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Team Meeting: Sophie Veigl (virtual)

8 February | 15 h 00 min - 16 h 30 min

How to classify transgenerational immune systems?


In recent years, immune systems have sparked considerable interest within the philosophy of science. One issue that has received increased attention is whether other phyla besides vertebrates display an adaptive immune system. Particularly the discovery of CRISPR-Cas9-based systems has triggered a discussion about how to classify adaptive immune systems. One question that has not been addressed yet is the transgenerational aspect of the CRISPR-Cas9-based response. If immunity is acquired and inherited, how to distinguish evolutionary from immunological adaptation? To shed light on this issue and obtain conceptual clarity, I will investigate the inheritance of small RNA responses to pathogens in the nematode C. elegans as a further potential instantiation of a transgenerational adaptive immune system. I will explore how to make sense of systems that lie at the crossroads between genetic, immunological, and evolutionary spheres and explore the consequences of a transgenerational perspective on immune systems for immunology and its philosophy.

Sophie Veigl is a philosopher of biology and currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Vienna. She works at the intersection of feminist epistemology, invertebrate immunity and inheritance.


8 February
15 h 00 min - 16 h 30 min
Event Category:


Thomas Pradeu
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