Immunology Made Simple: "What are These People Talking About?"

"I recently asked a friend of mine, an immunologist (I try to be inclusive), why immunologists use words no one else understands. He said, probably as a joke, but maybe not, “It provides job security.” He went on to say that once others begin to understand their terminology, immunologists change the words so that no one else will understand them; I believe him. What was monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (or monocyte chemotactic protein 1, or macrophage chemoattractant protein 1), abbreviated MCP-1, now is called CCL2; macrophage inflammatory protein 1 alpha is now CCL3; macrophage inflammatory protein 1 beta is now CCL4; Regulated upon Activation, Normal T-cell Expressed and Secreted or “RANTES” is now CCL5; Macrophage Inflammatory Protein-2 (MIP-2) is now CXCKL2, etc. Much more clear now, right?

Therefore, I have been making an effort to understand the language I prefer to call “immunology-speak”. Here is what I have learned:"

Immunologists: What are These People Talking About? Charles H. Calisher. Croat Med J. 2008 April; 49(2): 272–278. doi: 10.3325/cmj.2008.2.272.

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How the Body Fights Infection. Join Dr. Richard Locksley for a look at how these unseen victories (and occasional defeats) are played out, and how vaccination stacks the deck in our favor. Series: "UCSF Mini Medical School for the Public" [3/2007]

Twitter comments:

@AllergyNet (John Weiner): Immunologists: What are These People Talking About? http://j.mp/faLrGp Thank you @Allergy amusing accurate entertaining article Croat Med J

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