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Resistance is Futile - Or Is It?
The Immunity System and HIV Infection
While the majority of people are prone to HIV infection, some individuals remain uninfected despite repeated exposure. This case study is based on the landmark paper by Paxton et al. (1996) that uncovered some of the mechanisms of protection against HIV infection. Using a progressive disclosure format, students are guided to suggest hypotheses, predict the outcomes of experiments, and compare their predictions with the paper’s results. Developed for a first-year non-majors biology course, the case is appropriate for introducing students to the immune system and the human immunodeficiency virus.
|Keywords:||HIV; human immunodeficiency virus; retrovirus; reverse transcriptase; T cell; immune system; immunity; AIDS; acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; infectious disease; experimental design; data interpretation|
|Topical Area:||Scientific method, Social issues|
|Educational Level:||Undergraduate lower division|
|Type/Method:||Interrupted, Journal Article|
|Subject Headings:||Biology (General) Medicine (General) Public Health Cell Biology Molecular Biology Physiology Microbiology|
|Copyright:||Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.|
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The supplemental material below may be used with this case study:Click and Learn: Cells of the Immune System
An 11-slide presentation with accompanying worksheet that describes the non-specific defense system called the innate and adaptive immune system. Produced by HHMI BioInteractive.
VideosThe following video(s) are recommended for use in association with this case study.
HIV Life Cycle
A short video clip explaining how HIV infects a cell and replicates itself using reverse transcriptase and the host's cellular machinery. Running time: 4:52 min. Produced by HHMI BioInteractive.