Vaccines Are Pushing Pathogens to Evolve

May 10, 2018

Just as antibiotics have bred resistance in bacteria, vaccines can potentially lose their effectiveness over diseases they controlled. Researchers are working to head off the evolution of new threats.

520px illustration for herd immunity
Quantized Academy

How Math (and Vaccines) Keep You Safe From the Flu

February 5, 2018

Simple math shows how widespread vaccination can disrupt the exponential spread of disease and prevent epidemics.

White stick figures incased in blue teardrops surround other stick figures on a blue background. They are surrounded by stick figures on a red background.
Quantized Columns

The Unforgiving Math That Stops Epidemics

October 26, 2017

If you didn’t get a flu shot, you are endangering more than just your own health. Calculations of herd immunity against common diseases don’t make exceptions.

infectious disease

A New Way to Predict Infection’s Toll

August 30, 2016

Scientists have developed new ways to forecast who will bounce back from disease by studying not just the way the immune system fights infections, but how the body repairs itself.

An image of dendritic cells.
Biology

RNA’s Secret Life Outside the Cell

November 8, 2013

Circulating RNAs carry messages for plants and invertebrates. Do they do the same for us?