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series: Body's Secret Army
air date: 2/05/13 9:30 PM
Producer Michael Schwarz (Mystery of Memory, Botany of Desire, Muhammed: Legacy of A Prophet), brings his gift for unraveling complex topics to the subject of our body's immune system. Every day of our lives, silently and invisibly, our bodies do battle against a never-ending onslaught of hostile forces. Bacteria. Viruses. Microbes of all kinds. Fortunately, we win the lion's share of these battles. If we didn't, we'd all die. The foot soldiers in this daily battle are the microscopic cells and molecules of the body's immune system. For centuries, its workings were shrouded in mystery. But over the past hundred years, thanks in large part to the groundbreaking discoveries of Nobel Prize-winning scientists, we have unraveled its basic principles. And in recent years, immunology has made even bolder advances - taking on diseases that once seemed beyond its reach. In an eye-opening journey that takes us deep inside the human body and explores how Nobel Prize-winning pioneers have unlocked the secrets of the immune system, The Body's Secret Army tells the life-and-death story of the body's invisible defenders. At Stanford University, Mark Davis is working to develop a simple test to measure the health of a person's immune system. By looking at healthy people, and trying to identify the key indicators of a healthy immune system, Davis and his colleagues are hoping to better understand some of the moving parts of this very complex system. The Body's Secret Army concludes with the scientists we've gotten to know in the film looking back, and looking ahead. Gerald Edelman tells us, "If you ask me about the future of immunology, I say, it's good. If you ask me what it's going to be, I would defer. If you ask me in what sense we have solved all the problems, not even... who knows something is lurking in there we don't know."
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