Skepticism, Medicine and Science News

Filming The Immune System

Scientists at Sydney’s Centenary Institute recently managed to film an immune cell in the process of being invaded by the parasite Leishmania. The study was published in PLoS Pathogens

This is the first time this process has been filmed, and it was made possible by using high powered multi-photon microscopy which allowed the cells to be viewed in real time. Using this technique, head researcher Wolfgang Weninger and his team were able to study dendritic cells in the skin after the introduction of Leishmania parasites. This ability to track pathogens in the immune system is likely to benefit vaccine research and other studies of the immune system in general. 

This image shows an immune cell absorbing the parasite via pseudopods. The parasite is shown in red, and the blue circles are vacuoles containing parasites.   

The full study can be found here, and there are some really cool videos included in “Supporting Information” part the article. I recommend taking a look at them.


December 7, 2008 - Posted by | Biology, Medicine | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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