With an artificial intelligence (AI) method developed by researchers at Aalto University and University of Helsinki, researchers can now link immune cells to their targets and, for example, uncouple which white blood cells recognize SARS-CoV-2. The developed tool has broad applications in understanding the function of the immune system in infections, autoimmune disorders, and cancer.
The human immune defense is based on the ability of white blood cells to accurately identify disease-causing pathogens and to initiate a defense reaction against them. The immune defense is able to recall the pathogens it has encountered previously, on which, for example, the effectiveness of vaccines is based. Thus, the immune defense the most accurate patient record system that carries a history of all pathogens an individual has faced. This information however has previously been difficult to obtain from patient samples.