Thanks for visiting the Game of T cells (GoTc). Welcome to the Inaugural blog! Here each month the GOTc team will write a short blog on the factors that lead various T cell “houses” mainly House CD4 and House CD8 to dominate one another. As you know if you are a thrones fan (maybe even if you despise TV)….catastrophic threats to the known world are not always enough to unite people for their own good. Rivarly, distraction and competing agendas often interfere with good intentions.
In real life I am a Stanford University trained Infectious disease provider who has been seeing patients struggle and often triumph over HIV for over 20 years. Yet the good guys don’t always win just like in Game of Thrones. The GOTc team lead by myself and DrDr Rheaghar Strange are not giving medical advice on this blog. The blog is not devoted exclusively to catastrophic threat that our world faces (HIV). This blog is a mere expert commentary on the immune system and what factors tip the balance of power between different immune cell Houses. HIV is certainly one thing that can wipe out a House of T cells (CD4) as well as whip House CD8 into a frenzy, but as we will explore over the coming months, drug use, vaccines, sex hormones, infections, cancer therapy and a host of other things can also tip the balance of power between different T cell houses.
We (the ultra nerdy GoTc team) invite criticisms, rants, ideas for other Houses, and feedback of all kinds. We hope that people whose immune systems are exhausted, or out of balance, as well as researchers studying any vertebrate with T cells will find this website interesting, and maybe even suggest data to highlight the epic struggle our T cells go through trying to keep us healthy. We don’t yet know who each character from Game of Thrones is with respect to the immune system and if you want to make suggestions, we are all ears. We are especially interested in who Little Finger is, and whether or not we should trust him. Just like the Game of Thrones show and book series have diverged though do not expect everything to have perfect parallels. For example, some theorize in the books or show the White Walkers are not as evil as they appear. Maybe they are there to “balance” the dragons and make sure mad kings don’t enslave everyone. We assure you …in GoTc HIV is evil incarnate. We also happen to believe that science is fun and should be accessible and relevant to the taxpayers and funders.
We promise the things we talk about will be peer reviewed although some maybe true in mice but uninvestigated in humans or vice a versa. Lastly, remember when you play the Game of T cells, you win or you die!