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Chimeras and ConsciousnessEvolution of the Sensory Self$
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Lynn Margulis, Celeste A. Asikainen, and Wolfgang E. Krumbein

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262015394

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015394.001.0001

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Origins of the Immune System

Origins of the Immune System

(p.198) (p.199) 17 Origins of the Immune System
Chimeras and Consciousness

Margaret J. McFall-Ngai

The MIT Press

This chapter is concerned with a surprising chimerical hypothesis for the origin of the immune system. It argues for the idea that even the vertebrate immune system may be an organ of symbiosis. It shows that there may be systematic differences in the ways invertebrates and vertebrates tend to interact with the microbial world. This chapter suggests that invertebrates and gnathostome vertebrates differ in the ways they sense and interact with the ubiquitous microbial world in which they are embedded. The immune systems of these two groups are distinguishable.

Keywords:   chimerical hypothesis, immune system, vertebrates, symbiosis, invertebrates, microbial world

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