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Traces the story of bacteriophages from Paris, where they were discovered in 1917, through breakthroughs stemming from phage research, to today's resurgent research, spearheaded by biotech startups and physicians.
Each year thousands of people die from bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Alternative drugs are urgently needed. A surprising ray of hope from the past are viruses that kill bacteria, but not us. Award-winning science journalist Thomas Häusler investigates how these long-forgotten cures may help sick people today.
We rely on chemical cures to keep our bodies free from disease and our farm fields free from bugs and weeds. While human and agricultural health are rarely considered together, both are based on the same ecology, and both are being threatened by organisms that have evolved to resist our antibiotics and pesticides. Fortunately scientists are finding new solutions that work with, rather than against, nature. There are viruses that bust apart bacteria; insect pheromones that throw crop destroying moths into a misguided sexual frenzy; plant genes edited to protect against disease; and a resurgence of the ancient practice of fecal transplants. In this hopeful book, Monosson offers a fascinating look into the future of natural defenses.
When the first antibiotic was discovered, it revolutionized medicine, and in many ways, the world. Illnesses that had previously decimated countless suddenly had a treatment, and those antibiotics were used judiciously - and have been ever since. Our Modern Medicine is so inundated with antibiotics that the bacteria and micro-organisms they were first created to destroy have found their own defense, a resistance to these duper drugs that have made them super bugs... and we need a way to fight back. While many look to the future creation of new, stronger antibiotics, the answer may very well lie in our own medical past. In 1915, two enterprising scientists discovered that bacteriophages were present in the stools and bodies of sick patients right before they began to recover. When they found that bacteriophages were also present wherever bacteria grew, it prompted a new line of thought - and the formation of Phage Therapy. This insightful and scientifically accurate book takes us on a journey 100 + years in the making, from the very beginnings of Phage Therapy, through its many varieties and applications and then on to the future of this medical practice - and how the medical breakthrough we have all been waiting for may have already happened.
Ranging from the evolution of pathogenicity to oceanic carbon cycling, the many and varied roles that bacteriophages play in microbial ecology and evolution have inspired increased interest within the scientific community. Bacteriophages: Methods and Protocols pulls together the vast body of knowledge and expertise from top international bacteriophage researchers to provide both classical and state-of-the-art molecular techniques. With its well-organized modular design, Volume 1: Isolation, Characterization, and Interactions examines a multitude of topics, including the isolation of phages, morphological and molecular characterization, and interaction with bacteria. Written in the highly successful Methods in Molecular BiologyTM series format, chapters consist of brief introductions to the subject, lists of the necessary materials and reagents, readily reproducible laboratory protocols, and a Notes section which details tips on troubleshooting and avoiding known pitfalls. Thorough and cutting-edge, Bacteriophages: Methods and Protocols is a valuable reference for experienced bacteriophage researchers as well as an easily accessible introduction for newcomers to the subject.
Phages are the most numerous life forms on Earth. Nevertheless, many people remain unaware of this dynamic, invisible world, and likewise of the challenges expertly met by every successful phage. This engaging book relates the ingenious tactics of 21 featured phages as they go about their viral work and replicate inside microbial cells.
Making Peace with Microbes Public sanitation and antibiotic drugs have brought about historic increases in the human life span; they have also unintentionally produced new health crises by disrupting the intimate, age-old balance between humans and the microorganisms that inhabit our bodies and our environment. As a result, antibiotic resistance now ranks among the gravest medical problems of modern times. Good Germs, Bad Germs addresses not only this issue but also what has become known as the "hygiene hypothesis"— an argument that links the over-sanitation of modern life to now-epidemic increases in immune and other disorders. In telling the story of what went terribly wrong in our war on germs, Jessica Snyder Sachs explores our emerging understanding of the symbiotic relationship between the human body and its resident microbes—which outnumber its human cells by a factor of nine to one! The book also offers a hopeful look into a future in which antibiotics will be designed and used more wisely, and beyond that, to a day when we may replace antibacterial drugs and cleansers with bacterial ones—each custom-designed for maximum health benefits.

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