Re: Immune system/cloning

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Mon, 24 Feb 1997 14:42:04 -0800 (PST)

> The immune system of a clone will be entirely new. The specific
> immunities of a new child are developed in utero, not in the genome.
> There are too many possible antigens in the world for a 100mbp genome
> like ours to program the immune system to deal with them.
> -Brian

That was worded badly. The "immune system", if that is taken to mean
the population of antigens in the blood, does indeed develop after
conception. The particular histocompatibility keys of affected tissue,
though, are genetic and fixed. I should have said, then, that the bugs
evolve to adapt to your tissues, not to your immune system, which
adapts to them. The effect is still there, though: inbred organisms
do not fight disease well.

Lee Daniel Crocker <>