Through an investigation of a fundamental process that guides the maturation of immune cells, researchers have revealed new insights into possible ways to vaccinate people to generate potent antibodies of the type that are predicted to offer protection against diverse strains of the highly mutable HIV.
The findings, described this week in the journal Cell, suggest that sequentially administering several different forms of a potential HIV vaccine could stimulate a stronger immune response than delivering a cocktail of these variants all at once. The study also sheds new light on a fundamental process of immune-cell development known as “affinity maturation.”
- Parent Category: Mathematics
- Category: Theories
New mathematical theory may explain patterns in fingerprints, raisins, and microlenses.
As a grape slowly dries and shrivels, its surface creases, ultimately taking on the wrinkled form of a raisin. Similar patterns can be found on the surfaces of other dried materials, as well as in human fingerprints. While these patterns have long been observed in nature, and more recently in experiments, scientists have not been able to come up with a way to predict how such patterns arise in curved systems, such as microlenses.
Now a team of MIT mathematicians and engineers has developed a mathematical theory, confirmed through experiments, that predicts how wrinkles on curved surfaces take shape. From their calculations, they determined that one main parameter — curvature — rules the type of pattern that forms: The more curved a surface is, the more its surface patterns resemble a crystal-like lattice.
The researchers say the theory, reported this week in the journal Nature Materials, may help to generally explain how fingerprints and wrinkles form.