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Our immune cells are our own little personal warriors that keep us safe from the “bad guys” which are usually disease causing microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. To learn about these cells with a card game a group at the Institute of Immunity and Transplantation at University College of London together with designer…

Phagocytosis is the process by which particulate material is endocytosed (“eaten”) by a cell (From Greek phagein, to eat.). The process of phagocytosis is one of the many different ways our immune cells fight infections. Macrophages and neutrophils are cells of the immune system that use phagocytosis to bind and ingest invading microorganisms. Phagocytosis is…

The granulocytes are so called because they have densely granules in their cytoplasm; they are also called polymorphonuclear leukocytes because of their lobulated nuclei. There are three types of granulocytes: Neutrophils can perform phagocytosis and are the most abundant type of granulocytes and the most abundant type of white blood cells overall in most mammals. Eosinophils make up…

This video shows how dendritic cells growing in culture are transfected with a plasmid containing a gene for the Green fluorescent protein (GFP). Transfection is the process of deliberately introducing nucleic acids into eukaryotic cells. Various methods can be used to transfect. Electroporation, shown in this video, is a technique by which an externally applied…

This animation is a cartoon depicting a macrophage chasing bacteria to ultimately phagocytose them. Macrophages are white blood cells. One of their main roles is to engulf and then digest pathogens such as bacteria. This process is known as PHAGOCYTOSIS. It is a complex mechanism that requires for the macrophage to rearrange its inner cell…

Dendritic cells are named after their branched projections called dendrites. These cells are the sentinels of the immune system and are always testing their surroundings in case they see any danger. Dendritic cells present antigens to T cells. They use a molecule called histocompatibility complex (MHC) to display little bits and pieces of the antigens…

The lymphocytes are a class of white blood cells considered to be part of the adaptive immune system. There are two major classes of lymphocytes: T lymphocytes (T cells) B lymphocytes (B cells) Lymphocytes have evolved to provide a more versatile means of defense. These cells display on their cell surface receptors that recognize specific antigens. When…