Deadly Companions: How Microbes Shaped Our History

Deadly Companions: How Microbes Shaped Our History

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by Dorothy H. Crawford
     
 

Combining tales of devastating epidemics with accessible science and fascinating history, Deadly Companions reveals how closely microbes have evolved with us over the millennia, shaping human civilization through infection, disease, and deadly pandemic. Beginning with a dramatic account of the SARS pandemic at the start of the 21st century, Dorothy Crawford takes

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Overview

Combining tales of devastating epidemics with accessible science and fascinating history, Deadly Companions reveals how closely microbes have evolved with us over the millennia, shaping human civilization through infection, disease, and deadly pandemic. Beginning with a dramatic account of the SARS pandemic at the start of the 21st century, Dorothy Crawford takes us back in time to follow the interlinked history of microbes and humanity, offering an up-to-date look at ancient plagues and epidemics, and identifying key changes in the way humans have lived—such as our move from hunter-gatherer to farmer to city-dweller—which made us ever more vulnerable to microbe attack. Showing that how we live our lives today—with increased crowding and air travel—puts us once again at risk, Crawford asks whether we might ever conquer microbes completely. Among the possible answers, one thing becomes clear: that for generations to come, our deadly companions will continue to influence our lives.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199561445
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
02/15/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
304,745
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables vii

Preface ix

Acknowledgements xiii

Introduction 1

1 How It All Began 9

2 Our Microbial Inheritance 29

3 Microbes Jump Species 54

4 Crowds, Filth and Poverty 82

5 Microbes Go Global 112

6 Famine and Devastation 139

7 Deadly Companions Revealed 161

8 The Fight Back 184

Conclusion: Living Together 211

Glossary 216

Notes and References 228

Further Reading 238

Index 241

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