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Cocktails & Chromosomes: Immune cells’ brainy convos

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“You’re getting very sleepy.” What are you talking about? I’m fine. “No, you’re quite groggy. Better get some rest.” Now that you mention it, I could use a break. “Good, now I can fight off this virus that’s encroaching on our turf.”

If your immune system and your brain were able to speak with one another, their discussion might go something like that. In fact, your immune system and your brain do engage in a kind of cellular dialog. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) Assistant Professor Lucas Cheadle translated part of that conversation during our latest installment of Cocktails & Chromosomes at Industry bar in Huntington, NY.

“The brain has its own immune system,” Cheadle explains. “It has immune cells that live within the brain called microglia. Microglia processes are incredibly dynamic. They’re constantly moving around, sensing the brain environment for signs of infection or injury.”

Press play to hear more and see the brain’s immune cells in action. And if you’d like to see our next Cocktails & Chromosomes talk live, register now for the May 30 event. In this special post-Mother’s Day presentation, CSHL Professor Stephen Shea will discuss the dramatically different parenting styles of male and female mice.