Search Results for "the-immune-system-a-very-short-introduction"

The Immune System: a Very Short Introduction

The Immune System: a Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Paul Klenerman
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 019875390X
  • Category: Medical
  • Page: 144
  • View: 1691
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The immune system is central to human health and the focus of much medical research. Growing understanding of the immune system, and especially the creation of immune memory (long lasting protection), which can be harnessed in the design of vaccines, have been major breakthroughs in medicine. In this Very Short Introduction, Paul Klenerman describes the immune system, and how it works in health and disease. In particular he focuses on the human immune system, considering how it evolved, the basic rules that govern its behavior, and the major health threats where it is important. The immune system comprises a series of organs, cells and chemical messengers which work together as a team to provide defence against infection. Klenerman discusses these components, the critical signals that trigger them and how they exert their protective effects, including so-called "innate" immune responses, which react very fast to infection, and "adaptive" immune responses, which have huge diversity and a capacity to recognize and defend against a massive array of micro-organisms. Klenerman also considers what happens when our immune systems fail to be activated effectively, leading to serious infections, problems with inherited diseases, and also HIV/AIDS. At the opposite extreme, as Klenerman shows, an over-exaggerated immune response leads to inflammatory diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis, as well as allergy and asthma. Finally he looks at the "Immune system v2.o" - how immune therapies and vaccines can be advanced to protect us against the major diseases of the 21st century. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Food: A Very Short Introduction

Food: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: John Krebs
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0199661081
  • Category: Nature
  • Page: 130
  • View: 4694
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A brief examination of the history and science of food chronicles four great transitions including those of cooking, agriculture, processing and preservation to consider the sources of culinary preferences, the disparity between malnutrition and overconsumption and the issues associated with obesity, sustainable agriculture and genetic modification. Original.

Viruses: A Very Short Introduction

Viruses: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Dorothy H. Crawford
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • ISBN: 0191620432
  • Category: Medical
  • Page: 176
  • View: 2025
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Viruses are big news. From pandemics such as HIV, swine flu, and SARS, we are constantly being bombarded with information about new lethal infections. In this Very Short Introduction Dorothy Crawford demonstrates how clever these entities really are. From their discovery and the unravelling of their intricate structures, Crawford demonstrates how these tiny parasites are by far the most abundant life forms on the planet. With up to two billion of them in each litre of sea water, viruses play a vital role in controlling the marine environment and are essential to the ocean's delicate ecosystem. Analyzing the threat of emerging virus infections, Crawford recounts stories of renowned killer viruses such as Ebola and rabies as well as the less known bat-borne Nipah and Hendra viruses. Pinpointing wild animals as the source of the most recent pandemics, she discusses the reasons behind the present increase in potentially fatal infections, as well as evidence suggesting that long term viruses can eventually lead to cancer. By examining our lifestyle in the 21st century, Crawford looks to the future to ask whether we can ever live in harmony with viruses, and considers the ways in which we may need to adapt to prevent emerging viruses with devastating consequences. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

HIV/AIDS: A Very Short Introduction

HIV/AIDS: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Alan Whiteside OBE
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • ISBN: 0191578185
  • Category: Medical
  • Page: 168
  • View: 5463
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HIV/AIDS is without doubt the worst epidemic to hit humankind since the Black Death. The first case was identified in 1981; by 2004 it was estimated that about 40 million people were living with the disease, and about 20 million had died. Despite rapid scientific advances there is still no cure and the drugs are expensive and toxic. Because of controversies and taboos surrounding safe drug usage and prostitution, the numbers of people infected continues to rise. However, it is in the developing world and especially parts of Africa that the real catastrophe is unfolding. In some of the worst affected countries life expectancy has plummeted to below 35 years, which has led to a serious decline in economic growth, a sharp rise in orphaning, and the imminent collapse of health care systems. The news is not all bleak though. There have been unprecedented breakthroughs in understanding diseases and developing drugs. Because the disease is so closely linked to sexual activity and drug use, the need to understand and change behaviour has caused us to reassess what it means to be human and how we should operate in the globalising world. This Very Short Introduction provides an introduction to the disease, tackling the science, the international and local politics, the fascinating demographics, and the devastating consequences of the disease, and explores how we have — and must — respond. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Stem Cells: A Very Short Introduction

