About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Repeating Patterns in Nature can Help Researchers Understand Immune System Better

by Kathy Jones on May 5, 2013 at 7:11 PM
Font : A-A+

 Repeating Patterns in Nature can Help Researchers Understand Immune System Better

Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center suggest that fractals, self-similar and repeating patterns found in nature, can help scientists understand the organization of immune system and can be used in improving stem cell transplant outcomes in leukemia patients by predicting the probability of transplant complications.

Advertisement

Recently published in the journal Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, the study led by Amir Toor, M.D., found a fractal pattern in the T cell repertoire of 10 unrelated stem cell transplant donors and recipients. T cells are a family of immune system cells that keep the body healthy by identifying and launching attacks against pathogens such as bacteria, viruses or cancer. T cells have small receptors that recognize antigens, which are proteins on the surface of foreign cells. Once T cells encounter a foreign cell, the antigen fits into the T cell's receptor like a key in a lock and the T cell's deadly arsenal is unleashed on the threat. Once activated, T cells divide into many clones with receptors designed to recognize and guard against that specific pathogen. Over the course of a person's life, he will develop millions of these clonal families, which make up his T cell repertoire and protect him against the many threats that exist in his unique environment.

"The technological advancements of high throughput sequencing have only recently allowed scientists to sequence the genetic material responsible for T cell repertoire. At first glance, the data looks like a chaotic jumble of information," says Toor, a hematologist in the Bone Marrow Transplant Program and researcher in the Developmental Therapeutics program at VCU Massey Cancer Center. "However, if you study a person's T cell repertoire by analyzing the DNA segments responsible for the various types of T cell receptors, you begin to notice a fractal pattern based on segment usage." Toor and his team are hopeful that this information will give them clues that will help them better understand the recovery of immune function following stem cell transplantation and possibly predict complications such as graft-versus-host disease in transplant recipients.



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Top 7 Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
Healthy and Safer Thanksgiving 2021
Long-Term Glycemic Control - A Better Measure of COVID-19 Severity
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Immunisation Myasthenia Gravis Cytokines - Part of Body's Defence System 

Recommended Reading
Autoimmune Disorders
Autoimmune disorders occur when the immune system fails to recognize the body as 'self' and attacks ...
Chemotherapy
'Chemo' means medicine or 'drug'; 'therapy' means 'treatment'. Chemotherapy refers to the use of .....
Stem Cells - Cord Blood
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about Cord Blood...
Hodgkins Lymphoma
Hodgkins lymphoma or Hodgkins disease has the distinction of being the first cancer to be cured by ....
Cytokines - Part of Body's Defence System
Cytokines are chemical signaling molecules produced by immune cells of our body and help cells in th...
Myasthenia Gravis
Myasthenia gravis is the commonest disorder of neuromuscular transmission. Autoimmune myasthenia gra...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use