This Fundamentals of Immunology - Death by Friendly Fire offered by Coursera in partnership with Rice University is the third leg of the journey through the defenses your body uses to keep you healthy. In the first course we learned about innate immunity and B cell function. In the second course we studied T cell function and coordination of the immune response.
Fundamentals of Immunology: Death by Friendly Fire introduces students to the basic functions of the adaptive and innate immune systems. The early lectures survey cells, tissues and organs using metaphors, cartoons and models to improve understanding and retention. After describing the form, function, origin and varieties of antibodies, subsequent lectures provide details on the mechanism of the generation of variation.
The course provides animations of gene rearrangement and class switching and descriptions of affinity maturation correlated with detailed physical models of antibody structure. The final lecture reviews these concepts in anatomical context. Testing employs multiple choice questions testing facts, concepts, and application of principles. Questions may refer to diagrams, drawing and photographs used in lecture and reproduced in the outline.
A survey of immune cells and how they attack pathogens, with emphasis on the mechanism of inducing apoptosis and details of Antibody Directed Cell-mediated Cytotoxicity.
The inflammatory response and mechanisms of generating tolerance, presented in sequence to emphasize the decision making involved in controlling attacks. A survey of autoimmune disease, their characteristics, cause and treatment.
Survey of hypersensitivity reactions, including allergy, anaphylaxis, anemias, granulomas, and a variety of skin responses. This is accompanied by identification, prevention and treatment.
The final discussion of preventing transplant rejection is preceded by a detailed unit on antibody technology and the methods of testing for incompatibility.
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