How we stop bacteria from turning us into the cellular equivalent of lambchobs

Here's a cartoon animation I did recently for a video highlighting recents advances from Sean Stowell's group at Emory University's School of Medicine. I landed this project thanks to a Short Answer I did on the subject in May of 2014, that alone making it a better marketing tool (though it was not at all intended as such) than sending out dozens of mailers, which I did years ago to no avail. 

These carbohydrate-binding proteins called galectins can fill a gap left in our immune system. You know how you can get a blood transfusion with someone else's blood as long as they have the same blood type, right? Turns out bacteria have found a way to exploit this and decorate themselves with those same blood group antigens, thus evading the immune system of anyone with the same "blood type" as them. Hence the idea of wolf in sheep's clothing. Luckily we have galectins that can kill these sneaky little microbes. Watch Sean below for a better explanation. Or read the blog post by Quinn Eastman at Emory, where this video appears, HERE