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Clues beginning to emerge on asymtomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection
Back in November of 2020, during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was teaching an in-person microbiology laboratory. One of my students had just been home to see his parents, and they all c…
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Could there maybe be better uses of genetics and probiotics?
Professor Meng Dong and his laboratory have created a probiotic that can metabolize alcohol quickly and maybe prevent some of the adverse effects of alcohol consumption. The scientists cloned a highl…
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ChatGPT is not the end of essays in education
The takeover of AI is upon us! AI can now take all our jobs, is the click-bait premise you hear from the news. While I cannot predict the future, I am dubious that AI will play such a dubious role in…
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Fighting infections with infections
Multi-drug-resistant bacterial infections are becoming more of an issue, with 1.2 million people dying of previously treatable bacterial infections. Scientists are frantically searching for new metho…
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A tale of two colleges
COVID-19 at the University of Wisconsin this fall has been pretty much a non-issue. While we are wearing masks, full in-person teaching is happening on campus. Bars, restaurants, and all other busine…
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16-1 Introduction

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In the previous chapter we introduced the immune system, where it came from, it's primary goal and then explored the innate immunity your body has to fight off infections. These systems are very powerful and effective, but they are immutable and cannot tailor themselves to the threat of an infection. If these defenses are breached, it is up to adaptive immunity to mount a defense.