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This Is How Your Body Builds Immunity

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We encounter bacteria, viruses and parasites all the time, but how exactly does our immune system kill these dangerous pathogens?
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Vaccines are quite possibly the greatest thing that humans ever created. Vaccination has its roots in variolation, a technique developed by Asian physicians prior to the 1700s.

The physicians would take dust from someone’s smallpox scab and blow it into their patient’s nose—the patient would experience a weaker version of smallpox, but then they’d be immune to it for life. Pretty cool, huh?

And while variolation was far from perfect, when the alternative was contracting a potentially fatal version of smallpox, it was a good first step. And in the hundreds of years since, doctors have made huge advances in vaccination technology like Edward Jenner’s famous smallpox vaccine made from cowpox virus, or Louis Pasteur’s vaccines against rabies and anthrax.

But here’s the thing — all of these revolutionary concepts in science came before we knew how our immune system worked on a cellular level.

So how do our bodies build up immunity?

In this Human we’re going to explore all the moving pieces of the human body’s immune response (including lymphocytes, b cells, t cells, you name it) and follow the story of early immunology to learn how they originally figured out the cells of the immune system.

#immunesystem #immunity #health #humanbody #seeker #science #humanseries

Read More:
The Origin Of The Word ‘Vaccine’
https://www.sciencefriday.com/articles/the-origin-of-the-word-vaccine/
“The word vaccine, and vaccination, actually comes from the name for a pox virus—the cowpox virus, vaccinia, to be exact. But why did this wonderful tool of immunization, which constitutes one of the “greatest hits” in the entire history of medicine, get its name from a virus that attacks cows?”

The Pattern That Epidemics Always Follow
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/four-things-you-need-know-about-virus/607495/
“You are reading this because of your ancestors’ immune system. The odds of your predecessors surviving the myriad microbes that have stalked humanity every step of its march toward becoming Earth’s dominant species were incalculably long. More Homo sapiens have probably died from infectious disease than all other causes combined. Only in the past 150 years, owing to nutritional and medical advances, have we emerged from living in constant worry that a cough or fever or scrape might be a death sentence.”

Louis Pasteur Historical Biography
https://www.sciencehistory.org/historical-profile/louis-pasteur
“During the mid- to late 19th century Pasteur demonstrated that microorganisms cause disease and discovered how to make vaccines from weakened, or attenuated, microbes. He developed the earliest vaccines against fowl cholera, anthrax, and rabies.”

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This Seeker health miniseries will dive deep into the cellular structures, human systems, and overall anatomy that work together to keep our bodies going. Using the visual structure and quick pacing of Seeker’s Sick series, these human bio-focused episodes will give a new audience an inside look on what’s happening inside all of us.

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