“Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution”— this was the thesis of a seminal essay by the evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky in 1973, who espoused that biological phenomena emerge and forever exist in the context of evolving species and systems. The term “light of evolution”, or sub specie evolutionis, was coined a decade earlier by biologist Julian Huxley. Together these sentiments are the inspiration for our second issue of Volume 3 of IMMpress Magazine, where we turn to the fascinating immunology and evolution of Host-Pathogen Interactions.
In this issue, we explore the arms race between host and pathogen across several organisms and contexts, starting with the now eponymous bacterial immune system (CRISPR) and a key bacterial predator, the phage. However, interactions between a host and its “pathogen” do not always fall into the predator/prey category. The intricate symbiotic relationship we have with our gut microbiota drives just as many aspects of our biology as do infections. In a similar vein, parasitic infections may prove to be the silver bullet for treating autoimmune disease. Indeed, the co-evolutionary mechanisms of parasites, bacteria-phage interactions, and host-vector biology may prove to be the newest soldiers in the war against human and agricultural diseases.
Our other feature in this issue is the rise of “Big Data”. As the tools to probe microbiomes and genomes become increasingly more sophisticated, we are creating vast amounts of data (and a multiplicity of databases to go with it). When used correctly, Big Data brings a systems-level perspective to all areas of science and can help drive new hypotheses.
In closing, we would once again like to thank our writers, editors and designers for helping us put together a wonderful issue – and on an accelerated schedule to boot! If you would like to join our dedicated staff, you know where to find us: email@example.com.