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All About Antibodies

Hugh H. Hussey, MD
JAMA. 1976;235(6):636-637. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260320044027.
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As Gail McBride writes in the MEDICAL NEWS section of this issue of The Journal (p 583), knowledge about the antibody molecule has spread rapidly and extensively. Indeed, information has increased at a rate so fast that the uninitiated reader may find himself like a man viewing a crabgrass-infested lawn and not knowing what to do about it.

The simile is weak in at least one respect. The crabgrass viewer may decide to replace his lawn with the green synthetic stuff that now covers so many tennis courts. A call to a competent contractor—one who can lay Plexipave, for example—solves the problem. In contrast, as Ms McBride recounts, the physician who seeks understanding of the antibody molecule must delve into 20 years' reports of studies by immunologists, geneticists, protein chemists, and x-ray crystallographers. He may find the "going heavy," as did the medical editor who first read Ms McBride's typescript.


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