Self/Not-self Discrimination: the basics

Paul Kemp pkemp at
Thu Jul 23 20:07:02 EST 1992

In article <92202.171601FORSDYKE at QUCDN.QueensU.CA> <FORSDYKE at QUCDN.QueensU.CA> writes:
>Question raised in my original posting:
>>>    (ii) List possible mechanisms of self discrimination WITHIN
>>>         organisms. (The latter may be subdivided into EXTRACELLULAR
>>>         self/not-self discrimination, which is what most immunologists
>>>         are familiar with, and INTRACELLULAR self/not-self discrimina-
>>>         tion, which is more controversial.)
>  Shiv Prasad responds to my request for a list of possible mechanisms of
>self/not-self discrimination with a list of systems and much head scratching.
>     (i) an experimental autoimmune system (uveoretinitis).
>    (ii) aggregation of red and green sponges, like with like.
>   (iii) bacterial restriction enzymes.
>    (iv) transgene expression in the pancreas.
>One approach is to extract from these (and other) systems, some common
>elements. A good starting point would be (iii) on the grounds of
>simplicity, ...then (ii). With the resulting answers, we might be in
>a better position to ponder (i) and devise experiments using techniques
>similar to those in (iv).
>    Anyone care to set the ball rolling?
Yes, go out and get the book _The Evolution of Individuality_ by Leo Buss.
It's a great book, and a must read for thinkers in  this field.

>    Sincerely,
>              Don Forsdyke. Discussion Leader

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