Zack Apiratitham

Immune by Philipp Dettmer

Overall a very informative and approachable book for such a mindblowingly complex subject. The text is easily digestible and engaging in the Kurzgesagt style I’ve come to know and love. There are a lot of analogies to illustrate scale or purpose of certain immune cell features which I found tremendously useful. And those beautiful graphics throughout the book really help visualize what our microscopic helpers look like and what they do.

However these immune cells are heavily anthropomorphized which I don’t like seeing too much with scientific subjects, but I understand that to not do so would make the book much less approachable.

I still highly recommend this for those looking to get a solid understanding of this system that keeps you alive.

Some interesting things I learned from this book:

  • It’s difficult for us to create medication against viruses because the way a virus works is that it needs to connect to our cell to infect it. And to do that, it needs to mimic the shape of the receptors. A drug that attacks the receptors on the virus has a high likelihood that it will also attack our own cells.
  • Developing an allergy is a two-step process. First the body needs to encounter the new allergen first, which our immune system will activate and create antibodies against the new allergen. But nothing happens this first time. The next time it encounters that allergen again is when our immune system starts attacking and that's the allergic reaction.
  • There are no scientifically-proven ways to boost your immune system. People that say so are just trying to sell you stuff.

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Hey, I’m Zack. Thanks for reading!

I'm a software developer originally from Krabi, Thailand currently living and working in the suburbs of Boulder, Colorado, USA. This blog is a place for me write about my interests and things I find worth sharing.

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