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How ‘Spider-Man’ and ‘Pac-Man’ immune cells team up to fight invasive bacteria

In the ultimate superhero crossover, Spider-Man-like immune cells sling webs to capture invasive bacteria and keep those supervillains restrained until Pac-Man-like cells come to gobble them up, a new study shows. 

The research was conducted in mice and mouse cells, but it still may help to explain how these “Spider-Man” cells, called neutrophils, fight off infections in humans — and why they sometimes fail. It turns out, these spidey cells may not work well in people with autoimmune conditions, such as lupus, making those individuals more susceptible to staph infections, the study authors wrote.

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