Sunday, May 18, 2008

Stimulate the phagocytes.

Macrophages, eh, what would we do without them? Die very quickly, apparently - in fact very soon after we drew in our first microbe-laden breath, or gulped down our first taste of not-entirely-sterile mothers' milk.

Macrophages are my latest obsession. If you look here (a film by Judith Behnsen, Priyanka Narang, Mike Hasenberg, Frank Gunzer, Ursula Bilitewski, Nina Klippel, Manfred Rohde, Matthias Brock, Axel A. Brakhage, Matthias Gunzer) you can see them in action. Usually they lurk in tissues quietly supping at whatever is around them, but then, when aroused by chemical signals of nearby microbe carnage, they become greedy - gulping voraciously at whatever comes their way... In the movie you can see them suddenly change as they are activated by being washed with a chemical, then start to swallow the orange bacteria. I find this as exciting as any Hollywood record-breaking block-buster.

Today I have been reading the Doctor's Dilemma by George Bernard Shaw. He seemed to understand a thing or two about macrophages (although he called them phagocytes) - which I think is impressive.

4 Comments:

Anonymous TJ said...

I will enjoy hearing what you think of the Doctor's Dilemma. I read it years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. What a fun post! Thanks.

Mon May 19, 08:33:00 pm  
Blogger Lee said...

How is your dad?

Tue May 20, 10:43:00 am  
Anonymous Clare said...

Hi TJ: It was funny, with some marvellous quotes. Thanks for your comment - much appreciated.

Lee: He's OK, thanks. The procedure went well and he was back at home within a day.

Tue May 20, 10:20:00 pm  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

Must remember these words for my scrabulous games!

Fri May 23, 08:06:00 am  

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