A Journey with Elie Metchnikoff: From Innate Cell Mechanisms in Infectious Diseases to Quantum Biology.
ABSTRACT: Many reviews of Elie Metchnikoff's work have been published, all unanimously acknowledging the significant contributions of his cellular theory to the fields of immunology and infectious diseases. In 1883, he published a key paper describing phagocytic cells in frogs. His descriptions were not just about phagocytes involved in host defense, he also described how these specialized cells eliminated degenerating or dying cells of the host. This perspective focuses on key concepts developed by Metchnikoff by presenting relevant excerpts of his 1883 paper and matching these concepts with challenges of modern immunology. A new approach to macrophage polarization is included to introduce some creative thinking about the exciting emerging area of quantum biology.
Project description:The year 2016 marks the centenary of the death of Elie Metchnikoff, the father of innate immunity and discoverer of the significance of phagocytosis in development, homeostasis and disease. Through a series of intravital experiments on invertebrates and vertebrates, he described the role of specialised phagocytic cells, macrophages and microphages, subsequently renamed neutrophils and polymorphonuclear leucocytes, in the host response to injury, inflammation, infection and tissue repair. As a vigorous proponent of cellular immunity, he championed its importance versus humoral immunity in the so-called antibody wars. By 1908, when the Nobel Prize was awarded to Elie Metchnikoff and Paul Ehrlich, this debate was not yet resolved. Even earlier, Metchnikoff had turned his research interests to the process of ageing and the possible link to intestinal auto-intoxication, giving rise to the current interest in the microbiome of the gut and the use of probiotics to promote health and longevity. During the past century, Metchnikoff's reputation has waxed and waned, as lymphocyte heterogeneity, specificity and memory began to dominate the field of adaptive immunity, yet his benign visage continues to provide an iconic presence for specialists in innate immunology, whose studies have made a striking comeback in the past decade. In this review, I shall consider the nature of his studies and the person as well as the legendary description of his Eureka experience in Messina in 1882, a story loved by students and investigators alike, that marked, in his own words, his transformation from zoologist to pathologist.
Project description:This study investigates the existence of cross-modal correspondences between a series of paintings by Kandinsky and a series of selections from Schönberg music. The experiment was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, by means of the Osgood semantic differential, the participants evaluated the perceptual characteristics first of visual stimuli (some pictures of Kandinsky's paintings, with varying perceptual characteristics and contents) and then of auditory stimuli (musical excerpts taken from the repertoire of Schönberg's piano works) relative to 11 pairs of adjectives tested on a continuous bipolar scale. In the second phase, participants were required to associate pictures and musical excerpts. The results of the semantic differential test show that certain paintings and musical excerpts were evaluated as semantically more similar, while others were evaluated as semantically more different. The results of the direct association between musical excerpts and paintings showed both attractions and repulsions among the stimuli. The overall results provide significant insights into the relationship between concrete and abstract concepts and into the process of perceptual grouping in cross-modal phenomena.
Project description:We can trace, with high congruence, the clinical syndromes of depression and mania as described over the 20th century in psychiatric textbooks back to 1880 and to the earliest writing of Kraepelin published in 1883. However, this is not the case for Kraepelin's 2 delusional syndromes central to his overall nosology: Dementia Paranoides (later paranoid schizophrenia) and Paranoia. A detailed examination of 28 textbook descriptions of delusional psychoses from 1880 to 1900 reveals a diverse and partially overlapping set of syndromes with an admixture of symptoms and signs that would later be considered indicative of Dementia Paranoides and Paranoia. A similar pattern in seen in Kraepelin's own description of "Primäre Verrücktheit" from the first edition of his textbook (1883). No clear prototypes emerged in these textbooks or in Kraepelin's early writings for the 2 distinct delusional syndromes that would later evolve in his mature writings. Rather, the nosologic approach taken in these writings was symptom based and assumed that a viable diagnostic category could be constituted by including all delusional patients once those suffering from organic or mood disorders were excluded. While Kraepelin used the historical syndromes of mania and depression, with no appreciable change, as building blocks for his category of manic-depressive insanity, his nosologic system for the psychotic disorders-the syndromes of Dementia Praecox and Paranoia-was more innovative and without clear precedent in the prior psychiatric literature.
Project description:Technological advances in immunology, protein design, and genetic delivery have unlocked new possibilities for vaccine concepts and delivery technologies that were previously inaccessible. These next-generation vaccine design efforts are particularly promising in their potential to provide solutions to challenging targets for which conventional approaches have proven ineffective-for example, a universal influenza vaccine. In this perspective, we discuss emerging approaches to vaccine design and engineering based on recent insights into immunology, structural biology, computational biology, and immunoengineering. We anticipate that these cutting-edge, interdisciplinary approaches will lead to breakthrough vaccine concepts for ever-evolving and (re)emerging influenza viruses, with important ramifications for global public health.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Immune function and dysfunction are highly complex basic science concepts introduced in the preclinical medical school curriculum. A challenge for early learners is connecting the intricate details and concepts in immunology with clinical manifestations. This impedes relevance and applicability. The impetus in medical education reform is promoting consolidation of basic science and clinical medicine during the first two years of medical school. Simulation is an innovation now widely employed in medical schools to enhance clinical learning. Its use in basic science curriculums is largely deficient. The authors piloted simulation as a novel curricular approach to enhance fundamental immunology knowledge and clinical integration.<h4>Methods</h4>The authors introduced a Primary Immunodeficiency Disease (PIDD) simulation during a basic science immunology course for second-year medical students at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. The simulation tasked small groups of students with evaluating, diagnosing and managing an infant with previously undiagnosed immunodeficiency. Joint facilitation by clinical and science faculty during terminal debriefings engaged students in Socratic discussion. Debriefing aimed to immerse basic science content in the context of the clinical case. Students completed a post-simulation Likert survey, assessing utility in reinforcing clinical reasoning, integration of basic science and clinical immunology, enhanced knowledge and understanding of immunodeficiency, and enhanced learning. A summative Immunodeficiency Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) question was created by faculty to assess students' recognition of a PIDD and clinical reasoning.<h4>Results</h4>The simulation was well received by students with >?90% endorsing each of the objectives on the post-simulation survey. The authors also determined a statistically significant score variance on the summative OSCE question. Higher scores were achieved by the cohort of students completing the OSCE post-simulation versus the cohort completing the OSCE pre-simulation.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The innovative use of simulation in a highly complex basic science immunology course provides relevance and consolidation for preclinical learners. Additional data will be collected to continuously assess application of concepts and proficiency stemming from this novel curricular intervention. The authors advocate the initiation and/or expansion of simulation in non-clinical basic science courses such as immunology to bridge the gap between theory and practice.