Stem Cells: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Jonathan Slack
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0199603383
  • Category: Medical
  • Page: 130
  • View: 2632
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There is much public interest in stem cells, but also much confusion and misinformation. Developmental biologist Jonathan Slack explains the biology behind stem cells - what they are what scientists do with them, what stem cell therapies are available today, and what can be expected to happen in the future.

Bacteria: A Very Short Introduction

Bacteria: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Sebastian G.B. Amyes
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • ISBN: 0199578761
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 152
  • View: 9588
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In this Very Short Introduction, Sebastian Amyes explores the nature of bacteria. As a fundamental branch of life, they inhabit every part of the Earth's surface. Amyes examines their origin and evolution, bacteria in the environment, and bacteria and disease, to demonstrate the fundamental role they play in our existence.

Hormones: A Very Short Introduction

Hormones: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Martin Luck
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • ISBN: 0191653551
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 144
  • View: 5639
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Hormones play an integral part in the balance and workings of the body. While many people are broadly aware of their existence, there are many misconceptions and few are aware of the nature and importance of the endocrine system. In this Very Short Introduction, Martin Luck explains what hormones are, what they do, where they come from, and how they work. He explains how the endocrine system operates, highlighting the importance of hormones in the regulation of water and salt in the body, how they affect reproduction and our appetites, and how they help us adjust to different environments, such as travel across time zones. In this fresh and modern treatment, Luck also touches on the ethical and moral issues surrounding research methods, testing on animals, and hormone misuse. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Complexity: A Very Short Introduction

Complexity: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: John H. Holland
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • ISBN: 0191639540
  • Category: Mathematics
  • Page: 152
  • View: 5816
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The importance of complexity is well-captured by Hawking's comment: "Complexity is the science of the 21st century". From the movement of flocks of birds to the Internet, environmental sustainability, and market regulation, the study and understanding of complex non-linear systems has become highly influential over the last 30 years. In this Very Short Introduction, one of the leading figures in the field, John Holland, introduces the key elements and conceptual framework of complexity. From complex physical systems such as fluid flow and the difficulties of predicting weather, to complex adaptive systems such as the highly diverse and interdependent ecosystems of rainforests, he combines simple, well-known examples — Adam Smith's pin factory, Darwin's comet orchid, and Simon's 'watchmaker' — with an account of the approaches, involving agents and urn models, taken by complexity theory. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Drugs: A Very Short Introduction

Drugs: A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Leslie Iversen
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • ISBN: 0191579467
  • Category: Medical
  • Page: 144
  • View: 6682
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The book gives a non-technical account of how drugs work in the body. The twentieth century saw a remarkable upsurge of research on drugs, with major advances in the treatment of bacterial and viral infections, heart disease, stomac ulcers, cancer, and metal illnesses. These, along with the introduction of the oral contraceptive, have altered all of our lives. There has also been an increase in the recreational use and abuse of drugs in the Western world. The book reviews both legal (alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine) and illegal drugs and disscusses current idea about why some are addictive, and whether drug laws need reform. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Blood

Blood

A Very Short Introduction

  • Author: Christopher Cooper
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0199581452
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 147
  • View: 5723
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Le rabat de la couverture indique : Blood is a vital fluid with a profound cultural and historical significance. Long considered the essence of life, blood pumps through our language and religion, and is a major diagnostic tool in the doctor's armoury. This Very Short Introduction explores early views of blood, our modern understanding of its nature and components, and future possibilities, such as artificial blood. Chris Cooper gets to the heart of this fascinating topic, covering the basic biology of blood, and the role of blood transfusions, blood tests, and the treatment of blood-borne diseases in modern medicine.