WEB TEXT: On the Defensive

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Science  15 Apr 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5720, pp. 331
DOI: 10.1126/science.308.5720.331c

Signs of our protracted struggle against pathogens show up in our genome—up to 10% of our genes may help build or operate body defenses. Learn more about the molecular and genetic underpinnings of the immune system in this primer written by medical student Daniele Focosi of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Trieste, Italy. Packed with links and original pages, Molecular Immunology is an outline-style guide aimed at upper-division college students and above. Readers can start by touring our border defenses, learning about, say, the 20 varieties of gooey mucin molecules that trap pathogens trying to sneak in through the nose, mouth, and other entryways. Other topics include the origin of infection-fighting cells such as the T cell and the immune systems of fruit flies and other model organisms.


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