Genius of Britain TV - Karl Lansteiner 1902 - Niels K Jerne - Linus Pauli - Cesar Milstein - Congressional Record 1969 - Edward Jenner - Michael Mosley TV - Are Women the Fitter Sex? TV - Michael Wood TV - Mankind: The Story of All of Us TV - Tonight TV -
‘Edward Jenner was a country doctor ... Jenner was interested in everything.’ Genius of Britain II: A Roomful of Brilliant Minds, Richard Dawkins, Channel 4 2012
Edward Jenner took on the number one killer in the eighteenth century: Smallpox. ibid.
Jenner had demonstrated the possibility of vaccination. ibid.
Jenner is rightly regarded as the father of immunology. ibid.
A single kind of red cell is supposed to have an enormous number of different substances on it, and in the same way there are substances in the serum to react with many different animal cells. In addition, the substances which match each kind of cell are different in each kind of serum. The number of hypothetical different substances postulated makes this conception so uneconomical that the question must be asked whether it is the only one possible ... We ourselves hold that another, simpler, explanation is possible. Karl Landsteiner, 1902
According to the older view, for every single effect of a serum, there was a separate substance, or at least a particular chemical group ... A normal serum contained as many different haemagglutinins as it agglutinated different cells. The situation was undoubtedly made much simpler if, to use the Ehrlich terminology ... the separate haptophore groups can combine with an extremely large number of receptors in stepwise differing quantities as a stain does with different animal tissues, though not always with the same intensity. A normal serum would therefore visibly affect such a large number of different blood cells ... not because it contained countless special substances, but because of the colloids of the serum, and therefore of the agglutinins by reason of their chemical constitution and the electrochemical properties resulting from it. That this manner of representation is a considerable simplification is clear; it also opens the way to direct experimental testing by the methods of structural chemistry. Karl Landsteiner
An immune system of enormous complexity is present in all vertebrate animals. When we place a population of lymphocytes from such an animal in appropriate tissue culture fluid, and when we add an antigen, the lymphocytes will produce specific antibody molecules, in the absence of any nerve cells. I find it astonishing that the immune system embodies a degree of complexity which suggests some more or less superficial though striking analogies with human language, and that this cognitive system has evolved and functions without assistance of the brain. Niels K Jerne, Nobel lecture 1984
During the time that [Karl] Landsteiner gave me an education in the field of immunology, I discovered that he and I were thinking about the serologic problem in very different ways. He would ask, What do these experiments force us to believe about the nature of the world? I would ask, What is the most. simple and general picture of the world that we can formulate that is not ruled by these experiments? I realized that medical and biological investigators were not attacking their problems the same way that theoretical physicists do, the way I had been in the habit of doing. Linus Pauli
What attracted me to immunology was that the whole thing seemed to revolve around a very simple experiment: take two different antibody molecules and compare their primary sequences. The secret of antibody diversity would emerge from that. Fortunately at the time I was sufficiently ignorant of the subject not to realise how naive I was being. César Milstein, Nobel lecture 1984
Within the next five to ten years it would probably be possible to make a new infective micro-organism which could differ in certain important aspects from any known disease-causing organisms. Most important of these is that it might be refractory to the immunological and therapeutic processes upon which we depend to maintain our relative freedom from infectious disease ... It is highly controversial and there are many who believe such research should not be undertaken. Congressional Record 1969, Department of Defense Appropriations for 1970
But what renders the Cow Pox virus so extremely singular is that the person who has been thus affected is for ever after secure from the infection of the Small Pox. Edward Jenner, 1798
I hope that some day the practice of producing Cow Pox in human beings will spread over the world – when that day comes, there will be no more Small Pox. Edward Jenner
So how did we all end up with such different immune systems? Michael Mosley, Countdown to Life: The Extraordinary Making of You II, BBC 2015
We can’t see it, we can’t feel it, but behind the scenes our immune system is in action twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. These are our immune cells: we each have hundreds of billions of them. And it’s their job to stop viruses, bacteria, and other nasties from infiltrating our bodies and making ourselves ill. The Truth About Boosting Your Immune System, BBC 2021
We’ll see whether lifestyle changes can transform our volunteers’ immune health in a matter of weeks. ibid.
A small amount of alcohol is unlikely to do much harm to our immune system. But what affect does a lot of drink have on our immune system? … The drink has substantially decreased my numbers of lymphocytes. ibid.
There are a growing number of products promising to boost our immune systems … There is very little evidence that elderberry or garlic supplements do much for our immune health. ibid.
Vitamin C helps our immune systems function … Zinc helps our body produce new immune cells … B Vitamins help provide energy to immune cells … Vitamin D makes our immune cells better at killing bacteria and viruses. ibid.
The Covid pandemic is highlighting shocking patterns, revealing how this disease attacks men and women differently … ‘Men have about a 40% higher chance of dying compared to women’ … What I discover is that even though women generally outlive men, there is a dangerous gender gap in the data and the way women are treated. I learn how biases in diagnoses can be life threatening. So when it comes to our health, how much does sex matter? Are Women the Fitter Sex? Channel 4 2021
In England, men account for 60% of all [Covid-19] deaths. ibid.
‘Women tend to generate greater immune responses to viruses than men do.’ ibid. Professor Klein
Females may have a biological advantage when it comes to many cancers and diseases. ibid.
Women tend to have more body fat than men where medicines can accumulate and linger; their kidneys are also smaller … Women metabolise drugs differently. ibid.
Even now in the UK including females in clinical trials isn’t a legal requirement. ibid.
Within years it would kill almost 90% of the Aztec population. With no immunity to European diseases the Aztecs were decimated by what they called the great rash. Michael Wood, Conquistadors, BBC 2000
The people of the Americas have no immunity to a deadly threat – disease. Mankind: The Story of All of Us VII: New World, History 2012
Can our diet have an impact on how we fight infection? Could you eat thirty different plant-based foods each week? What supplements do we really need? And can you really boost your immune system? Tonight: Can You Boost Your Immune System? ITV 2023