"The thing that makes this study really interesting is that we did our calculations before we ever did any experiments," says Rob Phillips, Caltech's Fred and Nancy Morris Professor of Biophysics and Biology.
In the recent study the researchers found that beneficial gut bacteria were necessary for the development of innate immune cells—specialized types of white blood cells that serve as the body's first line of defense against invading pathogens.
Using a novel microfluidic technique, researchers at Caltech have shown that, rather than simply replenishing immune cells after they become depleted, blood stem cells sense danger signals directly and quickly produce new immune cells.
Everyone who really knows Caltech understands that it is unique among universities around the world. But just what makes Caltech so special? We've asked that question before, and the numbers don't tell the full story. So, is it our focus? Our culture? Our people?