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December 1974

The Variation and Adaptive Expression of Antibodies

Author Affiliations

San Francisco


by George P. Smith, 219 pp, Harvard University Press, 1973.

Arch Intern Med. 1974;134(6):1143-1144. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320240177049

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The author, a postdoctoral fellow in genetics at the University of Wisconsin, has not yet done much laboratory research in immunoglobulins but has had considerable experience in analyses of the sequence data published by others. His monograph reviews a large amount of data, but since this field is advancing so rapidly, unfortunately it is already about two years out of date. Thus, some of the author's speculations have already been ruled out by recent evidence. The book appears to us to be too complicated for graduate students or medical students and too dogmatic for investigators in this field; nevertheless, the volume contains a detailed and lucid discussion of the current hypotheses regarding the genetic control of antibody variability.

The author makes some conceptually wrong statements that a scientist intimately involved with laboratory research in this area would not. For example, Fig 2-1 illustrates a model for the "three-domain immunoglobulin monomere";

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