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Infection: The Uninvited Universe

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Infection: The Uninvited Universe Cover

ISBN13: 9780312348465
ISBN10: 0312348460
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

We use antibacterial soap to wash our hands. We swab our doorknobs and phones with antibacterial wipes. We pop antibiotics at the first sign of disease — all because of our fear of infection. But we are all infected. From before birth until after death, infection is what makes us human. Veteran immunologist, essayist, award-winning scientist, and author Gerald N. Callahan explores our infectious world to reveal incredible discoveries in the study and treatment of infectious diseases:
  • Infection plays a significant role in many chronic ailments, including schizophrenia, gastric ulcers, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Physicians are successfully treating gastrointestinal and other human diseases by infecting their patients with parasitic worms.
  • Antibiotic overuse and a false sense of security have led to the resurgence of several diseases we thought were conquered and have created new threats.
Infection is an informative look at the microorganisms that ensure our health and sometimes take it from us. For better or worse, infection shapes our lives.

Review:

"[H]uman-interest stories and vivid accounts of historic events enliven his text." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Callahan writes of an at-times unpleasant topic in clear, reader-friendly language." Booklist

Synopsis:

Gerald Callahan, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Immunology and the Public Understanding of Science with appointments in the departments of Pathology and of English at Colorado State Universitythe first person at the university to hold such a joint appointment. He is the author of over fifty academic articles and two books (River Odyssey, an essay collection about exploring Colorado, and Faith, Madnessand Spontaneous Human Combustion, an essay collection about the immune system). He has also published numerous poems and essays in reviews around the country and has appeared on National Geographic television and ABC national news. He has won awards for his scientific and literary writing and teaching. He lives in Fort Collins with his wife and three dogs.
We use antibacterial soap to wash our hands. We swab our doorknobs and phones with antibacterial wipes. We pop antibiotics at the first sign of diseaseall because of our fear of infection. But we are all infected. From before birth until after death, infection is what makes us human. Veteran immunologist, essayist, award-winning scientist, and author Gerald N. Callahan explores our infectious world to reveal incredible discoveries in the study and treatment of infectious diseases:
 
Infection plays a significant role in many chronic ailments, including schizophrenia, gastric ulcers, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
 
Physicians are successfully treating gastrointestinal and other human diseases by infecting their patients with parasitic worms.
 
Antibiotic overuse and a false sense of security have led to the resurgence of several diseases we thought were conquered and have created new threats.
 
Infection is an informative look at the microorganisms that ensure our health and sometimes take it from us. For better or worse, infection shapes our lives.
"The good, the bad and the ugly in the world of infection, introducing the microorganisms that are essential to life, those that complicate it and those with the potential to destroy it. Callahan praises the beneficial germs that inhabit us and surround us. To those bent on sterilizing their surroundings in the interest of healththanks to Pasteur, we have come to think of germs as the enemyhe offers some startling facts: Over 90 percent of the cells in our bodies are bacteria, and even that remaining ten percent contain bacteria. Having informed the reader of the key role played by bacteria in the evolution of mankind and in our continued well-being, he moves on to the darker side. When the balance between our host bodies and their resident microbes is disturbed, immunological diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, result. And while most bacteria are benign, there are rogues to contend with. Infectious diseases, which include anything caused by a bacterium, a parasite, a fungus, a virus or a prion, are the leading cause of death in developing countries, and the leading cause of illness in developed countries. While antibiotics were once thought to have conquered infectious diseases, Callahan reminds the reader of the havoc still created by respiratory infections, diarrhea, tuberculosis, malaria and measles, and he notes the emergence of AIDS, SARS, mad-cow disease and the West Nile virus. Of the coming pandemic of influenza, he says, 'We are standing in the path of a firestorm we can do nothing about, not even imagine.' In the author's view, it is not a question of if, but of when. Add to this the threat of bioterrorism utilizing anthrax, plague, ricin and whatever else genetic engineering concocts, and the story becomes dark indeed . . . [H]uman-interest stories and vivid accounts of historic events enliven his text."Kirkus Reviews
 
"Microbiologist-pathologist Callahan has compelling news. Only about 10 percent of the cells of a human body can be called human. The remainder are bacteria. This is a good thing, for without these bacteria, we would surely die. It is the vastly underrated microbiotic system that sustains and even enables life. Lacking a complete set of healthy bacteria allowing us to digest food and fend off illness, individual existence would be impossible. Largely responsible for strengthening the immune system, these good germs ought to be sought after and nourished, Callahan says. Pointing to a number of illnesses, from asthma to acute lymphoblastic lymphoma, that can be at least partially linked to a lack of exposure to certain bacterial infections, Callahan makes a case for lackadaisical housekeeping. Not so sloppy as to foster the germs that deliver infectious diseases such as malaria, AIDS, SARS, or influenza, however, any of which might deal the ultimate blow that cleanses the planet of humanity. Callahan writes of an at-times unpleasant topic in clear, reader-friendly language."Booklist

