Bob writes:

Thanks, people!  You did an awesome job of simplifying and explaining this complicated, complicated paper!

As the father of a T1D child, I hope this information speedily leads to therapeutic results; as a former scientist I am fascinated to learn that there are DE (dual expressor) cells, not just B- and T-cells, and their possible role in autoimmune disease.

Keep up the great podcasts!


Bob writes:

Filming how our immune system kills bacteria

Spotted while surfing the web:

“To kill bacteria in the blood, our immune system relies on nanomachines that can open deadly holes in their targets. UCL scientists have now filmed these nanomachines in action, discovering a key bottleneck in the process which helps to protect our own cells. […] For this study, the researchers mimicked how these deadly holes are formed by the membrane attack complex (MAC) using a model bacterial surface. By tracking each step of the process, they found that shortly after each hole started to form, the process stalled, offering a reprieve for the body’s own cells. The team say the process pauses as 18 copies of the same protein are needed to complete a hole. Initially, there’s only one copy which inserts into the bacterial surface, after which the other copies of the protein slot into place much more rapidly.

To film the immune system in action at nanometer resolution and at a few seconds per frame, the scientists used atomic force microscopy. This type of microscopy uses an ultrafine needle to feel rather than see molecules on a surface, similar to a blind person reading Braille. The needle repeatedly scans the surface to produce an image that refreshes fast enough to track how immune proteins get together and cut into the bacterial surface.

The study has been published in the journal Nature Communications.”


Enjoy your show.


Cal writes:


Writing from Lothian, Maryland, outside Washington DC, where it is still warm 79/26 at 9 pm. Summer has arrived!

I am a toxicologist & risk assessor at a Federal Agency in DC. Not a microbiologist (couple of immunology courses while at grad school) but I volunteer at the Smithsonian NMNH and I had the privilege of being trained on Outbreak. I got turned on to the TWIV group of podcasts by a neighbor who somehow knows Alan Dove. I only understand maybe 25% (on a good day!) but I can generally follow along and always learn something new.

Listening to back issues I heard Stephanie talk about the Pregnant Scholar. I wanted to alert you to the book “Motherhood: The Elephant in the Laboratory”. (Full disclosure I am a contributor but I made/make no money from this project.)

The book was conceived and edited by Emily Monosson and it contains collections of women’s stories, organized by decade, do you can see how things have and have not changed. Worth a look?

Also – for the TWIV folks, you also might find Emily’s most recent book, Natural Defense: enlisting bugs and germs to protect our food and medicine (Island Press 2017), to be of interest. 

Thanks for the hours of entertainment and education!

Mo writes:

I hope you’re doing well.

First of all, I want to thank you for your great immune podcasts.

But I am not native English and I need crucially the subtitle are the text of these record files.

Is it possible to provide them for peoples like me?

Thanks a lot and Best regards


Ryan writes:

I want to update on Jerry’s statement from TWIV on Vaccine Bills on state and federal levels in debates for the Immune audience as of June 2019

Maine Has reduced on Vaccine exemptions.

California has been on the fence on Vaccine medical exemption audit  bill SB 276.

and Ohio HB 268 is at play.