The Compatibility Gene: How Our Bodies Fight Disease, Attract
Others, and Define Our Selves
Broad and fascinating introduction to immunology
Compatibility Gene is a very wide traverse across the science of immunology.
Early work tackling transplant rejection, the function of antigens, genetic
diversity, disease healing - Davis bravely touches on many aspects of immunology
but does not hesitate to provide useful explanations as necessary. He is a
capable and easy expositor, targeting this book well at a lay audience. Many
concepts are technical, with explanations that may take a couple of reads. The
acronym laden text takes a little following - not all are as memorable as NK
(Natural Killer). But it's not a long book and well worth the perseverance.
broadens the scope of the book even further to expound theories on how
compatibility genes may affect choice of partners, the connections between the
nervous system and immune system, and how pregnancy is possible. A lot of
explanation is at a molecular level but the great strength of Davis's book is
his tracking of the lives of the scientists, their motivations, controversies,
competition and achievements. His narrative on the life of Peter Medawar alone
is worth the price of the book. In considering this review, I don't know how he
fitted so much into 186 pages. The Notes section is very extensive and helpful
and the Index useful.