Today I actually managed to drag myself out of bed for a run in the early morning sunshine. I spotted quite a few fellow runners braving the cold, but it’s not just humans who’ve been pacing it out lately. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and other institutions have been running mice on wheels to try to understand how exercise can help to fight cancer, and it looks like the immune system is at play again.
Over the past couple of months I have been writing and recording a video explaining our lab’s research as part of a faculty video series. It’s been great fun thinking about ways to put our work in perspective. I especially enjoyed watching Lizzie turn my stick figure scribbled ideas into fantastic illustrations. A big thank you to the University of Manchester Faculty of Life Science Minute Lecture Team for their work getting this organised! If you want to hear more about the work that’s going on in our lab check out the Davis lab website. I’ll let the video speak for itself, enjoy.
Did you have the flu vaccine this winter? Did you feel a bit under the weather afterwards? What if there was a way to predict how you would respond to a vaccine before it was given to you?
Vaccines work by creating an immune memory without you ever having the disease. By treating you with a killed version or pieces of the pathogen we want to vaccinate against, we trigger a small immune response. This makes memory antibody producing B cells which kick into action when you encounter the real pathogen and stop it from taking hold.
Keeping you healthy is a massive team effort. In a single drop of your blood there are thousands of white blood cells doing different jobs. From raising the alarm on dangers, to coordinated attacks on infection, and even just keeping the whole system in balance, your white blood cells are a diverse and elite team. Each of these cells will take centre stage on the blog at some point, but for now I’d like to give you a quick introduction to all of them and the main jobs they do. Meet the team!