Immunity, DEvelopment, and the Microbiota (IDEM): Understanding the Continuous Construction of Biological Identity
IDEM (“Immunity, DEvelopment, and the Microbiota”) explores the problem of biological identity at the interface between immunology, microbiology, and developmental biology.
The problem of biological identity (what counts as one individual organism, and what makes each individual organism the “same” though it constantly changes through time?) has a long history both in philosophy and in science. Recent data coming from immunology, microbiology and developmental biology may revolutionize our conception of the construction of biological identity through time, by showing that this construction depends crucially on environmental factors and, most importantly, on a constant dialogue with symbiotic microorganisms integrated into the organism (the “microbiota”).
IDEM aims at exploring how research done on the microbiota at the interface between developmental biology, microbiology and immunology impacts our conception of biological identity, and providing a new understanding of the way living things are continuously constructed through time and interact with their biotic environment.
Internal and External
Assessing from a conceptual and historical point of view the construction of biological identity through time
Understanding the exact mechanisms by which developmental processes in organisms depend on microbial symbionts
Individuality and the Holobiont
Determining how traditional conceptions of biological individuality may be modified by current research on the microbiota