The immune system is dead! Long live the immune system!

D Forsdyke forsdyke1 at
Sat Feb 5 10:49:52 EST 2000

Jamie Cunliffe wrote:
> In article <389AE42B.CDA6A29D at>,
>   D Forsdyke <forsdyke1 at> wrote:
> > Dear Jamie,
> >            Without requiring readers to go your web-site, could you
> > clarify what is the difference between your "Hey guys" and "Oops"
> > alternatives. They seem pretty well the same to me.

> Read nearly any text of immunology and you will find that people
> believe the system is looking specifically for bugs. It is a
> fundamental assumption that it is a self/non-self discriminating
> system. In fact, I claim, it is an order/disorder discriminating
> system. 
> Now I think this is a fundamental change in perspective. You obviously
> aren't that convinced.

  Try this. Disorder is when something "not-self" happens. "Not-self"
may be a foreign bug, or "self" that has gone sour so that it is now the
same as "not-self". Are we just using different words to describe the
same thing? Ultimately, we have to get down to the chemistry so that we
can understand why "disorder" and "not-self" can be equated.

Donald Forsdyke. Discussion Leader. Bionet.immunology

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