Project description:Dr Henry Shimizu was a dedicated Canadian plastic surgeon with Japanese roots who spent his career practicing in Edmonton at the University of Alberta Hospital. He relished the opportunity to share his expertise by training residents and medical students. Dr Shimizu completed his plastic surgery training in the United States and was central to establishing the plastic surgery training program in Edmonton. Beyond clinical practice, Dr Shimizu was a prominent advocate in his community, serving as the Chairman of the Redress committee for Japanese internment. As a talented painter, he had produced magnificent oil paintings based on childhood recollections as an internee in the Slocan Valley. Dr Shimizu has made significant contributions to Canadian plastic surgery serving as president of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons in 1978. His clinic work and dedication to the community at large were recognized with the Order of Canada in 2004 and more recently an honorary degree from the University of Victoria. Dr Shimizu continues to golf, paint, and travel in his retirement. He is happily married to his wife Joan and is the proud father of 4 children and 6 grandchildren.
Project description:Studies that systematically search for and synthesise qualitative research are becoming more evident in health care, and they can make an important contribution to patient care. Our team was funded to complete a meta-ethnography of patients' experience of chronic musculoskeletal pain. It has been 25 years since Noblit and Hare published their core text on meta-ethnography, and the current health research environment brings additional challenges to researchers aiming to synthesise qualitative research. Noblit and Hare propose seven stages of meta-ethnography which take the researcher from formulating a research idea to expressing the findings. These stages are not discrete but form part of an iterative research process. We aimed to build on the methods of Noblit and Hare and explore the challenges of including a large number of qualitative studies into a qualitative systematic review. These challenges hinge upon epistemological and practical issues to be considered alongside expectations about what determines high quality research. This paper describes our method and explores these challenges. Central to our method was the process of collaborative interpretation of concepts and the decision to exclude original material where we could not decipher a concept. We use excerpts from our research team's reflexive statements to illustrate the development of our methods.
Project description:The nature of statistics has changed over time. It was originally concerned with descriptive 'matters of state'--with summarizing population numbers, economic strength and social conditions. But during the course of the twentieth century its aim broadened to include inference--how to use data to shed light on underlying mechanisms, about what might happen in the future, about what would happen if certain actions were taken. Central to this development was Ronald Fisher. Over the course of his life he was responsible for many of the major conceptual advances in statistics. This is particularly illustrated by his 1922 paper, in which he introduced many of the concepts which remain fundamental to our understanding of how to extract meaning from data, right to the present day. It is no exaggeration to say that Fisher's work, as illustrated by the ideas he described and developed in this paper, underlies all modern science, and much more besides. This commentary was written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.
Project description:The contrast between consonance and dissonance is vital in making music emotionally meaningful. Consonance typically denotes perceived agreeableness and stability, while dissonance disagreeableness and a need of resolution. This study addresses the perception of consonance/dissonance in single intervals and chords with two empirical experiments conducted online. Experiment 1 explored the perception of a representative sample of intervals and chords to investigate the overlap between the seven most used concepts (Consonance, Smoothness, Purity, Harmoniousness, Tension, Pleasantness, Preference) denoting consonance/dissonance in all the available (60) empirical studies published since 1883. The results show that the concepts exhibit high correlations, albeit these are somewhat lower for non-musicians compared to musicians. In Experiment 2 the stimuli's cultural familiarity was divided into three levels, and the correlations between the key concepts of Consonance, Tension, Harmoniousness, Pleasantness, and Preference were further examined. Cultural familiarity affected the correlations drastically across both musicians and non-musicians, but in different ways. Tension maintained relatively high correlations with Consonance across musical expertise and cultural familiarity levels, making it a useful concept for studies addressing both musicians and non-musicians. On the basis of the results a control for cultural familiarity and musical expertise is recommended for all studies investigating consonance/dissonance perception.
Project description:A growing number of studies are investigating the way that aesthetic experiences are generated across different media. Empathy with a perceived human artist has been suggested as a common mechanism . In this study, people heard 30 s excerpts of ambiguous music and poetry preceded by neutral, positively valenced, or negatively valenced information about the composer's or author's intent. The information influenced their perception of the excerpts-excerpts paired with positive intent information were perceived as happier and excerpts paired with negative intent information were perceived as sadder (although across intent conditions, musical excerpts were perceived as happier than poetry excerpts). Moreover, the information modulated the aesthetic experience of the excerpts in different ways for the different excerpt types: positive intent information increased enjoyment and the degree to which people found the musical excerpts to be moving, but negative intent information increased these qualities for poetry. Additionally, positive intent information was judged to better match musical excerpts and negative intent information to better match poetic excerpts. These results suggest that empathy with a perceived human artist is indeed an important shared factor across experiences of music and poetry, but that other mechanisms distinguish the generation of aesthetic appreciation between these two media.