Oliver Thewalt

    Oliver Thewalt

    Theoretical Physics | Quantum Biology | Dark Matter Research Cluster

    Cytotoxic T-Cells

      Oliver Thewalt
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      By Oliver Thewalt

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      Wow! It’s one thing to know that the immune system has the power to destroy cancerous cells. But it’s quite another thing to see a cytotoxic T cell actually take out a cancer cell right before your eyes.


      This amazing video was produced by Alex T. Ritter as part of Celldance 2014, an annual video series by the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). To make this series happen in 2014, ASCB staff contacted cell biology labs known for their sophisticated imaging tools and techniques, asking them to submit proposals for videos. In return, ASCB provided some funding, post-production support from a professional videographer, and an original soundtrack from the up-and-coming Hollywood composer Ted Masur.


      Ritter studies a roving, specialized component of our immune system called cytotoxic T cells. Their job is to seek out and destroy any foreign or detrimental cells—including cancer cells—that might be lurking in the body, a process that takes about 10 minutes from detection to death. These T cells literally convince a problem cell to commit suicide.er studies a roving, specialized component of our immune system called cytotoxic T cells. Their job is to seek out and destroy any foreign or detrimental cells—including cancer cells—that might be lurking in the body, a process that takes about 10 minutes from detection to death. These T cells literally convince a problem cell to commit suicide.