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/

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: First diode for magnetic fields

Innsbruck quantum physicists have constructed a diode for magnetic fields and then tested it in the laboratory. The device, developed by the research groups led by the theorist Oriol Romero-Isart and the experimental physicist Gerhard Kirchmair, could open up a number of new applications.

Electric diodes are essential electronic components that conduct electricity in one direction but prevent conduction in the opposite one. They are found at the...

Im Focus: Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.

Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helping to Transport Proteins Inside the Cell

21.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Meta-surface corrects for chromatic aberrations across all kinds of lenses

21.11.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Removing toxic mercury from contaminated water

21.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>