Fwd: Re: [FoRK] avian flu/home grown/PastFutureTense/retraction
Stephen D. Williams
Fri Oct 14 16:37:56 PDT 2005
I thought I clearly alluded to those complications in my later paragraph.
Possibly our disagreement, or your missing piece of knowledge, is that
everyone's immune system is different.
I can't do it justice (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immune_system ),
but I was taught in medical school (Mini-Medical School that is) that
the immune capabilities include a fixed number of molecular patterns
that are derived from mixing and matching from the parental sets. This
means that only a finite set of molecular patterns can be matched and
that finite set is different for each person. (I can't remember if this
concerns cytokines or T-Cell matching.)
I believe I've heard estimates that 5% of humans are immune to HIV.
This is the kind of thing I was referring to.
Kevin Elliott wrote:
> At 23:42 -0400 on 10/13/05, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
>> To answer the immunity comment: I was referring to "natural
>> immunity", i.e. the capability >of someone to A) avoid noticable
>> infection and/or B) to survive infection either because
>> their immune system reacts quickly enough or they just don't have the
>> protein structure for
>> a particular virus to bind to. Those kinds of immunity ARE
>> inherited, with lots of random
>> exchanges and "mutations", and are said to be the whole point of
>> dual-sex reproduction.
>> The presence of particular antibodies is not passed on (except some
>> mother->child), but the >ability to make those antibodies to a
>> particular response definitely is inheritable most of >time.
> I think what's missing from your analysis is the very complicated
> issue of exactly how a given person at the time developed
> Were they exposed to the "full strength" variant or a weaker mutation
> that their body fought off and in the process developed antibodies
> that were also effect against the full strength variant?
> Did they ever have the disease at all or did the merely avoid exposure?
> Even if they survived the full strength virus was this because of a
> superior immune system or simply because their immune system tripped
> over an effective antibody earlier than "normal"?
> My impressions is that for most viral infections the body is CAPABLE
> of synthesizing effective antibodies. The issue of survival comes
> down to a race between the bodies ability to adapt and the viruses
> ability to mutate and/or kill the host. I actually think this bodes
> well for the first world in the case of a catastrophic avian flu
> epidemic- at the turn of the century 1st and 3rd world medicine were
> much closer to each other than they are today. With the life support
> mechanism available today, I would think we'd be much more capable of
> sustaining life long enough for the bodies natural antibodies to win
> the battle.
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