Presented by Babraham Institute

Images

Hands-on at this exhibit

  • Compete in our antibody building game.
  • Use magnetic antibodies to combat infections in life-size models.
  • Use our science pipeline puzzle to see how basic research translates into medicines.

Twitter

Pioneering research in antibody production and function may help us fight infection in old age.

 
Watch your immune army at work as antibodies seek and destroy enemy invaders.

The immune system is an army of specialist cells, some of which produce antibodies that can stick to an invader, tying it down and marking it for destruction. But as we age our immune system is less able to fight invading germs. Our exhibit showcases the science of the immune system, and how our research could help to boost ailing immune responses.

Your immune system works day and night to seek and destroy enemy invaders – bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. One type of immune cell produces diverse antibodies to specifically tackle each and every invading germ – or ‘pathogen’. Our research spotlights how different combinations of hundreds of genes are cut and pasted to achieve billions of uniquely constructed antibodies. Understanding this mix-and-match process is important for designing new medicines to boost immunity in older people, develop vaccines and combat disease.

To find out more visit the Weapons of microscopic destruction website.

Lead image: A close-up of an antibody, part of our immune army in the fight against invading germs. Credit: © Eraxion/istock.