You can't vaccinate an octopus


does having immune “memory” really make us that much better off than the animals that don’t have it?

Yes, it is just one more way in which we Chordates are superior; and yet those damn molluscs continue to oppress us!

Check out this doctoral thesis

Your faith in us is . . . inspiring!


well yeah… I’d rather get vaccinated to polio then have my immune system try and fight it on it’s own.

Having an innate immune system seems to work best for animals that have a short life span, a limited territory, and an ability to repopulate quickly if the population crashes.

Whoa, I just had my mind blown. Never ever thought about the immune system being a relatively new thing in evolution or confined to chordata… Wow. So, if Preston Sturges is correct, that would imply that r reproducers who happen to have a spinal chord could have a limited immune system that little energy was devoted to. In particular the rats and mice that have great surges of populations every few cycles… Huh. My computer won’t let me open the links which means I am sad but it is an investment issue, evolutionary issue, or energetic issue?

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Indeed. 266 pages. Granted half of that is in Spanish (thus making it interesting to read the English and Spanish in parallel). Hopping down to the ‘conclusions’ helps in reading quickly. I noticed that the author used one of my favorite transcriptome tools – Trinity – for initial assembly.

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You might not be able to vaccinate them, but can you speak to them?

To be fair you do have to 8 arms to deal with.

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I think it’s just that they are getting along well with a simple immune system because that’s all they need. Sea urchins don’t have lungs well because they don’t, not that they “need” them or they will ever develop them.

In our body, the immune system selects B cells in each individual’s body to create an adaptive immune response. But if a disease killed 95% of oysters, they’d swiftly repopulate. It’s like bacteria - they don’t have an immune system but they have constant selection of the population.

The thought of crowded ‘octopus farms’ makes me sad.
They’re such bright, nuanced, interesting creatures.

Plus, I assume; since they’re more of a solitary animal, they don’t really naturally need an adaptive system. Crowding them together obviously isn’t what they’re built for.

Also a lot of molluscs and such complete their sexual life cycle without actually contacting their mate, so there’s a lot less potential disease transmission.

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