Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Clonal Selection Theory

Hypothesis that antibodies form because of continual mutations in the antibodyproducing genes, leading to a large pool of pre-existing potential antibodies; that immunity is acquired when a particular antibody is selected in response to a specific antigen and thus undergoes rapid clonal proliferation, while those less useful anti-body variants die out. Proposed in 1957 by N. K. Jerne and F. M. Burnet (1899-1985).

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