Life-and-Death Dance of Predators and Preys In Circulating Blood — Dr. Ali’s Immunity Course

Majid Ali, M.D.

I invite children and parents to consider this article as the subject for doing a science project at school. They can request the teachers to also read this brief article and decide if this project is worthy of academic credit. The microscopic pictures can be cut and pasted on the science project report.

Students interested in pursuing further microscopic study of the immune system can read other articles in my course on the subject (use the search box and enter “Dr. Ali’s Immunity Course.”

The four-frame composite microscopic picture of a drop of  circulating blood presents a most remarkable display of the predator-prey conflicts between the hunter immune cells and the microbes. In March 1998, I was very fortunate to directly observe the hunter-hunted struggle with a high-resolution microscope fitted with phase-contrast optics.

The large cluster of dark and light bodies in the centers of the four frames are microbial forms. They are embedded in clotted blood and, as can be clearly seen, still able to ward off the three large hunter immune cells attacking them, as three lions might attack a water buffalo in Africa.

Frame 33 shows the early stage of the struggle. Note how three hunter immune blood cells attack the microbial cluster, one from the top, one from behind, and the third from below.

Frame 34 shows how the three hunter immune cells re-position themselves for hunting advantage.

Frame 35 shows the hunter immune cells backing off, presumably because the “meat of the prey” was inedible or toxic.

Frame 36 shows the hunter immune cells backing off, presumably because the “meat of the prey” was inedible or toxic.

Suggested Readings:

* Dr. Ali’s Immunity Course

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