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Uncovering the origins of antibody diversity 

Uncovering the origins of antibody diversity
Chapter:
Uncovering the origins of antibody diversity
Author(s):

Anthony Rees

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199646579.003.0007
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date: 22 September 2020

The 1960s was the decade of genetic enlightenment. Methods for direct analysis of chromosomal genes (copying was not yet possible) were developed allowing analysis of antibody genes and spawning theories of how antibody diversity may be generated. Edelman, Hood, Talmage, and others were stalwart members of the germ line school of antibody diversity. By the end of the decade Kabat had shown that variability with antibody chains was located within a small number of very specific regions and postulated an unusual somatic mechanism for diversity generation. With the development of gene ‘counting’ DNA methods Tonegawa, Hood, and Leder would eventually unravel the key diversity mechanisms operating at the level of the antibody genetic locus.

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