An interesting news article concerning AIDS immunity today. Although pretty poorly written, the writer obviously doesn’t understand the immune system at all. HLA-B is a part of the immune system which takes peptides from within the cell and then presents them to T cells outside the cell. A variety of T cells exist and each is designed to test specific peptides, if the appropriate one identifies an object as foreign then it alerts B cells. HLA-B does not “lock on to invading viruses.” If HLA-B presents peptides of a virus then the virus is already in the cell.
It’s almost daily that I read a news article with some scientific error. To an extent I sympathise, I often bemoan the lack of coverage that maths gets in the main stream media. Having people like me moaning at every single scientific mistake is probably a cause of that. It must be pretty hard for someone with very little scientific knowledge, perhaps only A-levels, to talk with the appropriate terms about cutting edge science. However, given that this sort of mistake can be covered by just googling “What HLA does” does reduce this sympathy a bit!