Immunological Comparisons Between Species

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User148
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Hi,

I read that species can be compared by looking at immunity. A protein could be taken from humans and injected into chimpanzees. The more antibodies produced (precipitate), the more related the species are.

But wouldn't that indicate that the protein is foreign to the chimpanzee which is why they're producing so many antibodies against it?

Thanks!
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OxFossil
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(Original post by User148)
Hi,

I read that species can be compared by looking at immunity. A protein could be taken from humans and injected into chimpanzees. The more antibodies produced (precipitate), the more related the species are.

But wouldn't that indicate that the protein is foreign to the chimpanzee which is why they're producing so many antibodies against it?

Thanks!
As you describe it, I'd agree it seems counter-intuitive.

I wonder if you've slightly misread this information, as one early attempt to confirm evolutionary relationships was to innoculate rabbits with human antigens to induce an anti-human antiserum. The antiserum was then challenged with antigens from other mammals like goats, cats, chimps etc. The more intense the reaction (the more precipitate), the closer the evolutionary relationship to humans must be. In these experiments, chimp antigens invariably produced the greatest reaction, demonstrating that their proteins were closest to human proteins.
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