Components of the immune system called antibodies are found in the liquid portion of blood and help protect the body from harm. Antibodies can also be used outside the body in a laboratory-based assay to help diagnose disease caused by malfunctions of the immune system or by infections.
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Download the accompanying PDF worksheet for students to complete as they go through the Virtual Lab.
"When teaching about the immune response, I use the Immunology Virtual Lab to expose my students to a common laboratory assay, the ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), which detects the presence of a particular antibody in the blood of an individual. This virtual lab tests three patients for the autoimmune disease Lupus, but I can apply the same concepts to other infectious disease diagnoses, such as for HIV, measles, Lyme, or Ebola, which have been in the news lately. The best part about this lab is that your students can make mistakes in the protocol as they proceed through. So it's a great lesson for students to learn about key experimental problems they may encounter."
– Ann Brokaw (Rocky River High School, OH)