Episode 28 - Giant Bag of Autoimmunity


Blame Kevin for the delay on this one - it's hard to edit podcasts in Hong Kong.

Today (well, three weeks ago), Matt and Kevin talked about epitope spreading in Lupus, and a ton of crazy mouse models that allowed researchers to dissect the way a single auto-reactive B-cell clone can spread the disease party to its neighbors. 

Also in this episode - Kevin complains about politicians' views on global warming (I can't link the map because of the government shutdown), and Matt totally doesn't have any conflicts of interest on this paper...

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- The Paper - Clonal evolution of autoreactive germinal centers (it's behind a paywall, and we definitely won't send you the PDF if you e-mail us at definitely not)
- Blah, Blah, Blah IPA from 21st Amendment
- What Matt was drinking. Not a mistake.

Episode 27 - Macaque Prison Gangs


In this episode, we're talking cure for the common cold... or at least, a vaccine for it. Also, Kevin and Matt read the wrong paper, Chadene corrects Kevin's pronunciation of her name (again!) and we give a big round of applause for Dr. Kate Franz (though she's still too busy for us).

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The Paper: A polyvalent inactivated rhinovirus vaccine is broadly immunogenic in rhesus macaques
Guardian article about the effort to develop a rhinovirus vaccine
Chadene's Blog - The SciMinded Idealist (and her post about episode 26)
Kevin's Beer - Left Hand Milk Stout

Episode 22 - So, a B-cell walks into a germinal center...

One of many beautiful microscopy figures from this week's paper.

One of many beautiful microscopy figures from this week's paper.

In this episode, Matt and Kevin give in to aesthetics. This paper's just really pretty.

Also, it overturns some pretty entrenched immunology dogma and does it using fancy new technology. B-cells, germinal centers and brainbow confetti. 


The paper: Visualizing antibody affinity maturation in germinal centers
The Brainbow
Matt's Beer: Sierra Nevada Nooner Pilsner

Episode 3 - Immunologists' Dirty Little Secret

Click here to download episode. Fungal hyphae growing on Toll mutant D. melanogaster

Today, we're talking the other immunity (that both Kate and Kevin happen to study). Neglected for nearly one hundred years, the innate immune system is required for getting inflammation going, and without it, adaptive immunity wouldn't function.

We discuss a landmark paper by the late Charles Janeway that set the stage for the revolution in understanding, and a newer study that aims to use our modern understanding of the innate immune system to make better vaccines. Check back later for some graphics and explainers.

CORRECTION: "Variola" causes smallpox, not chickenpox. The chickenpox virus is "Varicella." Thanks to listener Robin Datta for the correction.



Approaching the Asymptote: Evolution and Revolution in Immunology

Programing the Magnitude and Persistence of Antibody Responses with Innate Immunity

Blog post Kevin wrote about the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine - it's a bit controversial (make sure to read the comments too!)

More controversy about the history on the fly side from Bruno Lemaitre (who did the work in Jules Hoffman's lab on fly Toll and immunity)

Episode 002 - Antibodies and Infantry

Download episode. In this episode, we're talking antibodies - what they are  and what they have to do with Vaccines. Also, we discuss efforts to use engineered antibodies to treat HIV.

First described by Paul Erlich in the early 20th century, antibodies can bind and neutralize viruses and toxins, or target bacteria for destruction. Antibodies are proteinst that grab their targets (called their "ligand"), through variable regions called "complimentarity determining regions" (CDR).

These CDRs are variable because B-cells re-arrange their genomic DNA, mixing and matching together so-called "V," "D," and "J" (for variable, diversity and joining) gene segments, yielding tens of thousands of different possible combinations.

Antibody Binding to HIV

Even more variability is possible because the junctions between these regions are not perfect, yielding mutations that may change the way that an antibody binds.

In episode 2, we talk about a paper that seems to indicate that a particular antibody V region has evolved to bind the stalk of the influenza hemaglutanin spike protein, and a different study that tries to use engineered broadly neutralizing antibodies to treat HIV infections.

--------------------------- Links:

Influenza antibody paper (presented by Kate) HIV antibody therapy paper (presented by Matt)