Related topics: immune system

Scientists develop novel nano-vaccine for melanoma

Researchers at Tel Aviv University have developed a novel nano-vaccine for melanoma, the most aggressive type of skin cancer. Their innovative approach has so far proven effective in preventing the development of melanoma ...

Cuttlefish ink found promising for cancer treatment

Researchers have found that cuttlefish ink—a black suspension sprayed by cuttlefish to deter predators—contains nanoparticles that strongly inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors in mice. The nanoparticles consist mostly ...

Space station cell study seeks causes of major diseases

High above the Earth, researchers are conducting a first-of-its-kind study to help patients with Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis on the planet below. The International Space Station experiment is looking for what ...

Plants defend against insects by inducing 'leaky gut syndrome'

Plants may induce "leaky gut syndrome"—permeability of the gut lining—in insects as part of a multipronged strategy for protecting themselves from being eaten, according to researchers at Penn State. By improving our ...

Listening to the whispers of individual cells

For the cells in our bodies to function as a unit, they must communicate with one another constantly. They secrete signalling molecules—ions, proteins and nucleic acids—that are picked up by adjacent cells, which in turn ...

'Catcher of the rye' method detects rye gluten proteins in foods

Gluten-free diets have been trendy for several years now, with adherents claiming that avoiding grains that contain the substance helps with weight loss or improves general health. However, for people with celiac disease, ...

Discovery could pave the way for disease-resistant rice crops

Researchers have uncovered an unusual protein activity in rice that can be exploited to give crops an edge in the evolutionary arms race against rice blast disease, a major threat to rice production around the world.

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Immunity (medical)

Immunity is a biological term that describes a state of having sufficient biological defenses to avoid infection, disease, or other unwanted biological invasion. Immunity involves both specific and non-specific components. The non-specific components act either as barriers or as eliminators of wide range of pathogens irrespective of antigenic specificity. Other components of the immune system adapt themselves to each new disease encountered and are able to generate pathogen-specific immunity.

Adaptive immunity is often sub-divided into two major types depending on how the immunity was introduced. Naturally acquired immunity occurs through contact with a disease causing agent, when the contact was not deliberate, whereas artificially acquired immunity develops only through deliberate actions such as vaccination. Both naturally and artificially acquired immunity can be further subdivided depending on whether immunity is induced in the host or passively transferred from a immune host. Passive immunity is acquired through transfer of antibodies or activated T-cells from an immune host, and is short lived, usually lasts only a few months, whereas active immunity is induced in the host itself by antigen, and lasts much longer, sometimes life-long. The diagram below summarizes these divisions of immunity.

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