Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 17 May 1995



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 17 May 1995

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Parliamentary Record 10


Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 17 May 1995 Clinical Research Centre in Harrow, north London. During these years, Ted conceived the Somatic Selection Theory o f Acquired Immunity. A copy of this work has been donated to the Northern Territory parliamentary library. The work is internationally recognised as a breakthrough in both biological research and, in some quarters, the philosophy of science. This theory predicts and explains radically new inheritance processes, particularly for the immune system - the so-called Lamarckian inheritance. Subsequent research and teaching posts followed - first at the John Curtin School for Medical Research, from 1981 to 1985, and then at the University of Wollongong, from 1985 onwards, where he is currently an Associate Professor in Biological Sciences He is also an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the John Curtin School of Medical Research. He lives at present in Wollongong with his wife, Robyn, who is also a lecturer at the University of Wollongong, and sons Anthony and Julian. Ted has published 2 books and more than 25 scientific papers in this field over the past 16 years. Findings of the research are now being accepted increasingly by elite scientists in both Australia and America and taught in many internationally-recognised universities. In addition, he has given numerous lectures or seminars on the validation of the theory to university departments or conferences in Canada, USA, UK, Europe and Australia. In the early years, from 1978 to 1981, Teds work showed great promise, but also provoked very controversial reactions in the international scientific community. Since about 1987 or 1988, Ted has been working on a molecular phase-that is, a detailed molecular genetic analysis of the DNA sequence structure of the various genes involved. Indeed, in late 1980 and early 1981, Ted was invited to negotiate with the Northern Territory government on a possible shift of his research laboratory to Darwin. This would have entailed a grant of about $300 000 per annum. This proposal never eventuated and, in retrospect, was a premature forerunner of those clearly successful biomedical research laboratories set up at the Menzies School of Health Research and later at the University of the Northern Territory. Great allies of Ted through all these years, as scientific discussants, mentors and fellow travellers, have been Professor Bob Blanden of the John Curtin School (and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science), Professor Jeff Pollard, now of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City and the late Nobel Laureate Professor Howard Temin of the McArdle Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin. In the early 1980s, the late writer and philosopher Arthur Koestler was a strong supporter of Ted, as indeed was Sir Karl Popper, the philosopher of science. They were among the first to assess Teds theory in 1978-79, prior to publication and strongly endorsed its rapid publication and international dissemination. Other key people have been fellow scientists Dr Reg Gorczynski of Toronto and Dr Gerry Both of the CSIRO Division of Biomolecular Engineering in North Ryde, NSW. In late 1989, Mr Harry Rothenfluh, Teds current Ph.D student, entered the picture. He approached Ted to carry out research on the molecular mechanisms of acquired inheritance involving the antibody genes of the immune system. The current experimental work with Harry Rothenfluh and Bob Blanden has now led to a breakthrough in our understanding of the genetic structure of the genes of the immune system which encode the protective antibodies. These are the molecules in the blood elicited by an infection or by vaccination. The particular molecular structure of these genes strongly suggests a soma-to-germline gene feedback loop operative during the evolution of the immune system of higher animals. These genetic data provide the strongest support yet for the validity of the somatic selection theory first advanced 3320