How do adaptive immune systems control pathogens

Annotated bibliography


Bergstrom, Carl. T. and Rustom Antia. 2006. How do adaptive immune systems control pathogens while avoiding autoimmunity? Trends in Ecology & Evolution: (21) (1): 22-28.

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The aim of this paper is providing an explanation on how the immune systems evolve to cut the disease-producing agents without attacking it-self. In their study, they focus on two immune systems. The first immune system is RNA interference (RNAi), which is a method employed by non-vertebrates when viruses infects them. The second immune system used by vertebrates when eliminating a range of microbes is cellular immune response, which gets represented by T cells; CD8. The document includes all mechanisms involved in the two systems and concludes by giving vigorous strategies employed in the immune systems.  This article is more significant than other similar articles because it presents its view in a comprehensive and sequential way. The authors cover the topic in in-depth way. The article directs its focus to a scientific audience; the language is fair in that it presents facts. The authors of this document concludes by portraying how RNAi and vertebrate adaptive immunity run at different scales and arise independently in the evolutionary process” (27). This paper helps one understand the complex process of evolution.



Culotta, E. and Elizabeth Pennisi.2005. Breakthrough of: The Year Evolution in Action. Science: (310): 1878-1879.


The document is about genome data and its usefulness in determining the molecular alterations that create the evolutionary variations in humans and other animals. It also shows speciation as a quick evolutionary change of the living organisms with various instances that support it. In addition, the document talks about how mutation in influenza virus caused an evolutionary change that killed 20 million to 50 million people. The claims presented in this article are very clear and assessable; it helps one make understand how the evolutionary process works in one’s daily life. The claim gets its support from many examples. For instance, it displays how marine stickleback fish got scattered among landlocked lakes during the last period of Ice Age. It points out how the descendants of marine stickle fish have evolved into dozens of different species over time. Moreover, the document provides readers with many links and sources for further readings on evolution.


Dawkins, Richard. 1987. The Blind Watchmaker. W. W. Norton & Company Inc, New York.


In his book, Dawkins argues how evidence of evolution reveals a universe without a design. He advocates for entrenchment of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection and presents its evolutionary mechanisms. The author of this book focuses on convincing people into believing evolution as the only way of explaining life. The book discusses the “complexity” of the living things and the “good design” that built for survival purposes. Bat gets used as an example. The book also displays the non-randomness of evolutionary process and its series of small and slow changes of cumulative selection. It shows DNA as a valuable store that helps people in tracking information on ancestors and relationships among living things. Natural selection and mutation are the two things that work together in directing the evolutionary process. The book defines sexual selection and the female preference and gives their importance to a person’s life. The author argues how Punctuationalism differs from Darwinian Theory. The book presents other similar theories to the Darwinian Theory, taxonomy included, that do not have enough evidence in explaining existence of life. The book presents a strong supportive argument to Darwinian Theory. It gives in-depth coverage of the topic. The author uses various examples and analogies to support his claim. For example, he refers to the natural selection as the blind watchmaker. The book has a good plot and the author succeeded in using transitions among its various chapters as a smooth way of supporting his claims; he explains how living things have become beautiful and improbable to the extent that their existence is doubted (61).





Egan, S. P., and D. J. Funk. 2009. Ecologically dependent postmating isolation between sympatric host forms of Neochlamisus bebbianae leaf beetles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: (106) (46): 19426-19431.


The purpose of this book is determining whether extrinsic isolation, which leads to ecological speciation, occurs among populations of Neochlamisus bebbianae leaf beetle as a result of living in the same location. The researchers do so by grading the alteration in the genes due to the mutation and inspecting non-genetic effects, as well as examining the role played by impediments that lead to the isolation. The document shows how hybrids show less ability than “pure” paternal type of reproducing on the original steward due to genetic basis. The book also argues that non-genetic maternal effects are not responsible for the extrinsic isolation. The researchers showed that the crossbreeds reduce their ability of reproduction on improper steward. The article presents a strong argument and provides accurate facts and statistical documents based on data obtained. The language used is fair; it gives direct results. The document concludes by showing extrinsic isolation among sympathetic and ecologically divergent leaf beetle populations using a clear example of two N. bebianae host form (5).


Hine E, K McGuigan, and MW Blows. 2011. “Natural selection stops the evolution of male attractiveness”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America: (108) (9): 3659-64.


The main purpose of this document is determining the power of the natural selection over female preference in the Drosophila serrata population. Throughout the document, there is determination of alterations in genetic verities due to selection pressure. The book shows that natural selection gets restrained to the seventh generation beyond which no more restrains occur. These reductions in genetic verities get portrayed as affecting evolutionary limits. The document brings out how sexual selection, which is directed by female preference, gets impeded by the natural selection. Sexual selection is also portrayed as ineffective in creation of variance in characters favored by the female. It explains how sexual selection does not lead to a quick evolution. The article’s format, which is the IMRAD format, and objective are intended for people with passion in science. The authors present forthright results about the topic. The claims portrayed in this document have strong supportive tools. For instance, there are clear and accurate data tables and graphs. Moreover, the article derives further supportive information on-line from different scholars. The document concludes with a solid conclusion statements on power of natural selection over the sexual selection.



 Iafrate AJ, L Feuk, MN Rivera, ML Listewnik, PK Donahoe, Y Qi, SW Scherer, and C Lee. 2004. Detection of large-scale variation in the human genome. Nature Genetic: (36) (9): 949-51.


