Immune Science

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Wild mice and pet-store mice

EXPERIENCE MATTERS  Wild mice (one shown left) and pet-store mice have dealt with infections, which trained their immune systems to react similarly to an adult human’s. Lab mice (one shown right) are kept in sterile environments. Their immune systems react more like a newborn baby’s or a person in a hermetically sealed room.

whipworms

THE WORM TURNS  Intestinal parasites may have an upside. Researchers have discovered that people with whipworms (Trichuris trichiura, left) and mice with Heligmosomoides polygyrus (right) have fewer inflammation-provoking bacteria than they do without the worms. 

house dust mites, magnified

These house dust mites give eczema sufferers a nasty itch.

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