Monday, February 9, 2015

Cytotoxic T Cell Horror Flick

Liven up your A&P class with a great video showing a gruesome attack by a killer T cell on a cancer cell. It's a fantastic bit of video microscopy produced by Cambridge University.

Okay, with the oddly soothing music score instead of a more appropriate score for the graphic violence shown in this video, it's not much of a horror flick.  Especially when you consider that it's the "bad guy" cell getting whacked.  But it is graphic and dramatic and impressive.

Just the thing to liven up a discussion of adaptive immunity, which (let's face it) can often cause a catatonic state in many students.

It's a free resource available on YouTube.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Virtual Immunology Lab

Looking for a supplemental hands-on activity with the immune system in your course?

Try the FREE online interactive Immunology Virtual Lab from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

It covers these concepts:

  • The basis of humoral immunity 
  • The foundation for ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay)
  • Potential errors in conducting an ELISA
  • Sensitivity and specificity of a diagnostic test

What can we use from this in teaching undergraduate A&P?

  • Link to this virtual lab activity from your online syllabus, course web page, or LMS (or in an email  or tweet to students)
  • If you want to give course points for the lab, consider an online quiz or lab report submitted through your learning management system (LMS) or emailed to you.
  • Gives students a "real life" clinical lab application for the concepts they are learning in A&P.
  • Provides an immunology lab option for online/hybrid courses or wet labs that don't have funding for immunology experiments.

Want to know more?

Immunology Virtual Lab

  • BioInteractive. Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Accessed 16 Sep 2014.
  • This virtual lab teaches the procedures of performing an ELISA test to determine whether a particular antibody is present in a patient's blood sample.
  • MedlinePlus. National Library of Medicine. Accessed 16 Sep 2014
  • Brief overview of what ELISA is.  You can link your students to this as a brief intro to the virtual lab.

BioInteractive Virtual Labs

  • BioInteractive. Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Accessed 16 Sep 2014.
  • List of all the FREE virtual labs offered by HHMI's BioInteractive project.

Immunity Topics

  • Kevin Patton. The A&P Professor. Various dates.
  • List of previous blog posts on the topic of immunity.