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How the Immune System Works

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ISBN-10: 0470657294

ISBN-13: 9780470657294

Edition: 4th 2012

Authors: Lauren M. Sompayrac

List price: $28.99
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How the Immune System Works is not a comprehensive textbook. It’s the book thousands of students have used to help them understand what’s in their big, thick, immunology texts. In this book, Dr. Sompayrac cuts through the jargon and details to reveal, in simple language, the essence of this complex subject.Fifteen easy to follow lectures, featuring the uniquely popular humorous style and engaging analogies developed by Dr Sompayrac, provide an introduction to the ‘bigger picture’, followed by practical discussion on how each of the components interacts with one another. Now featuring full–color diagrams, this book has been rigorously updated for its fourth edition to reflect today’s…    
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Book details

List price: $28.99
Edition: 4th
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Limited
Publication date: 1/20/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 152
Size: 9.00" wide x 11.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.682

Hanns-Christof Spatz is professor emeritus of biophysics in the Faculty of Biology at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universitt Freiburg in Germany.

How to Use This Book
This book is neither a comprehensive text nor an exam-review tool
It is an overview of the immune system designed to give anyone who is learning immunology a feel for how the system all fits together
The Anytime, Anywhere Textbook
An Overview
The immune system is a “team effort,” involving many different players who work together to provide a powerful defense against invaders
Focusing in on one player at a time makes it hard to understand the game
Here we view the action from the grandstands to get a wide-angle picture of what the immune system is all about
The Innate Immune System
The innate immune system is a “hard-wired” defense that has evolved over millions of years to recognize pathogens that commonly infect humans
It provides a rapid and powerful defense against “everyday” invaders
B Cells and Antibodies
B cells and the antibodies they produce are part of the adaptive immune system
This defense evolves during our own lifetime to protect us against invaders that we, personally, have never encountered before
The Magic of Antigen Presentation
T cells, another weapon of the adaptive immune system, only recognize invaders which are “properly presented” by specialized antigen presenting cells
This feature keeps these important cells focused on the particular attackers which they are able to defend against
T Cell Activation
Before they can spring into action, T cells must be activated
This requirement helps ensure that only useful weapons will be mobilized
T Cells at Work
Once they have been activated, helper T cells orchestrate the immune response, and killer T cells destroy infected cells
Secondary Lymphoid Organs and Lymphocyte Trafficking
B and T lymphocytes travel through secondary lymphoid organs looking for the invaders they can defend against
Once activated, B and T cells are dispatched to those areas of the body in which they can be most useful
Restraining the Immune System
The powerful weapons of the immune system must be restrained lest they become “overexuberant.” In addition, once an invader has been defeated, the immune system must be “reset” to prepare for future attacks
Tolerance Induction and MHC Restriction
T cells must be trained to focus on appropriately presented invaders, and B and T lymphocytes must learn not to attack our own bodies
Immunological Memory
B and T cells remember invaders we have previously encountered, and respond much more quickly and effectively to a subsequent attack by the same invader
Vaccines are used to safely mimic the attack of an invader so that our immune system will be primed and ready for a real attack
The Immune System Gone Wrong
The immune system generally does a good job of defending us while infl icting minimal “collateral damage.” Sometimes, however, mistakes are made
Serious disease may result when our immune system does not operate at full strength
Cancer and the Immune System
Because the immune system is set up to minimize the chance that its weapons will attack our own bodies, it is not very good at defending us against cells that have become cancerous
A Critique of the Immune System
The immune system has many strengths - and a few weaknesses