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Allergies
MAY 2006
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Photo captions by Alan Mairson
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Allergies Gallery Photo

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Tiny Aggravations
Photograph by Bob Sacha and Jacob Louis Mey, American Museum of Natural History

Seen through a scanning electron microscope, a single grain of ragweed pollen, one-quarter the width of a human hair, is a geometric wonder. But to an allergy sufferer who inhales this normally harmless speck, it's a dangerous invader—and attacked by the body's immune system. The result: an allergic reaction—from swelling to itching to runny nose to constricted airways. In recent decades allergy rates have been on the rise worldwide. Question is: Why?
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