Immunity & infection
It is natural for investigators to round their perspectives around and through their subject of expertise, however, as useful as this can be to create inroads into a new field of exploration, in time, this practice tends to create a closed universe of restricted debate where concepts and conclusions self-support each other and progressively court researchers to look only towards the inside, not the outside. Thomas Kuhn called these closed "universes", paradigms, and stated that from time to time, they need to either fall under the weight of their own contradictions or an unsurmountable challenge so evolution to new directions can happen.
In the case of immunology and its bearing on health and science, the tendency has been towards the micro. Voluminous articles about transcription cascades, new subgroups of cells, new SNP associations, and mountains of genomic data have been published, and challenged, but still, regardless of this enormous amount of data, sometimes the feeling is that progress is minimalist. Very little actually changes. No new big questions arise.
Recently, an attempt to solve a research problem led to an interesting observation that resulted in a line of theoretical research that questions the tenets of what we currently teach about the immune system, for instance, that its role is to defend the organism against foreign invaders. What about its role in defending against tumors, which certainly may not be foreign? Or healing from autoimmune aggression? Or how to define disease or an autoimmune aggression? Do we have clear answers for that?
If one takes one step behind and states the obvious: that our organisms are matter and as such, are subject to the same laws that govern the traffic of matter and energy within this universe, we realize that biology is actually only a transvestite for what really defines life, death, health and disease: thermodynamics, and in this context, it becomes necessary redefine all our concepts under this perspective. In doing so, one gains new insights of what is Life, disease, why life exists, what exactly can a Doctor do for a patient and what really is the role of the immune system?
We propose a parallel thermodynamic approach to life sciences, and immunology in particular, where all definitions stem from the laws of thermodynamics. We believe this added perspective will significantly impact education, research and Medicine and/or, at the least, make the debate more interesting.
Head of research and development