Great Orme Bronze Age Copper Mines, Llandudno, North Wales, 29.6.19.
Your immune system rapidly responds to protect you whenever you’re injured, or invaded by microorganisms or parasites. Inflammation is a key part of this activation, rallying the troops. It’s at the heart of both healthy protection and allergic reactions, so understanding the details is important for developing new treatments. While a group of cells called ILC2s (group 2 innate lymphoid cells, green in the slice of mouse lung pictured) were known to play an important role in inflammation, what drove them wasn’t clear. A new study now shows that they home towards specific chemokines – signalling proteins – and are guided along the way by the extracellular matrix – the structure surrounding cells (shown in pink and blue). Knowing that structural cues from this matrix, along with molecular guiding lights, steer ILC2 behaviour during inflammation helps our understanding of both allergic and disease-fighting reactions, which may eventually help us intervene when needed.
Written by Anthony Lewis
Explanation: What would it be like to fly over the asteroid Vesta? Animators from the German Aerospace Center took actual images and height data from NASA’s Dawn mission when it visited asteroid Vesta a few years ago and generated a virtual movie. The featured video begins with a sequence above Divalia Fossa, an unusual pair of troughs running parallel over heavily cratered terrain. Next, the virtual spaceship explores Vesta’s 60-km Marcia Crater, showing numerous vivid details. Last, Dawn images were digitally recast with exaggerated height to better reveal Vesta’s 5-km high mountain Aricia Tholus. The second largest object in the Solar System’s asteroid belt, Vesta is the brightest asteroid visible from Earth and can be found with binoculars. Using Vesta Trek, you can explore all over Vesta yourself.
∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190630.html