A dramatic new video reveals the billions of helpful serial killers lurking in our bodies.
These warriors are engaged in a ruthless hunt to locate and kill tumorous and virally infected cells.
Researchers from the U.S. and U.K. captured these cytotoxic T cells battling cancer using 3D time-lapse multi-color imaging as part of a study published in Immunity this week.
“These cells patrol our bodies, identifying and destroying virally infected and cancer cells and they do so with remarkable precision and efficiency,” the study’s leader, Dr. Gillian Griffiths said in a statement.
As the video demonstrates, these specialized white blood cells are engaged in a constant battle to keep us healthy. When a cytotoxic T cell encounters an infected cell, it binds to it and fills it with poisonous proteins called cytotoxins.
RELATED VIDEO: 29-year-old Beauty Blogger Shares Her Battle with Brain Cancer
“In our bodies, where cells are packed together, it s essential that the T cell focuses the lethal hit on its target, otherwise it will cause collateral damage to neighbouring, healthy cells,” Dr. Griffiths explained. “Once the cytotoxins are injected into the cancer cell, its fate is sealed and we can watch as it withers and dies. The T cell then moves on, hungry to find another victim.”