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The Lock and Key of MedicineMonoclonal Antibodies and the Transformation of Healthcare$
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Lara V Marks

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300167733

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300167733.001.0001

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Hunting for the Elusive “Magic Bullet”

Hunting for the Elusive “Magic Bullet”

(p.1) Chapter One Hunting for the Elusive “Magic Bullet”
The Lock and Key of Medicine

Lara V. Marks

Yale University Press

This chapter traces the history of the discovery of antibodies, from the late nineteenth-century theories of immunity to the development of monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) in 1975—a breakthrough that was made possible by the coming together of knowledge and techniques developed in many different geographic locations, laboratories, and disciplines, as well as at the bedside. The process was far from linear not only because of these logistical obstacles, but also because the evolving science was subject to the personal and theoretical rivalries among scientists. In many ways, the history of Mabs is as much about how substances, originally invisible to the naked eye, were imagined and then transformed into material entities.

Keywords:   Mabs, monoclonal antibodies, immunity, history

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