The Semiotics of Cellular Communication in the Immune System by Umberto Eco (auth.), Eli E. Sercarz, Franco Celada, N.

By Umberto Eco (auth.), Eli E. Sercarz, Franco Celada, N. Avrion Mitchison, Tomio Tada (eds.)

This quantity comprises the contributions to the workshop "The Semiotics of mobile communique within the Immune approach" which came about at "11 Ciocco" within the hills north of Lucca, Italy, September ~-12, 1986. The workshop was once the 1st assembly of what we are hoping may be a large attention of verbal exchange between lymphocytes, and interested in the hot interdisciplinary department of organic sciences, immunosemiotics. it truly is within the realm of the potential, if no longer the possible, that during the longer term a couple of scientists better than the thirty current at eleven Ciocco will locate immunosemiotics to fill a necessity in clinical pondering and a spot among biology and the arts. this is able to bring about progress and flourishing of the department, and thus the 1st convention and this primary booklet should be blessed through the impalpable qual ity of changing into "historical", if in an admittedly 1 imited experience. simply in case this could occur the organizers/editors imagine it clever to set the checklist directly at this actual time, in regards to the sequen~e of occasions and situations that crystallized the archeology of the "11 Liocco" accumulating. They consider a type of legal responsibility to this pastime: it has occurred all too frequently that blameless historians were left in utter confusion by way of the careless founders of recent religions, schisms, revolutions, et cetera, who easily overlook to put in writing the proof sooner than the whirlwind of time engulfs them in its fog.

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The semiotician usually fixes the threshold at the level of man, saying that sign is something which stands for something else in the frame of a language. We are searching for the natural ancestors of this very recent (human) situation. In our opinion the threshold has to be placed much behind. 3) - Biology as natural semiotics We think that the threshold for "sign" is situated at the very beginning of the biological domain, characterizing its origin and its basic structure. The pre-biological universe is consituted by standard and uniform situations, both of chaotic-statistic type (plasma, gases and liquids) and of repetitive type (crystals).

This fact can be interpreted by the assumption that the activities of elements block each other in a manner that allows only cooperation which maintains the system or are in its "interest". A molecule as a part of cell components can not exhibit activities which would be possible outside the cell. Cells as components of a tissue or an organ can only divide and multiply themselves under close restrictions - an so on. The recognition of these facts means acknowledging different levels of complexity or integration, of which each needs its own language to describe its phenomena.

9. Schwartz, R. , T lymphocyte recognition of antigen in association with gene products of the major histocompatibility complex. Ann. Rev. Immunol. 1, 237-262 (1985). 10. , Haber, E. , Binding of immunogenic peptides to Ia histocompatibility molecules. Nature 317, 359-361 (1985). 11. , Smith, J. , The interaction of peptide antigens and class II major histocompatibili ty complexes antigens as studied by T cell activation. Nature 324, 260-262 (1986). SIGNS AND CODES IN IMMUNOLOGY G. Prodi Istituto di Cancerologia Universita degli Studi di Bologna Viale Filopanti 22 - 40126 BOLOGNA, ITALY 1) - Semiotics and immunology Immunological reaction consists in deciphering molecular structures (antigens, antigenic epitopes).

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