How do we survive in a complex environment filled with harmful organisms that thrive on colonizing us? Our heroic defender is the immune system, a network of organs and cell lines that exist with the mission of protecting the body from harm. While we often recognize the pathogen-fighting capabilities of the system, we can sometimes forget that the immune system is also crucial in ensuring the body is kept safe from itself, as in when our cells transform into cancer cells. On the dark side, sometimes our immune system can get overactive, reacting against our own normal body tissue. Taken together, the immune system is both critical for survival and a vital topic for new medical research.
After listening to this AudioBrick, you should be able to:
- Discuss the main purposes of the immune system.
- Briefly explain how the innate immune system works, and describe how antigens are transferred from the innate to the adaptive immune system (dendritic cells).
- Briefly describe the main purpose of the adaptive immune system, and explain how the two arms (cellular and humoral) work.
- Describe what happens after an immune response is finished.
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