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Stop following the crowd and be yourself! We will provide you with the science behind your individuality and uniqueness. I am what I am. And what I am, needs no excuses. Join us for a great night of science chat and for a chance to win Pint of Science goodies!
You are an individual, but is your doctor treating you as one?
Volker Behrends (Senior Lecturer)
When we see a doctor, we expect to get - by and large - the right treatment for us. In this talk, I will argue that this is not necessarily the case and that having any working drugs is a minor miracle, because, frankly, free-living people are a nightmare for all their individuality. I will then look at how we can use individuality to improve treatment.
Individuality in the immune system: benefits at a cost
One source of our individuality may be found in tissue antigens -- individually distinct markers, which trigger the immune rejection of transplants from other people. Yet transplantation does not occur in nature, so how could tissue antigens evolve their individuality? As I shall explain, we think the uniqueness of our tissue antigens benefits us in our continuous arms race against infectious agents, albeit at a cost: tissue antigens are risk factors for a long list of immune-related diseases.