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Species and Specificity: An Interpretation of the History of Immunology

By: Pauline M H Mazumdar

432 pages, 39 b/w photos, 26 line illus, 3 tabs

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Oct 1995 | #32284 | ISBN: 0521431727
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £113.00 $147/€127 approx

About this book

In the first hundred years of its history, the problems of species and specificity were the core problems of research and practice in immunology.

' ... you will have to read this fascinating book'. Richard A. Lake, The Times Higher Education Supplement 'Mazumdar has produced an immensely well-researched account.' Bernard Dixon, New Scientist 'It is perhaps the human cost of such encounters that makes Mazumdar's account of this particular conflict so enthralling.' British Journal for the History of Science 'Mazumdar's thesis is an important and persuasive one that deserves serious attention from anyone interested in 19th and 20th century biology.' John E. Lesch, Science 'This book is abundantly and well illustrated with many photographs.' Fred S. Rosen, Nature


Part I. Specificity and Unitarianism in XIX Century Botany and Bacteriology: 1. The Unitarians; 2. The Linnaeans; 3. The dominance of specificity; 4. The history of XIX century bacteriology from this point of view; Part II. The Inherited Controversy: Specificity and Unitarianism in Immunology: 5. Dichotomy and classification in the thought of Paul Erlich; 6. Max von Gruber and Paul Erlich; 7. Max von Gruber and Karl Landsteiner; 8. Unity, simplicity, continuity: the philosophy of Ernst Mach; Part III. Chemical Affinity and Immune Specificity: The Argument in Chemical Terms: 9. Structural and physical chemistry in the late XIX century; 10. Erlich's chemistry and its opponents: the dissociation theory of Arrhenius and Madsen; 11. Erlich's chemistry and its opponents: the colloid theory of Landsteiner and Pauli; 12. Erlich's chemistry and its opponents: the new structural chemistry of Landsteiner and Pick; 13. The decline and persistence of Erlich's chemical theory; Part IV. Absolute Specificity in Blood Group Genetics: 14. Immunology and genetics in the early XX century; 15. The specificity of cells and the specificity of proteins; 16. The last confrontation; Conclusion.

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