The Miracle Of The Immune System

Games of Cancer Cells

It must not be forgotten that cancer cells are original body cells that carry the molecular character of the human being. In consequence, it is difficult for the defence cells to identify cancer cells. Furthermore, cancer cells manage to win over some antibodies by a method undiscovered to date.

As we have mentioned, antibodies are a type of protein that stops the activities of enemy cells. However, for some unknown reason, cancer cells are adversely affected by the antibodies. Instead of stopping, their activities increase, resulting in the rapid and forceful spreading of the tumour.

Antibodies, which bind themselves on to the surface of the cancer cell, "collaborate" with the cancer cell in a sense. Other antibodies do not touch a cancer cell having an antibody attached to it. Hence, the cancer cell is perfectly camouflaged.

Collaboration between antibodies and cancer cells can reach even broader dimensions. There are also occasions where cancer cells combine with antibodies to form "pseudo supressor T cells". These pseudo suppressor T cells misinform antibodies by relaying the message that there is "no danger". More sinister situations also develop whereby the cancer cells develop into "Pseudo Helper T cells" instead of the pseudo suppressor T cells. In such situations, the message is delivered to a bigger number of antibodies. There can be no more convenient environment possible for the development of cancer cells.

Additionally, cancer cells may sometimes spread "trap antigens" in order to protect themselves from a possible attack by the defence system. These tumours spread out such large amounts of antigens from their surface that the blood stream is inundated with them. These antigens, however, are fake and cause no harm to the human body. However, the antibodies are not aware of this and they respond without delay by instigating a war against them.

During this chaos, the real and dangerous cancer cells continue to function, going undisturbed and undiscovered by the enemy.

An Intelligent Enemy: AIDS

In the previous chapters we discussed viruses and explained the importance of their role in the life of humans. Among these viruses, the most dangerous and harmful is the "HIV virus", which has preoccupied researchers for a long time and may well continue to do so for some time to come. Unlike other viruses, this micro organism totally inactivates the defence system. It is impossible for a human being with a malfunctioning defence system to survive.

The HIV virus causes irreversible damages to the human body by causing the defence system to collapse, making it vulnerable to all kinds of diseases, eventually giving rise to various fatal conditions. It has occupied researchers for many years, resulting in a sense of desperation and hopelessness. The Journal of Bilim ve Teknik (Science and Technology), published in August 1993, made the following statement:

"The more we learn, the less certain we become." This statement is the most common answer to a public survey carried out among 150 of the most recognized researchers worldwide, studying AIDS. This was published in the weekly scientific journal Science. No one can make certain judgments based on the theses that have been advocated for years. Views, which were considered absolutely correct are now being pushed aside after they have been revealed to rely on shaky grounds. Inevitably, the end result is such that even long established theories about AIDS and its effective cause, the HIV virus are once again being reviewed and their validity being questioned. 11

In the picture above on the left you can see a healthy lymp node. Above on the right, the picture shows a lymph node damaged by the AIDS virus.

With the passage of time, the issues have intensified rather than become resolved. To date there remains numerous unanswered questions, and the advent of new inventions has served only increase the number of these unanswered questions. AIDS still remains a mystery for mankind.

One of the most important facts known about the HIV virus is that it enters only some and not all the cells of human beings. Its main target is the helper T cells, which are the most effective elements of the defence system. This is a very important point. Among numerous types of cells, the virus chooses those cells of the defence system which are, in effect, the most beneficial for it and this instigates the destruction of the human body.

When T cells, the vital elements of the defence system, are seized, the defence system is deprived of its brain team, and is no longer able to recognize the enemy. This could be regarded as an ingenious war tactic. An army without any effective communication and intelligence systems would be considered to have lost its main strength.

Furthermore, the antibodies produced by the human body do not harm the AIDS virus. AIDS patients continue to produce antibodies, however, they are not as effective in the absence of the killer T cells.

One unanswered questions is: How does the HIV virus know exactly what target to focus on? By the time the AIDS virus understands that the T cells are regarded as the "brains" of the defence system, it will be destroyed by the existing system immediately upon entering the human body. However, it is impossible for the AIDS virus to conduct any form of intelligence surveillance prior to entering the human body. How then has the AIDS virus developed this strategy?

This is only the first of many amazing skills mastered by the AIDS virus.

At the second stage, the virus has to attach itself to the cells which it has set as a target for itself. This procedure is not at all difficult for the AIDS virus. In fact, it attaches to these cells as a key fits into its lock.

At the third stage, the HIV virus undergoes a series of miraculous processes, which will ensure its longevity.

The HIV virus is a retrovirus. This means that its genetic make-up contains solely RNA and no DNA. But a retrovirus needs DNA to remain alive. To provide this, it has recourse to a very interesting method: it uses the nucleic acids of its host cell and converts its RNA into DNA by means of an enzyme called "the reverse transcriptase", meaning it will reverse the process. Then it places this DNA in the DNA found in the nucleus of its host cell. The inheritance material of the virus has now become the inheritance material of the T cell. As the cell multiplies, so does the HIV virus. The cell starts to work as a factory for the virus. But invading a single cell does not satisfy the HIV virus. It will eventually attempt to seize the whole body.

Then the fourth stage comes. The initial HIV virus and others want to leave their host cells and invade other cells to facilitate their extraordinary proliferation. They do not expend much effort in doing so. Everything takes place at a natural pace. The membrane of the invaded T cells cannot tolerate the pressure of the multiplication process, and is riddled with holes, allowing the HIV viruses to get out of the cell to seek alternative hosts. As the HIV virus increases in number, it also kills its host T cell.

The successful HIV virus has now completely seized the human body. Unless mankind succeeds in discovering an effective cure to beat this virus, it will remain there. It is entirely at the discretion of the HIV virus either to lie dormant for many years, or instigate an immediate attack on the human body.

Why Has a Solution Not Yet Been Found?

After entering the human body, the HIV virus can produce up to ten billion viruses a day. The excessive number of viruses produced in one day is unmanageable, despite the technological advancements of the day. The HIV virus cannot be considered as a simple structure. What we have here is a micro-organism, so advanced and intelligent that it can duplicate millions of its own copies, possesses a plan to capture its host cell, and is able to cause the death of a huge human body.

In addition to the abilities of the HIV virus mentioned above, the HIV virus is also able to assume varying forms in an attempt to prevent its capture by the defence system. This makes the HIV virus immune to the effects of medications aimed at treating it today. Modern medicine has attacked the virus with a variety of medications at the same time and barely succeeded in dealing with the resistance of the virus. Although the virus is partially eradicated, the only positive outcome has been the prolonging of the patients' lives to a limited extent.

It is of great interest how a virus like the HIV virus can regenerate itself when faced with the danger of being eradicated. Scientists are left helpless in the presence of such skillful tactics.

These are not the only mind-boggling tactics used by the HIV virus. Helper T cells circulating in the bloodstream swim along, interlocking with one another like the metallic projections of a zipper. The HIV leaps from one T cell to another to avoid contact with the antibodies in the blood stream. All this is done by a virus, which is only one micron in size, possesses no DNA and cannot even be qualified as a living creature. The extraordinary ability of the HIV virus to recognize the human body so well, develop advanced systems to overcome the human body, implement the necessary strategies without any errors and constantly modify itself to be protected from all kinds of weapons used by the body are all truly amazing. This is a very good example of how helpless mankind is rendered in the presence of a minute virus, which cannot be seen with the naked eye.

11. Bilim ve Teknik Dergisi (Journal of Science and Technology), Vol 26, No 309, August 1993 p. 567