Co-Operation is the Thing

  • A. J. S. Davies


Experimental immunology is in danger of becoming an intellectual game played by immunologists for the entertainment of immunologists. The rules for this game are based on the capacity of vertebrate organisms to make various responses to a variety of stimuli. The stimuli are characterized as antigens, which are innumerable but often proteins or polysaccharides, with or without other smaller determinants of specificity. The responses are similarly innumerable but often characterized as either humoral or cell-mediated. As with many other games, it is difficult to discern the present-day objectives of experimental immunology. In the past, the art of playing immunology related to the possibility that the immune responses of the organisms used in the games was some kind of defence mechanism, against invading pathogenic organisms. More recently this notion has not been popular, but other possibilities, such as that immune processes are manifestations of an autoregulatory morphostatic device, or that there is an immune surveillance mechanism operative against neoplastic cells, have found some favour.


Immune Process Mixed Lymphocyte Culture Experimental Immunology Autoimmune Mouse Vertebrate Organism 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. J. S. Davies
    • 1
  1. 1.Chester Beatty Research InstituteInstitute of Cancer ResearchLondonEngland

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