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Insects have a complex and effective immune system, many components of which are conserved in mammals. But only in the last decade have the molecular mechanisms that regulate the insect immune response--and their relevance to general biology and human immunology--become fully appreciated. A meeting supported by the Centre National de la Récherche Scientifique (France) was held to bring together the whole spectrum of researchers working on insect immunity. The meeting addressed diverse aspects of insect immunity and brought together geneticists working on Drosophila melanogaster with those working on other insects.