“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”
-The Art of War
You are at this very moment engaged in a war of the tiniest scale. Perhaps a small abrasion on your hand has made contact with the subversive and ubiquitous Staphylococcus aureus, waiting to stealthily eat your flesh. But you don’t notice the bacteria, and your flesh doesn’t get consumed though it may stay red and warm for a day or two. Luckily, your immune system was poised for such an invader – subduing the invading bacteria and any strays by devouring them whole or melting them with molecules more effective than an acid bath.
Humans are basically mobile petri dishes, and yet we aren’t sick all the time. How do we do it? This class is a crash course in the fundamentals of the Immune System. We will start with a discussion about the anatomy of the immune system, how it develops, and the array of cells involved and their different roles in basic human homeland security. Once we’ve hammered down the basics, we’ll talk about immune dysfunctions and malfunctions, the ideas behind vaccines, and finally, immunology potpourri (FACT: bacteria have mini-immune systems).
If you’re curious about the immune system and how it works, this class is for you.
(Class size 20ish, lecture and discussion)