The Infectious Microbe (Hardback)Bill Firshein (author)
Hardback 176 Pages / Published: 27/02/2014
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Of the almost innumerable interactions between science and humanity, few are as central or as significant as microorganisms. These single-celled "complete" living organisms are intimately involved with life and must be taken into account in many ways when considering the welfare and health of the public. Though microorganisms have major impacts on many chemical and ecological processes, they are most often recognized for their ability to cause serious and sometimes fatal diseases. From diseases caused by bacteria like pneumonia, tuberculosis, anthrax, meningitis, typhoid, and bubonic plague, to diseases caused by viruses like HIV, polio, yellow fever, hepatitis, and influenza, humanity has struggled to cope with their rapidly changing capabilities. This book is a response to current confusion and misunderstanding of microbes amongst the general public; written in narrative form, it will allow readers to better understand the scientific concepts and terminology of how microbial or viral diseases are caused, to ask intelligent questions about the impact of such diseases on our wellbeing, and to comprehend reports about disease outbreaks that flood the media. Following several introductory chapters that introduce the microbe, its history, and the necessary fundamental chemical and biological concepts, the heart of the book describes in great detail six critical microbial and viral diseases that plague our world and how each of them illustrates the basic characteristics of infection. Each of these six diseases follows the same path-invasion, internal spread, toxin effects, and excretion-and an understanding of the pathogenicity of each will provide readers with a better understanding of the fascinating scientific relationship between man and virus, human and microbe, and how to live with or defeat them.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 176
Weight: 460 g
Dimensions: 236 x 162 x 18 mm
"In this little treasure, Professor Firshein has used his 50-year career as a teacher of science and non-science students alike to distill this timely subject down to its essence. Utilizing an infectious journalistic style throughout, Firshein alternates between basic and applied coverage of this topic with effective case studies to fortify his message and grip on the reader. The result is a timely and compelling book that can be read by all, which should impact the next generation of citizens charged with understanding the nature of the infectious disease and crafting a sensible and strategic health care policy for our 21st-century world." -- Donald Oliver, Daniel Ayres Professor of Biology, Wesleyan University
"The Infectious Microbe by Bill Firshein cogently presents the background and challenge of minute organisms that have both detrimental and beneficial effects in nature. Experts and newcomers to this fascinating field of visually undetectable organisms will understand the conflict between microbes and their hosts. They will gain great insight into life in a micro-universe and enjoy the drama that unfolds as viruses and bacteria emerge, some very recently, and play roles in the ultimate survival of species on earth." -- Jay Levy, Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
"This is an engaging journey into the world of pathogens. The microbial world is unimaginably huge, universally prevalent and diverse. Dr. Firshein provides the reader of this fascinating book with a practical level of understanding of this world, presented in a most comfortable conversational style. It is a must-read for everyone at all concerned with their personal, family and community health and with national and global health policies, or who has simply wondered about the nature of the infectious diseases to which we are all susceptible." -- Thomas Broker, Professor of Biochemistry, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Featured in The Quarterly Review of Biology
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