Ehrlich's side-chain theory, artwork

Ehrlich's side-chain theory, artwork

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ehrlich's side-chain theory, artwork. Coloured 1900 diagram by the German immunologist Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915) to explain his side-chain theory of immune response. This theory suggested that the chemical structure of cells was responsible for the action of immune recognition. He postulated that living cells had side-chains that could link with a particular toxin 'like a key in a lock', that under threat a cell grew additional side-chains to bind the toxin, and that these additional side-chains broke off to become the antibodies that circulate through the body. Image from 'La Conquete Du Monde Invisible' by Giuseppe Penso.

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