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The myth of a 'super-charged' immune system

BBC News

On top of organs and infrastructure, billions of immune cells patrol either these superhighways or your bloodstream and are ready to engage your enemies when called upon. Billions more sit guard in the tissue of your body that borders your outsides waiting for invaders to cross them. There are also trillions of protein weapons that you can think of as land mines.


Man flu really DOES exist as women have stronger immune systems

Daily Mail - Science & tech

It's the excuse men have been waiting for and what women could claim to have known all along. Scientists have found that women really do have stronger immune systems than men, meaning'man-flu' actually exists. Their weaker bodies can't cope with bugs that a woman's more powerful immune system could shrug off, a study suggests. But there is a downside to the fair sex having stronger defences against bacteria and viruses, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania found. Men's immune systems are weaker than women's, meaning'man flu' could be a reality as their bodies are less well-equipped to deal with bugs The stronger immune system in females makes it more trigger happy – and more likely to launch attacks on itself, causing auto-immune diseases, the researchers say.


Man Flu May Be Real, Study Shows

U.S. News

He found a man's immune system may be naturally weaker than a woman's, and with some illnesses, especially respiratory diseases, men are more susceptible to complications than women. This is because of hormonal differences in the genders. The masculine hormone testosterone suppresses the immune system, while the feminine hormone estradiol is immunoprotective.


Biological Inspiration for Artificial Immune Systems

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Artificial immune systems (AISs) to date have generally been inspired by naive biological metaphors. This has limited the effectiveness of these systems. In this position paper two ways in which AISs could be made more biologically realistic are discussed. We propose that AISs should draw their inspiration from organisms which possess only innate immune systems, and that AISs should employ systemic models of the immune system to structure their overall design. An outline of plant and invertebrate immune systems is presented, and a number of contemporary research that more biologically-realistic AISs could have is also discussed.


Cancer immune therapy recognised with Nobel Prize for medicine

New Scientist

The Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine has been awarded to scientists who discovered how cancer can be treated by targeting the immune system. Cancer cells feature mutations that mean they can be recognised by our immune systems as foreign. But immune reactions against cancer are usually very weak. James Allison and Tasuku Honjo, working separately, discovered proteins that act as a brake on the immune system. They later found that that releasing these brakes would allow the immune system to attack cancer cells.