The genetics, evolution and expression of antibody molecules
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The vertebrate immune system shares certain general properties with other complex systems in higher organisms and, accordingly, may serve as an ideal model for studying various aspects of differentiation and evolution in eukaryotes. I will discuss the general patterns which have emerged from genetic, molecular and cellular studies of this system. These observations will be related to three aspects of the problem of "information handling" in higher organisms; namely, how the information from a complex system is stored in the genome, how it is expressed during the differentiation of individual organisms, and how it changes during the evolution of eukaryotes.