TO DEFEAT the enemy, you must first know the enemy. In the immune system, that job is done by T-cells, which recognise the molecular signatures of threats to their owner’s well-being - The Economist
image by: Galina Cordero
It is a long way from the lab to the clinic. But the technology is moving fast, and researchers hope that, one day, engineered T-cells might be used to treat a wide range of diseases, including HIV, immune deficiencies, and autoimmune disorders. Besides the elegance of the idea of boosting the body’s own defences, the technology offers another big advantage over traditional drugs: once they have done their job, the engineered T-cells stick around in the body. That could offer protection against re-infection or the recurrence of a cancer.