Molecular genetics have indexed many differences in humans’ genome. This document shows the varieties in humans’ genome through a large- scale copy-number variation (LCVs). The document uses 255 LCVs in showing proportional changes of DNA among various samples examined. Moreover, it points the distribution of most copies across the genome as random. It states that the genome differences are behind the variance in the appearance among human and their likelihood of having certain diseases. The authors of the document found out that that some of these differences interfere with some gene locations leading to genetic disorders, but they do not necessarily cause these disorders because the differences also exist in normal people. The arguments presented in this document are very strong. It gets logical enhancements from the accurate data that it gathers. The study conducted by the authors of this document is useful for conducting further researches since it provides new information about humans’ genome differences; it opens a new horizon to future studies. Furthermore, it helps readers understand the variations in appearance among the humans.



Moalem, Sharon and Jonathan Prince. 2008.  Survival of the sickest: The Surprising Connections Between Disease And Longevity. HarperCollins, New York.

In this book, Dr. Moalem explains the origin of some diseases such as hemachromatosis, diabetes and high cholesterol as a part of the evolutionary process that provide survival to the humans. He provides answers to the most cryptical medical questions about some diseases and relates the diseases to the possibility of  living longer; for example, he says that people with favaism are resistant to malaria because malaria parasite find the red blood cells of these people unfavorable to their survival. Dr. Moalem argues that if people keep fighting the infectious agent, then they will get stressed up as the agent evolves and becomes aggressive. The book further talks about the jumping genes that constitute a great part of the non-coding DNA and their important role to human life. It also touches on the human endogenous retroviruses that are part of human DNA and their vital roles, such as producing a healthy placenta. It discusses how the environmental circumstances affect genes carried by infants through infection from their mothers.  The book concludes by exploring aquatic ape theory. It uses strong arguments, which employ analogies in explaining the most complex processes to the general audience, in a convincing and enjoyable way. For instance, it shows how a genetic dealer can borrow cards from other desks, hence combining parts of one gene to another (133). The various claims on this document are logical because they get based on evidences and findings of documented studies. The book also provides resources for further readings.



Ogata, N., H. J. Alter, R. H. Miller, and R. H. Purcell. 1991. Nucleotide sequence and mutation rate of the H strain of hepatitis C virus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: (88) (8): 3392-3396.


In this book, the authors talks about the average of change in the Hepatitis C Virus genome (HCV). It studies the HCV genome by analyzing the genome of two samples of the virus from different periods between 1977 and 1990. The authors show that the two samples differ due to changes in the order of amino acids of the genome virus, which indicates a quick evolution. Throughout the document, viral genome changes in different averages figure out, and the changes give an explanation of the HCV genome variety. The arguments presented by the authors get their logical supported from various accurate data. For instance, a clear fact about the rapidity of the evolution of the virus genome, which occurred almost one decade, gets based on. This article is helpful because it studies the quick evolution of the virus and supports various clinical investigations about the viruses and recommends ways of eliminating it.




Sundar S, K Pai, R Kumar, K Pathak-Tripathi, AA Gam, M Ray, and RT Kenney. 2001. Resistance to treatment in Kala-azar: speciation of isolates from northeast India. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene: (65) (3): 193-6.


Leishmania donovani (LD), a parasite that caused Kala Azar disease in India, which affected an enormous number of people, is discussed in this document. This document shows how LD does not respond to the usual drug, which explains the speciation of this parasite. The article portrays how, after administering medication to infected people, drug resistance by the parasite resulted from 65% of the cases. It further points out the resistance to the drug as inherent in the parasite, but not from the host. Research findings in the document show that the most dominant parasite, among the other types, is the LD and is responsible for various clinical outcomes; the parasite does not respond to treatment because of development that occurs to it. The authors insist on reconsidering the usage of the present drug that fails in the treatment the parasite. They propose the use an alternative drug against the LD parasite. The viewpoints presented in this document are very critical. The document draws it support from various data.  The document covers the topic in a comprehensive way provides enough history about the disease. The document concludes by providing alternative solutions that will eliminate the disease and help in the maintenance the public health.




Weiner, J. 1995. The Beak of the Finch.  Random House Digital, Inc., New York.

The book talks about evolution in the flesh. It explains how evolution occurs and gives various ways of detecting it. The author talks about the nature of Daphne Major Island where Darwin toured and noticed differences in the beaks of finches. He also recounts studies about flinches by various scientists, such as Peter and Rosemary Grant, and their colleagues, which took almost two decades. The studies indicate the forces that led to many differences among the organisms. Moreover, Weiner talks about these variations and how natural selection affects the process and what makes the species distinct among each other. He mentions the effect of the invasions of the species on the natural balance of the environment. Additionally, he mentions the resistance developed by the insects and microbes towards the chemicals manufactured to eliminate them as an example of the continuous evolution. The author ends the book by talking about the consciousness that makes humans not the same with other species. The author supports his argument by providing a handful of evidences from reliable and guaranteed sources. The book targets general audience. It is written in a simplified way and deprived of affectation. The book engages readers in its various arguments and includes many short conversations among scientists, the Grants, on their findings and huge data collected. The author provides an active example-the famous Darwin’s finches-the finches at the Galapagos; he claims that the pressures of natural selection are everywhere increasing in intensity daily and hourly, even on islands as remote as the Galapagos (16).  This helps the reader understand the power of the natural selection and the genes that create all this diversity in the living things.



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