05 April 2010

Alphabet Soup

Flash of brilliance: Immunology should be taught Sesame Street style.

This episode is brought to you by the letter C...

Big Bird: Hey Elmo, what are you doing with those big letters?
Elmo: I'm building the classic pathway of the complement cascade!
Big Bird: Gee Elmo, that sounds hard. Can I help?
Elmo: Sure! Why don't you hold these IgGs and C1s for me?

Elmo hangs IgGs and C1 on big bird like ornaments on a christmas tree.

Elmo: With the power of IgG/C1 you can split the C2 and C4!

Big Bird karate chops a C2, the halves come apart as C2a and C2b. He then chops a C4, creating a C4a and C4b.

Elmo: Yay! Hey, these two stick together!

Elmo stick the C2a and C4b together like magnets. A C3 floats onto the screen.

Big Bird: What's that?
Elmo: I can take care of it with this!

Elmo uses the C2a4b like a sword and slices the C2 into C3a and C3b, but the C3b sticks to the sword. C5 floats onto the screen...

Elmo: More of them! There are almost as many proteins in complement as there are in coagulation!

Elmo slices at the C5 with his C2a4b3b, splitting it into C5a and C5b. After a moment, cookie monster walks in sniffing the air...

Cookie Monster: Me smell... me smell C5a! Mmmm... cookie monster like C5a... nom nom nom

Elmo: Cookie Monster, what's that on your tummy?
Cookie Monster: Those are my lobar nuclei! Me hungry... me want to phagocytose!

Big Bird: This was fun Elmo! Next time we should try the alternate pathway!

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