Making Peace with My Inner Warriors


We are so cool. No, really– in the video below, a neutrophil, one of the cells of the innate immune system, chases down and engulfs foreign bacteria detected in the bloodstream. This is going on inside of us all the time– a complex chemical war waged against dangerous intruders.

The problem is, in autoimmune disorders like type 1 diabetes, chemical markers in our own bodies become targets of immune cells. Not of neutrophils specifically, but of the T-cells in the adaptive immune system, primed in part by the innate immune system.

So, yeah, that’s not so cool, perhaps– but, still– watching that little neutrophil go, and considering how many whips and scorns time raises against our bodies– I can only conclude we’re still pretty cool. To put it another way, I’m kind of amazed we survive at all; in the face of how much could go wrong, and how much does go right, diabetes seems like a rather manageable problem in the end. So my immune system misclassified some of my T-cells, and let the ones that were self-reactive escape the thymus. Maybe I’ll cut it some slack, seeing how well it takes care of me for the most part.

And plus, how could I stay mad at my immune system– just look at how cute it is!


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Catherine Price
11 years ago

Very cool.

Christopher Donnelly
11 years ago

I heart your posts — informative and very, very cool.

11 years ago

Can YOU actually have the opportunity to see anything like this is the lab?  This is great!

Jane Kokernak
11 years ago

Cool, indeed. That neutrophil looks like a stealth fish.

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