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Extending your life with Science

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by GoodGame, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    Interesting news story about the Nobel prize for medicine recipient Dr. Ralph Steinman.


    http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/03/health/nobel-prize/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

    Nobel winner died days before award announced
    By the CNN Wire Staff



    Basically the dendritic cells present antigen molecules to other parts of the immune system, as an adaptive response to infections. As infectious organisms evolve, so can library of "targets" that the immune response maintains, thanks to these cells.





    From Dr. Steinman's professional website: http://www.rockefeller.edu/research/faculty/labheads/RalphSteinman/

    I feel the rules are bent to be bent sometimes, and I think they will this time.
     
  2. uppi

    uppi Deity

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    Yes. The committee confirmed this:
    http://www.nobelprize.org/press/nobelfoundation/press_releases/2011/steinman.html

     
  3. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    A grammar fail on my part!

    "meant to be bent".



    Good ruling on the committee's part, too.
     
  4. Nick Carpathia

    Nick Carpathia Unleash the HAARP

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    The best way to think of dendritic cells is as the "sentry net" of the body. They go around gobbling up molecules and presenting those antigens on their surface. In the steady state, DCs are actually tolerogenic, inhibiting CD4 T cells. This makes perfect sense because the majority of those antigens come from self, and their ability to do so helps to prevent autoimmunity.

    Classically, when a DC encounters "danger signals" .ie. lipopolysaccharides from bacterial cell walls, or interferon-alpha from virus-infected cells, the DCs respond by gobbling up molecules from the local microenvironment, start ramping up their ability to present antigens and enter an immunogenic state. This helps to co-ordinate a response against whatever induced that danger signal. But ah, what happens if an activated DC is loaded with antigen from both self and foreign sources? Honestly, I'm not too sure, we still don't quite know, but a good guess is that other layers of redundancy are required to prevent autoimmune attack.

    As for what Steinman did, he got his buddies to purify dendritic cells from his own body (probably bone-marrow derived), load them with his own tumour antigens, and then inject these activated dendritic cells back into himself. He no doubt further increased the frequency of tumour-specific CD4 T cells in his body, but it's hard to say whether it extended his lifespan without more than n=1 and negative controls. I hope it's a stepping stone to further research by his group. He's going to be missed, his group has been doing some clever things with DCs.
     
  5. Midnight-Blue766

    Midnight-Blue766 The filidh that cam frae Skye

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    Does this mean I can stop extending my life with Black Magic?
     
  6. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    Is "Black Magic" actually a science?
     
  7. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    Yeah, that's true. I suspect I was just cribbing from a journalist's comments when I wrote the thread title.
     

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