Posted on April 25, 2008 - by MG
Antigen presentation – the central tenet of immunology. Didn’t make any sense to me until I saw the crystal structures of MHC I, and the T-Cell receptor.
I emerged into the outside world today full the kind of renewed energy that only a post-viral recovery gives you.
The immune system is an amazing thing. Even moreso when you have some knowledge of how it works. I remember when they published the crystal structure of the Major Histocompatibility Complex I protein bound to a peptide antigen. Luckily for me this was the year that I took biochemistry finals at Oxford. I’d never understood the scientific evidence for molecular immunology properly until I actually saw those molecules interacting.
I’m just not good enough of an abstract thinker. The cellular evidence just befuddled me. I had to see something in 3D before I could catch on.
Immune system, amazing, hence I have made a whole load of antibodies and cytotoxic T-cells and other cell and molecular weapons and totally kicked that viruses ass and cleared it out of my system. And if anything like that comes round again, my B-cells will give it what for…
Oxford was warm and filled with shoppers, students and tourists. I heard some Brazilians speaking Portuguese and it cheered the part of me that still wants to be in Sao Miguel do Gostoso. I dropped into Waterstones and was relieved to see that ‘Invisible City’ survived the recent cull of children’s books on display in the window. Still on display and in the 3-for-2! Lots of books for older readers have been put aside to make way for picture books and other things for younger kiddies. Finally I share a window display with the wonderful Axel Scheffler!