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Open access publishing


Is the network dead?
Avrion Mitchison Scientist
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Is the network dead? No, I doubt it. I think that there is- are network effects, particularly in very young mice, in baby mice, which have been quite carefully described and where immunoglobulins have been put in, and they constantly put in immunoglobulin- become evident- and somehow the immune system recognises that. Whether it matters- if network- if the idiotypic network matters at all, I suspect that it matters mainly or perhaps exclusively in establishment of the early repertoire, the range of antibodies which the body makes, the immune system makes, and it's fairly unimportant in the context of disease, unless the structure of the repertoire is impacting seriously on disease susceptibility, which it may do. I wouldn't say more than that.

Avrion Mitchison, the British zoologist, is currently Professor Emeritus at University College London and is best known for his work demonstrating the role of lymphocytes in tumour rejection and for the separate and cooperative roles of T- and B-lymphocytes in this and other processes.

Listeners: Martin Raff

Martin Raff is a Canadian-born neurologist and research biologist who has made important contributions to immunology and cell development. He has a special interest in apoptosis, the phenomenon of cell death.



Listen to Martin Raff at Web of Stories



Duration: 58 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 29 September 2010