Biological specificity is usually described in terms of the lock-and-key metaphor. However, this metaphor is to a certain extent misleading and does not grasp the complexity underlying biological specificity. The failure of the lock-and-key metaphor makes it difficult to understand immune recognition. This is the reason why immune specificity has been described as the "Specificity Enigma." In this article, I point at three important differences between biological specificity and mechanical specificity, and suggest an alternative lens through which immune specificity can be considered.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Theoretical Biology Forum|
|State||Published - 1 Jan 2006|
- Immune specificity
- The cognitive paradigm in immunology
- The lock-and-key metaphor