Cover: The Generation of Diversity: Clonal Selection Theory and the Rise of Molecular Immunology, from Harvard University PressCover: The Generation of Diversity in PAPERBACK

The Generation of Diversity

Clonal Selection Theory and the Rise of Molecular Immunology

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$70.00 • £56.95 • €63.00

ISBN 9780674001824

Publication Date: 04/25/2000

Short

528 pages

5-7/8 x 8-15/16 inches

6 halftones, 17 line illustrations, 1 table

World

In recent decades immunology has been one of the most exciting—and successful—fields of biomedical research. Over the past thirty years immunologists have acquired a detailed understanding of the immune system’s unique recognition mechanism and of the cellular and chemical means used to destroy or neutralize invading organisms. This understanding has been formulated in terms of the clonal selection theory, the dominant explanation of immune behavior. That story is the subject of The Generation of Diversity.

A major problem for immunologists had long been to determine how cells of the immune system could produce millions of distinct antibodies—and produce them on demand. The clonal selection theory explains that cells with genetic instructions to produce each antibody exist in the body in small numbers until exposure to the right molecule—the antigen—triggers the selective cloning that will reproduce exactly the cell needed. But how can so many different antibody-producing cells be generated from such limited genetic material? The solution to this question came from new applications of molecular biology, and, as the authors argue, the impact of the new techniques changed both the methods and the concepts of immunology.

The Generation of Diversity is an intellectual history of the major theoretical problem in immunology and its resolution in the post–World War II period. It will provide for immunologists essential background for understanding the conceptual conflicts occurring in the field today.

From Our Blog

9780674238084

Who We Might Have Been, and Who We Will Become

Who among us hasn’t considered what our lives would be like if we had taken alternate paths, made different decisions? Storytellers of every stripe write of the lives we didn’t have, says Andrew H. Miller, author of On Not Being Someone Else: Tales of Our Unled Lives. As we live through a worldwide pandemic, the ideas of what might have been are even more appealing. Much like the adolescents on the verge of adulthood in Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People, Miller tells us, we wait to see what comes next.