Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Better vaccines with special cells

25.02.2002


More effective vaccines will be developed as a result of research at the University of Dundee which is harnessing the skills of special cells in the body`s immune response process.



The Medical Research Council has awarded Professor Colin Watts and his colleagues £1.2 million to fund work on key cells in our immune system called dendritic cells. Colin is Professor of Immunology in the School of Life Sciences.

Although immunologists have known about dendritic cells for many years their importance in immunity has only recently been appreciated. They are now recognised as key messengers alerting other cells such as B and T lymphocytes to the presence of an infection. They are scattered widely in most tissues where they act as `sentinels` looking out for invaders.


When we get an infection or when we are vaccinated, they capture some of
the foreign material and travel to other parts of the body where they engage the lymphocytes that ultimately eliminate the infection. The `message` is delivered in the form of processed fragments of the infectious agent and so too is information about the type of infection that has occurred, viral, bacterial, parasitic etc. All this elicits the appropriate type of immune response.

Immunologists believe that these cells may hold the key to better vaccines for example against diseases like malaria and also perhaps against cancer.

Harnessing the potential of dendritic cells requires that we understand better some their basic features. This new work will allow a major expansion of the work on dendritic cells in Dundee being carried out by Colin Watts and his colleagues Alan Prescott and Michele West. They will be studying how dendritic cells capture foreign material, how they convert
it to a form that lymphocytes can recognise and how they switch from one
mode of operation to another as they migrate through the body. As our
understanding of the cells grows so to will the opportunities to make vaccines more effective in the future.

Colin Watts is Head of the Division of Cell Biology and Immunology at
the Wellcome Trust Biocentre. His laboratory has been based in Dundee since 1986 and is also supported by the Wellcome Trust and by collaborations with industry.

Caroline Petrie | alphagalileo
Further information:
http://www.dundee.ac.uk/pressoffice/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure
24.11.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

nachricht New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young
22.11.2017 | Rockefeller University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactions

24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure

24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heidelberg Researchers Study Unique Underwater Stalactites

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>