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The Secondary Immune Response

by Greg Crowther


Context

If you are exposed to a pathogen and fight it off, your subsequent responses to the same pathogen are quicker and stronger. This song outlines some of the mechanisms involved. Ideally, it would sound a bit like a mellower version of "September" by Earth, Wind & Fire.


Lyrics

Do you remember
Your last microbial infection?
Your T cells and your B cells sprang to action
When fired up by cytokines.

Yeah, the B cells
Were antibody factories and the T cells
Committed to their roles like T-sub-c cells:
Cytotoxic to enemy lines....

If the invader
Returns to you, the memory B cells
Will do what plasma cells do; like memory T cells,
They're set to fight Round 2.

Do you remember?


Other Files

MP3 (demo)

sheet music


Lesson Plan

Songs like this one can be used during class meetings and/or in homework assignments. Either way, the song will be most impactful if students DO something with it, as opposed to just listening.

An initial, simple follow-up activity could be to answer the study questions below. A more extensive interaction with the song might entail (A) learning to sing it, using the audio file and/or sheet music as a guide, or (B) designing kinesthetic movements ("dance moves") to embody it. The latter activity should begin with students identifying the most important or most challenging content of the song, and deciding how to illustrate that particular content.


Study Questions

(1) To what does the title of this song refer?

(2) Which immune cells are the primary source of cytokines mentioned in the first verse?

(3) What does it mean for a B cell to be an "antibody factory"?

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)