Just over 20 years ago, people from three generations of an American family were referred to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Washington DC with an unknown disease.
They were ten to 82 years old and had symptoms including monthly episodes of unexplained high fevers (up to 41℃), lasting two to seven days.
They also had painful swollen lymph nodes, enlarged spleens and livers, abdominal pain, mouth ulcers, joint pain, and a patchwork of other symptoms.
The symptoms, which they’d had since shortly after birth, seemed lik…
This article is part of our occasional long read series Zoom Out, where authors explore key ideas in science and technology in the broader context of society and humanity.
Scientists love analogies. We use them continually to communicate our scientific approaches and discoveries.
As an immunologist, it strikes me that many of our recurring analogies for a healthy, functioning immune system promote excellent behaviour traits. In this regard, we should all aim to be a little more like the cells of our immune…