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What is Immunology

Immunology is the study of the immune system, a physiological system that protects an organism from infection.
Research in immunology is important in understanding both human and veterinary diseases. The immune system protects individuals from infection and is the reason vaccines work. The immune system can also contribute to diseases, such as allergy, hypersensitivities and autoimmunity. For example, Type I diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis are major autoimmune diseases. Genetic defects as well as diseases such as AIDS and cancer can lead to immunodeficiencies. The immune system is a barrier to organ transplantation, but can help in the fight against cancer.
Immunology research encompasses both discovery of fundamental mechanisms underlying healthy and unhealthy immune responses and application of this knowledge to improve prevention and treatment of disease. Immunology as a discipline has provided many broadly important research tools, such as monoclonal antibodies and flow cytometry that are used in diagnostics and treatment of many diseases.
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