Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"The Large Immune Effect" - Vlog 2

In this 2nd video blog (vlog), I introduce the concept of the Large Immune Effect - a colloquial term first introduced in our Speciation by Symbiosis Review in Trends in Ecology and Evolution 27(8):443. The Large Immune Effect refers to the collection of evolution studies that provide evidence that immune genes are the most rapidly evolving in human and other animal's genomes and undergo the most adaptive evolution. As a result, immune genes are agents of change that can drive population shifts in the microbiome which may parallel the evolutionary history of the host. Its interconnections with Phylosymbiosis are presented, which is a term that was previous discussed in video blog (vlog) 1. As mentioned previously, I view these vlogs so far as experiments that will only survive or not with your feedback. I look forward to your criticisms or support on the video blogging vs. text blogging and the concepts in the videos. Thanks, Seth


  1. Exactly! It is now clear that we (animals) and plants are organism systems, not single organisms. In consideration of the immune system and the prevention of disease, this multiorganism system poses a problem. How do the detectors and effectors of the immune system distinguish potential pathogens from the background noise of our microbial community? Immune systems must adapt to this changing complexity, or the organism also builds in separations between the microbial communities and vulnerable tissues (as in the gut mucosa).

    1. Great question Seana. This hologenomic view of Life is mind blowing and utterly complex to sift through. Thankfully multi-omics approaches can sort through the mix to build the hypotheses for genetics to test.