The Immune System Defender educational game, with three related readings, are based on the 1908 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, which was awarded for key discoveries about the immune defense system – for identifying certain body cells that engulf bacteria and for work on trying to explain how antibodies are formed in the body.
- What happens in your body when you are wounded?
- What cell types are involved in the immune system?
- How do immune cells remove bacteria?
- Some immune cells alert other immune cells about invading bacteria. Which ones?
In this game, you are a trainee soldier of the Immune System Defense Forces, defending a human against bacterial infection. You have two missions to complete. In the first, you must command a team of white blood cells called granulocytes to fight against bacteria invading the blood system through a finger wound. In the second mission, you must command an army of macrophages and dendritic cells to fight the invading bacteria.
Phagocytes, that is granulocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells, are immune cells specialized in finding and "eating" bacteria, viruses, and dead or injured body cells. A large part of the pus in an infected wound is made up from dead granulocytes.
For instructions on how to play the game, click on the HELP button found at the bottom of the game window.
A short introduction about the immune system and immune cells.
An in-depth look at phagocytes and lymphocytes.
Short summery of the work of Nobel Laureates Ilya Mechnikov and Paul Ehrlich. Mechnikov found "strange cells" gathering around wounds and Ehrlich formed theories about how antibodies are formed.