Should We Legalize Euthanasia Essay

905 words - 4 pages

Mammalian blood possesses a number of defensive functions

Skin is composed of dead cells containing the indigestible protein keratin
Sebum produced by the skin lowers the pH to inhibit growth of pathogens
Lysozymes in salvia, sweat and tears are anti-bacterial enzymes
Many ingested bacteria in the stomach are destroyed by acid (HCl)
A sticky substance, mucus, traps pathogens in the respiratory tract
Cilia moves away mucus towards the throat to protect gas exchange surfaces
The immune system targets foreign materials and pathogens

Inflammatory response

Histamine is released into the wound by white cells
This increases vasodilation and increases vascular permeability
Vasodilation increases the local blood flow → area becomes red, warm
Increased permeability allows escape of tissue fluid into the tissues
Tissue fluid contains plasma proteins (antibodies) and may cause swelling

Phagocytosis

White cells (phagocytes) contain digestive enzymes within lysosomes
Neutrophils primarily engulf bacteria
Macrophages engulf larger particles; including old and infected red blood cells
Found in blood, lymph systems and tissues
Squeeze through gaps in the walls of venules to enter tissues
This allows them to move faster to tissues infected with pathogens
Phagocytes are attracted by chemotaxis
Opsonisation by antibodies (bacteria becomes coated with antibody)
As a result, binding between bacteria and phagocytes is improved
Phagocytes form pseudopodia around the particle
This positions the particle into a phagocytic vacuole (also called phagosome)
Lysosome fuses with the phagosome
Intracellular killing by digestive enzymes from the lysosome
Pus if formed at the site of infection if no extensive vasculature is present

Principle of immunology

Antigen

Molecule that stimulates an immune response
Usually proteins (polysaccharides, nucleic acid, lipids can also act as antigens) and other inorganic molecules important for self-recognition
Self-antigen
Only found on the host's own cells and does not trigger an immune response
As these are proteins, their structure depends on the amino acid sequence
The gene for this sequence is highly polymorphic, having several alleles at each loci
There is great genetic variability between individuals
 Antigen is different in other people → would cause an immune response
There is only 1:4 change that siblings will possess an identical antigen
Non-self-antigen
Found on cells entering the body (e.g. bacteria, viruses, another person's cell)
Will cause an immune response

Antibody (immunoglobin protein)

Secreted by B-lymphocytes and produced in response to a specific (foreign) non-self antigen
B-lymphocyte's receptor site matches the non-self-antigen
Each antibody is produced by one type of B-lymphocyte for only one type of antigen
An antibody is Y-shaped
The two ends of the Y are called the Fab fragments
The other end is called the Fc fragment
Fab fragment is responsible for the antigen-binding...

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