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Immune cells attack! Film at 11. Uh…no. See the film now!

Posted Sep 15 2009 8:57pm

For the first time scientists have caught on film–in real time–immune cells attacking and gobbing up bacteria. This is pretty cool stuff.  Click the photo to go to a video, complete with narration, showing the whole process. (You’ll have to endure a 30-second ad before it starts). The immune cells are in green, the bacteria–e.coli cells in this case–are in bright orange. It all took place inside a fruit fly embryo. Here’s a story on the discovery as well.

University of Bath. Click for video at Live Science.
Video and image from University of Bath. Click for video at Live Science.

What’s this have to do with immune balance? Well, science is showing that a deluge of immune cells overreacting to a pathogen can contribute to or trigger any number of inflammatory responses in the body. If the orange areas were pollen, let’s say, ideally the green immune attackers would back off and let them pass, thereby avoiding a big inflammatory buildup known as an allergic reaction.

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