ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Computer model of the secondary structure of a immunoglobulin antibody molecule. This is the most abundant immunoglobulin and is found in all body fluids. Each Y-shaped molecule has two arms (top) that can bind to specific antigens, for instance bacterial or viral proteins. In doing this they mark the antigen for destruction by phagocytes, white blood cells that ingest and destroy foreign bodies. Antibodies can also kill some pathogens directly, and can neutralise toxins. The background shows a proteomic symbols, including part of a DNA molecule and protein gel spots. Proteomics is the study of the structure and function of all of the proteins in an organism.
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