do you pick a textbook for a course that doesn't fall into an
established field? Well, you don't. Such a new science depends
on up-to-the-minute data. "The readings are going to be original
research articles, usually four to five a week, available on reserve,"
says McClintock. The first day of class, McClintock brought up
an article just published in Nature-even Quintans hadn't heard
of it yet.
love or matching MHC?
are kept on reserve in the Crerar Library, and many are also available
on the Web. Miscellaneous textbooks on biology and psychology
are also on reserve to fill gaps in the students' general scientific
knowledge. Assigned articles carry complicated titles such as
"Recognition among mice: evidence from the use of a Y-maze differentially
scented by congenic mice of different major histocompatibility
types"; "Ancestral and recombinant 16-locus HLA haplotypes in
the Hutterites"; and the very romantic-sounding "MHC-dependent
mate preferences in humans."
gets an education
are not the only ones benefitting from this course; Quintans and
McClintock are students as much as they are the teachers. "Few
people are actually competent in this field; they are competent
in small areas," says Quintans. "The reason Martha and I are so
excited about doing this is because by the end of the quarter
we will have a better understanding of the whole field than we
do now." Perhaps the first generation of standard psychoneuroimmunology
textbooks will be written by the students of today. -