Their Fate Is Our Fate: How Birds Foretell Threats to Our Health and Our World

Their Fate Is Our Fate: How Birds Foretell Threats to Our Health and Our World

by Peter Doherty


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At the heart of this book by Nobel Prize–winning immunologist and professor Peter Doherty is this striking observation: Birds detect danger to our health and the environment before we do. Following a diverse cast of bird species around the world—from tufted puffins in Puget Sound to griffon vultures in India, pigeons in East Asia, and wedge-tailed shearwaters off the islands of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef—Doherty illuminates birds’ role as an early warning system for threats to the health of our planet and our own well-being.

Their Fate Is Our Fateis an impassioned call not only to attention but to action. As “citizen scientists” we can collect data, vital to cutting-edge research, that depends on the birds that are all around us. Armed with our observations, scientists will continue to uncover new ways to glimpse our future in birds—and to affirm how, truly,their fate is our fate.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781615190911
Publisher: Experiment, The
Publication date: 09/10/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Peter Doherty is Laureate Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne. His pioneering research into human immune systems earned him the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 1996, which he shared with Rolf M. Zinkernagel. The following year he was named Australian of the Year and awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia (AO). He divides his time between Melbourne and Memphis.

Table of Contents

1 Searching for puffins: an introduction 1

2 Distant relatives 9

3 Chick embryos and other developing life forms 21

4 Sentinel chickens 31

5 Falling crows 41

6 Ticks, sheep, grouse and the glorious twelfth 50

7 Flu flies 56

8 Bird flu: from Hong Kong to Qinghai Lake and beyond 71

9 Bird flu guys 85

10 Bug detectives 94

11 Hawaiian wipeout 105

12 The great parrot panic of 1929-30 113

13 Catching cancer 118

14 Blue bloods and chicken bugs 128

15 Killing the vultures 135

16 Heavy metal 145

17 Red knots and crab eggs 153

18 Hot birds 163

19 For the birds, and for us 176

Notes 187

Latin binomials for common bird names 211

Abbreviations 215

Further reading and references 217

Acknowledgements 229

Index 231

Photo Credits 247

About the Author 248

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