Today has been another long day, this morning went to Immunology and this afternoon has been about cows. Now today in immunology we started looking at phagocytosis, in basic terms this is when a cell “eats” another cell. Usually this is the phagocytes in the white blood cells which then engulf bacterial or foreign cells that have invaded the body. The phagocytic process generally has 5 steps
- Activation of the WBC
- Chemotaxis where WBC moves towards the bacteria
- Adherence where the WBC will stick to the bacteria
- Ingestion where the WBC invaginates around the bacteria moving it into the cell
- Digestion where enzymes and chemicals within the WBC break down the bacteria
Testing the ability of the immune system to respond to a antigen is done using fresh blood to which the antigen is then introduced before it is incubated for an hour. Once this is done the a slide is then prepared for examination under the microscope using the Pappenheim staining technique. In the left of the image below you can see 3 different phagocytes each containing multiple foreign antigens that they have ingested.
This afternoon Milk Production finished on a high note with a visit to the University Dairy Farm which is located outside of town in a small village in the hills. With snow on the ground, we could see mountains and forests stretching for miles…
Now of course being a working dairy farm hygiene requirements are extremely high, they supply all the protective clothing including the wellies, labcoat and hairnet which did look rather fetching on top of my beanie whilst I hide in my scarf.
With all that over I guess its time for some cows, here some are in the milking parlour (sorry for the poor photo’s, my ipod sucks at them!) which is automated with id tags on each cow to allow computer tracking of the milk yeild and milking times.