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Two Oxford University scientists have proposed a solution to a puzzle of the human immune system: how our immune system scales its response in proportion to any threat to our health to make it 'just right'. Their ideas, published in the journal Trends in Immunology, could support a range of medical research.

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Studies by various research groups around the world have shown how the T-cells, which are a vital part of our immune system, only perceive the world in a black and white fashion at any moment in time. This means that a minor threat could trigger a response large enough to injure healthy tissue if the T cells acted impulsively on these momentary signals. However, studies also show that the body can match the level of T-cell response to the seriousness of an infection in most situations.

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