About the Author

Callahan grew up near Salt Lake City, Utah

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Catherine McBride-Stern, January 4, 2011 (view all comments by Catherine McBride-Stern)
Infection is an essential part of our biology, some of which we cannot live without, others that will kill us. Knowing the difference is the challenge. From the good microorganisms to the bad, "Infection: The Uninvited Universe" brings it to us in a page turning tale that will astound you and at times make you cringe. Remember the 3 second rule when dropping food on the ground? Truth: there is no 3 second rule. This is a fascinating read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
peter in port, May 29, 2007 (view all comments by peter in port)
You will never look at the world, or yourself, or your loved ones, quite the same, after reading this book. Instead of thinking of germs and viruses as things which occasionally invade us when we are sick, Gerald N. Callahan's Infection, the Uninvited Universe, explains how the evolution of every living thing on earth is intertwined with the evolution of bacteria, germs, prions, virues, retroviruses, and how this co-existence has impacts in unexpected ways, such as causing or contributing to behavior, our sanity, or lack thereof. Truly fascinating reading, well written and easy for laymen to understand, but not dumbed down science.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(9 of 14 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780312348465
Subtitle:
The Uninvited Universe
Author:
Callahan, Gerald N.
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Subject:
General
Subject:
Infectious Diseases
Subject:
Infection
Subject:
Bacteriology
Subject:
Life Sciences - Bacteriology
Subject:
General science
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20061128
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 x 1.06 in

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » History of Medicine

Infection: The Uninvited Universe Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$13.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages St. Martin's Press - English 9780312348465 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[H]uman-interest stories and vivid accounts of historic events enliven his text."
"Review" by , "Callahan writes of an at-times unpleasant topic in clear, reader-friendly language."
"Synopsis" by ,
Gerald Callahan, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Immunology and the Public Understanding of Science with appointments in the departments of Pathology and of English at Colorado State Universitythe first person at the university to hold such a joint appointment. He is the author of over fifty academic articles and two books (River Odyssey, an essay collection about exploring Colorado, and Faith, Madnessand Spontaneous Human Combustion, an essay collection about the immune system). He has also published numerous poems and essays in reviews around the country and has appeared on National Geographic television and ABC national news. He has won awards for his scientific and literary writing and teaching. He lives in Fort Collins with his wife and three dogs.
We use antibacterial soap to wash our hands. We swab our doorknobs and phones with antibacterial wipes. We pop antibiotics at the first sign of diseaseall because of our fear of infection. But we are all infected. From before birth until after death, infection is what makes us human. Veteran immunologist, essayist, award-winning scientist, and author Gerald N. Callahan explores our infectious world to reveal incredible discoveries in the study and treatment of infectious diseases:
 
Infection plays a significant role in many chronic ailments, including schizophrenia, gastric ulcers, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
 
Physicians are successfully treating gastrointestinal and other human diseases by infecting their patients with parasitic worms.
 
Antibiotic overuse and a false sense of security have led to the resurgence of several diseases we thought were conquered and have created new threats.
 
Infection is an informative look at the microorganisms that ensure our health and sometimes take it from us. For better or worse, infection shapes our lives.
"The good, the bad and the ugly in the world of infection, introducing the microorganisms that are essential to life, those that complicate it and those with the potential to destroy it. Callahan praises the beneficial germs that inhabit us and surround us. To those bent on sterilizing their surroundings in the interest of healththanks to Pasteur, we have come to think of germs as the enemyhe offers some startling facts: Over 90 percent of the cells in our bodies are bacteria, and even that remaining ten percent contain bacteria. Having informed the reader of the key role played by bacteria in the evolution of mankind and in our continued well-being, he moves on to the darker side. When the balance between our host bodies and their resident microbes is disturbed, immunological diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, result. And while most bacteria are benign, there are rogues to contend with. Infectious diseases, which include anything caused by a bacterium, a parasite, a fungus, a virus or a prion, are the leading cause of death in developing countries, and the leading cause of illness in developed countries. While antibiotics were once thought to have conquered infectious diseases, Callahan reminds the reader of the havoc still created by respiratory infections, diarrhea, tuberculosis, malaria and measles, and he notes the emergence of AIDS, SARS, mad-cow disease and the West Nile virus. Of the coming pandemic of influenza, he says, 'We are standing in the path of a firestorm we can do nothing about, not even imagine.' In the author's view, it is not a question of if, but of when. Add to this the threat of bioterrorism utilizing anthrax, plague, ricin and whatever else genetic engineering concocts, and the story becomes dark indeed . . . [H]uman-interest stories and vivid accounts of historic events enliven his text."Kirkus Reviews
 
"Microbiologist-pathologist Callahan has compelling news. Only about 10 percent of the cells of a human body can be called human. The remainder are bacteria. This is a good thing, for without these bacteria, we would surely die. It is the vastly underrated microbiotic system that sustains and even enables life. Lacking a complete set of healthy bacteria allowing us to digest food and fend off illness, individual existence would be impossible. Largely responsible for strengthening the immune system, these good germs ought to be sought after and nourished, Callahan says. Pointing to a number of illnesses, from asthma to acute lymphoblastic lymphoma, that can be at least partially linked to a lack of exposure to certain bacterial infections, Callahan makes a case for lackadaisical housekeeping. Not so sloppy as to foster the germs that deliver infectious diseases such as malaria, AIDS, SARS, or influenza, however, any of which might deal the ultimate blow that cleanses the planet of humanity. Callahan writes of an at-times unpleasant topic in clear, reader-friendly language."Booklist
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