Resources on Immunology

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Resource page including articles and career profiles related to immunology.

Our immune system is an important part of our body. It allows us to respond to and control invasions of pathogens from our environment. Pathogens include things like bacteria and viruses. Once in our body, they can do a lot of harm if our immune system can't fight them. Our bodies are pretty good at fighting these things, but sometimes they need a bit of help. That's were things like antibiotics and vaccines come in. Antibiotics are often used to help our bodies fight bacteria and vaccines are used to help our bodies fight viruses.

Our immune system is pretty amazing, but it's not perfect. Sometimes it can think things like food, pet hair and even our own cells are out to get us. This is why some people have allergies and others have auto-immune diseases. Thankfully, there are many researchers out there working to help us understand and support our immune system.

Visit our Biology video channel for some of the latest stories on the fight against COVID-19 and how it is affecting our lives and society. Be sure to check out the Credibility Meter at the bottom of each video. It helps you assess how trustworthy and accurate a news story is.

Also, below you will find some Let’s Talk Science resources to help you learn more about how your immune system works, what happens when it doesn't and how we can improve its efficiency with vaccines.

Articles and Backgrounders 

Finger with a drop of blood

The Immune Response

When you cut your finger, your immune system kicks in to protect you from pathogens.
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The Immune Response

Inflammation of the knee

The Immune Response: A Cellular War

An inflammatory response is your body’s attempt to fight invaders. Learn how your body springs into action when attacked!
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The Immune Response: A Cellular War

man sick with the flu

The Surprising Reason You Feel Awful When You're Sick

Viruses can make you feel awful! This article explains how feeling bad might be your immune system’s way of helping you heal.
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The Surprising Reason You Feel Awful When You're Sick

Icon showing a syringe on a shield

Herd Immunity: How Vaccines Protect the Most Vulnerable

What is herd immunity and how does it protect some of the most vulnerable people in our communities?
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Herd Immunity: How Vaccines Protect the Most Vulnerable

Infant receiving a vaccination

Immunity and Vaccination

Learn about the history of vaccines and how vaccines trigger an immune response that keep us from getting some dangerous diseases.
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Immunity and Vaccination

Cartoon coronavirus overlayed with a “no” symbol

COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 learning resources and suggestions for discussing with students.
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COVID-19 Resources

T cells and cancer cells - Image © Meletios Verras, iStockPhoto.com

Can Your Own Cells Cure Cancer?

When a person has cancer, CAR-T Therapy uses their own cells to destroy the cancer cells in their body.
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Can Your Own Cells Cure Cancer?

Bread and wheat with a warning sign

Celiac Disease: When You Really Need to Stay Gluten-Free

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder. Gluten triggers an immune system response, seriously affecting nutrition.
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Celiac Disease: When You Really Need to Stay Gluten-Free

Human organs for transplantation

Organ Transplantation

Learn about organ transplantation - what it is, how it can save lives, how your immune system responds, and how the matching process works.
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Organ Transplantation

Careers

Learning about the professionals involved is ideal to establish relations between STEM studies and skills, and the real world. Below are some suggested career profiles to show the variety of people working in immunology

 

 

 

 

Teaching Resources

Questions for Discussion with Students

To start thinking about our immune system, teachers can ask students questions such as:

  1. Do you know how your body reacts when faced with a foreign object or organism? Can you name some of the reactions? (E.g., fever, rashes, hives, respiratory problems)
  2. Do you have allergies? If so, to what?
  3. What do you think an auto-immune disease is? Do you know anyone who has an auto-immune disease? 
  4. Do you know what vaccinations you have received in your lifetime? What were they for?
  5. How do vaccines work?

Questions for Discussion with Students

To start thinking about our immune system, teachers can ask students questions such as:

  1. Do you know how your body reacts when faced with a foreign object or organism? Can you name some of the reactions? (E.g., fever, rashes, hives, respiratory problems)
  2. Do you have allergies? If so, to what?
  3. What do you think an auto-immune disease is? Do you know anyone who has an auto-immune disease? 
  4. Do you know what vaccinations you have received in your lifetime? What were they for?
  5. How do vaccines work?

Teaching Suggestions

  • You can use the KWL: What I Know, What I Want to Know, and What I Learned Learning Strategy to introduce the topic.

  • Initial discussion

    • Using the questions above, discuss the topics with students. This can be done in the classroom or online, you can also have an asynchronous discussion by using a collaborative platform in which students can share their thoughts and opinions on the different questions. This option gives more space for introvert expression.

  • Articles

    • Teaching suggestions for can be found  at the bottom of each of the articles.

Teaching Suggestions

  • You can use the KWL: What I Know, What I Want to Know, and What I Learned Learning Strategy to introduce the topic.

  • Initial discussion

    • Using the questions above, discuss the topics with students. This can be done in the classroom or online, you can also have an asynchronous discussion by using a collaborative platform in which students can share their thoughts and opinions on the different questions. This option gives more space for introvert expression.

  • Articles

    • Teaching suggestions for can be found  at the bottom of each of the articles.