Watch T-Cells Destroy A Cancer Cell In A Surprisingly Artistic Way
Want to see how T cells in the bloodstream destroy cancer cells? This video will show you these cells cracking open and poisoning intruder cells.
By taking time-lapse footage of T cells in the body, researchers at the University of Cambridge show us how these cells find and kill cancer cells. What they found is that a T cell attack looks like a cross between a squid investigating a submarine and an attack by an aggressive firestorm.
First the T cells examine the other cells to make sure they belong in the body. If they find out that a cell doesn’t, they crack it open, send out a tube, and inject cytotoxins that cause the poisoned cell to undergo apoptosis, or programmed cell death.
There are millions of T cells in every teaspoon of blood, all of them carrying cytotoxins. The aspiring supervillain in me wonders if you could ever dissolve the outer membranes in T cells, poisoning people with their released cytotoxins.
Medical io9ers, weigh in on this!