With the coronavirus still raging pretty much out of control, the Perpetual Notion Machine wants to take a different look into human health. So, for tonight’s episode, we want to know how the human immune system works. How does the immune system fight off dangerous invading pathogens, and how does it deal with something new like COVID-19? Our guest is Matt Reynolds, an immunologist in pathobiological sciences at UW-Madison. Matt’s interview with PNM’s Dennis Shaffer lasted more than one show could fill. Tonight, Matt discusses some of the many immune systems in the body. One is the lymphatic system, which Matt describes like highways going from city to city, but in this case from lymph node to lymph node. When a lymph cell recognizes a pathogen, it calls back for mass production and circulation to fight the pathogen. But the immune system is not perfect. Some pathogens can resemble normal cells of the body. The immune system may not “see” them as dangerous, or if the immune system does recognize the pathogen, it may kick into overdrive and start attacking normal cells.
The rest of the interview will air on the July 9 show. Matt discuss how the immune system reacts to something new like COVID-19, and the importance of a vaccine.