When art meets science, organisms visualize antibodies

When art meets science, organisms visualize antibodies ...

A unique collaboration with video artists from Sensu and musicians from the Aerialettes, inspired by recent research from Albert Heck (Hecklab). This artist impression demonstrates how antibodies to combat diseases can be found in our own bodies.

The science

The way our immune system responds to pathogens is varied from person to person. Researchers at Utrecht University recently discovered how this works and discovered that each individual develops a distinctive set of antibodies. These antibodies are formed as part of the body''s immune response to combat an infection or illness. These findings have been published recently.

When they examined the whole repertoire of antibodies found in healthy and severe ill individuals, the Utrecht team discovered this diversity. These latter were suffering from severe infections, from which they recovered after spending time in the hospital under intensive care. By analysing the entire repertoire of all co-appearing antibodies in the blood, they discovered that there was no overlap between donors.

A complex combination of antibodies was considered impossible to accurately map until recently, but the Utrecht team managed to achieve this. A powerful analysis that reveals minute differences in antibodies is used. The technique, called mass spectrometry, is used in conjunction with the molecular composition of molecules.

These findings might be helpful to explain why some individuals are more prone to becoming ill or why they recover faster from illness. Extreme diversity in immune responses might also provide new possibilities for personalized treatment and vaccinations.

The art

In collaboration with Sensu''s video artistic team, transforming scientific research into captive research videos.

The ease of communication between antibodies and the human body gave the Sensu team the idea of collaborating with aerial dancers from Aerialettes to demonstrate that antibodies are particularly effective in nature.

Together, this combination of arts and science led to a stunning video entitled Quest for Antibodies, which demonstrates the power of the human body.

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