Into the wild: digging at immunology's evolutionary roots

Nat Immunol. 2013 Sep;14(9):879-83. doi: 10.1038/ni.2643.


The two pillars of modern immunology have been man and mouse; in both settings, investigators seek to reduce complexity and control environmental conditions. However, the world outside the laboratory is immensely variable; this is not 'noise' but represents the genetic and environmental framework in which the immune system evolved and functions. Placing the ever-growing understanding of immunological mechanisms in wider real-world contexts is a massive but fundamentally important challenge.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allergy and Immunology / trends
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Environment
  • Humans
  • Immune System / physiology*