People, Parasites, and Plowshares: Learning From Our Body's Most Terrifying Invadersby Dickson D. Despommier
Dickson D. Despommier's vivid, visceral account of the biology, behavior, and history of parasites follows the interplay between these fascinating life forms and human society over thousands of years. Despommier focuses on long-term host-parasite associations, which have evolved to avoid or even subvert the human immune system. Some parasites do great damage to… See more details below
Dickson D. Despommier's vivid, visceral account of the biology, behavior, and history of parasites follows the interplay between these fascinating life forms and human society over thousands of years. Despommier focuses on long-term host-parasite associations, which have evolved to avoid or even subvert the human immune system. Some parasites do great damage to their hosts, while others have signed a kind of "peace treaty" in exchange for their long lives within them. Many parasites also practice clever survival strategies that medical scientists hope to mimic as they search for treatments for Crohn's disease, food allergies, type 1 diabetes, organ transplantation, and other medical challenges.
Despommier concentrates on particularly remarkable and often highly pathogenic organisms, describing their lifecycles and the mechanisms they use to avoid elimination. He details their attack and survival plans and the nature of the illnesses they cause in general terms, enabling readers of all backgrounds to steal a glimpse into the secret work of such effective invaders. He also points to the cultural contexts in which these parasites thrive and reviews the current treatments available to defeat them. Encouraging scientists to continue to study these organisms even if their threat is largely contained, Despommier shows how closer dissection of the substances parasites produce to alter our response to them could help unravel some of our most complex medical conundrums.
Columbia University Press
There's a lot to learn from a tapeworm. Parasites have evolved stunningly successful strategies for thriving in our bodies for millions of years. Drawing on his long career as a parasitologist, Dickson D. Despommier explores the lessons we can gain from our passengers, creating a fascinating tour of the parasitic world.
Reading this book may make your skin crawl.... The facts are horrifying and fascinating.... As Despommier argues, these body snatchers deserve respect.
[People, Parasites, and Plowshares] chronicles the discovery--and destructive treachery--of parasites as well as the promise they offer modern medicine in curing a number of diseases.
[People, Parasites, and Plowshares] beautifully balances history and pathology.
A rich, fulsome feast. It is also a gift to tropical medicine.
An informative and entertaining view of parasitic life cycle and resulting human diseases.
Despommier's writing is precise, clear, and up to date.... I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in parasitology.
A well-written and fascinating introduction to human parasitology from an intriguing, seldom-used perspective: how we can learn from parasites to achieve medical breakthroughs.
Dickson D. Despommier's approach is unique, easy going, and insightful. His book will appeal to both scientists and laypeople interested in science and medicine--and will be of particular interest to travelers to exotic places.
- Columbia University Press
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
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