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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.
Before you stabbed your fork into your salad, did you consider a menacing drone could have flown over the lettuce field? Should our vegetable fields be NO-DRONE ZONES? Mark Tamplin, pathogen expert and international best-selling author of Phage, exposes the soft underbelly of our nation’s biodefense system, revealing vulnerabilities when the bio-terrorist comes from within the government institutions meant to keep us safe. In Phage, Dr. Sam Townsend faces the greatest challenge of his career, preventing a deranged government scientist from unleashing a genetically-engineered pathogen on the USA population.
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.
Milton Taylor, Indiana University, offers an easy-to-read and fascinating text describing the impact of viruses on human society. The book starts with an analysis of the profound effect that viral epidemics had on world history resulting in demographic upheavals by destroying total populations. It also provides a brief history of virology and immunology. Furthermore, the use of viruses for the treatment of cancer (viral oncolysis or virotherapy) and bacterial diseases (phage therapy) and as vectors in gene therapy is discussed in detail. Several chapters focus on viral diseases such as smallpox, influenza, polio, hepatitis and their control, as well as on HIV and AIDS and on some emerging viruses with an interesting story attached to their discovery or vaccine development. The book closes with a chapter on biological weapons. It will serve as an invaluable source of information for beginners in the field of virology as well as for experienced virologists, other academics, students, and readers without prior knowledge of virology or molecular biology.
The story of viruses and humanity is a story of fear and ignorance, of grief and heartbreak, and of great bravery and sacrifice. Michael Oldstone tells all these stories as he illuminates the history of the devastating diseases that have tormented humanity, focusing mostly on the most famous viruses. Oldstone begins with smallpox, polio, and measles. Nearly 300 million people were killed by smallpox in this century alone and the author presents a vivid account of the long campaign to eradicate this lethal killer. Oldstone then describes the fascinating viruses that have captured headlines in more recent years: Ebola, Hantavirus, mad cow disease (a frightening illness made worse by government mishandling and secrecy), and, of course, AIDS. And he tells us of the many scientists watching and waiting even now for the next great plague, monitoring influenza strains to see whether the deadly variant from 1918--a viral strain that killed over 20 million people in 1918-1919--will make a comeback. For this revised edition, Oldstone includes discussions of new viruses like SARS, bird flu, virally caused cancers, chronic wasting disease, and West Nile, and fully updates the original text with new findings on particular viruses. Viruses, Plagues, and History paints a sweeping portrait of humanity's long-standing conflict with our unseen viral enemies. Oldstone's book is a vivid history of a fascinating field, and a highly reliable dispatch from an eminent researcher on the front line of this ongoing campaign.
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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