Infectious Disease

Author: Marta Wayne
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780199688937
Release Date: 2015-06-03
Genre: Medical

As doctors and biologists have learned, to their dismay, infectious disease is a moving target: new diseases emerge every year, old diseases evolve into new forms, and ecological and socioeconomic upheavals change the transmission pathways by which disease spread. By taking an approach focused on the general evolutionary and ecological dynamics of disease, this Very Short Introduction provides a general conceptual framework for thinking about disease. Ecology and evolution provide the keys to answering the "where", "why", "how", and "what" questions about any particular infectious disease: where did it come from? How is it transmitted from one person to another, and why are some individuals more susceptible than others? What biochemical, ecological, and evolutionary strategies can be used to combat the disease? Is it more effective to block transmission at the population level, or to block infection at the individual level? Through a series of case studies, Benjamin Bolker and Marta L. Wayne introduce the major ideas of infectious disease in a clear and thoughtful way, emphasizing the general principles of infection, the management of outbreaks, and the evolutionary and ecological approaches that are now central to much research about infectious disease. 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.

Viruses A Very Short Introduction

Author: Dorothy H. Crawford
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780192539724
Release Date: 2018-03-22
Genre: Medical

Viruses are big news. From pandemics such as HIV, to 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. In this fully updated edition, Crawford recounts stories of renowned killer viruses such as the recent Ebola and Zika epidemics, as well as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, and considers the importance of air travel in facilitating the international spread of viruses in the twenty first century. Discussing the impact of global warming, which is increasing the range of vector-transmitted viruses such as dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile virus, she also considers the effect this will have on native populations in subtropical and temperate climates of the Americas, Australasia, and Europe. 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 and AIDS

Author: Alan Whiteside
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198727491
Release Date: 2016-11-24
Genre: Medical

In 2008 it was believed that HIV/AIDS was 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. Yet the outlook today is a little brighter. Although HIV/ AIDS continues to be a pressing public health issue the epidemic has stabilised globally, and it has become evident it is not, nor will it be, a global issue. The worst affected regions are southern and eastern Africa. Elsewhere, HIV is found in specific, usually, marginalised populations, for example intravenous drug users in Russia. Although there still remains no cure for HIV, there have been unprecedented breakthroughs in understanding the disease and developing drugs. Access to treatment over the last ten years has turned AIDS into a chronic disease, although it is still a challenge to make antiviral treatment available to all that require it. We also have new evidence that treatment greatly reduces infectivity, and this has led to the movement of 'Treatment as Prevention'. In this Very Short Introduction Alan Whiteside provides an introduction to AIDS, tackling the science, the international and local politics, the fascinating demographics, and the devastating consequences of the disease. He looks at the problems a developing international 'AIDS fatigue' poses to funding for sufferers, but also shows how domestic resources are increasingly being mobilised, despite the stabilisation of international funding. Finally Whiteside considers how the need to understand and change our behaviour has caused us to reassess what it means to be human and how we should operate in the globalizing world. 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

Author: Les Iversen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780191062964
Release Date: 2016-06-16
Genre: Medical

The twentieth century saw a remarkable upsurge of research on drugs, with major advances in the treatment of bacterial and viral infections, heart disease, stomach ulcers, cancer, and mental 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. This Very Short Introduction, in its second edition, gives a non-technical account of how drugs work in the body. Reviewing both legal (alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine) and illegal drugs, Les Iversen discusses 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.

The Immune System a Very Short Introduction

Author: Paul Klenerman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198753902
Release Date: 2017-10-26
Genre: Medical

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.

Public Health A Very Short Introduction

Author: Virginia Berridge
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780191002144
Release Date: 2017-04-06
Genre: Medical

Public health is a term much used in the media, by health professionals, and by activists. At the national or the local level there are ministries or departments of public health, whilst international agencies such as the World Health Organisation promote public health policies, and regional organisations such as the European Union have public health funding and policies. But what do we mean when we speak about 'public health'? In this Very Short Introduction Virginia Berridge explores the areas which fall under the remit of public health, and explains how the individual histories of different countries have come to cause great differences in the perception of the role and responsibilities of public health organisations. Thus, in the United States litigation on public health issues is common, but state involvement is less, while some Scandinavian countries have a tradition of state involvement or even state ownership of industries such as alcohol in connection with public health. In its narrowest sense, public health can refer to the health of a population, the longevity of individual members, and their freedom from disease, but it can also be anticipatory, geared to the prevention of illness, rather than simply the provision of care and treatment. In the way public health deals with healthy as well as sick people it is therefore a separate concept from health services, which deal with the sick population. Drawing on a wide range of international examples, Berridge demonstrates the central role of history to understanding the amorphous nature of public health today. 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.

Plague A Very Short Introduction

Author: Paul Slack
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199589548
Release Date: 2012-03-22
Genre: History

In this very short introduction, Paul Slack explores the historical and cultural impact of plague over the centuries. He examines not only its identity, causes, and effects, but also how it changed the lives of those who suffered from it, and the important impact it had on our notions of public health

Viruses

Author: Natalie Goldstein
Publisher: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc
ISBN: 9781477788578
Release Date: 2016-07-15
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction

The simplest living organisms on Earth, viruses are endlessly studied and yet remain a great mystery. They are the cause of many human and animal illnesses, from the numerous and common cold and flu viruses that plague us for a few days or weeks, to more insidious but treatable viral infections, such as HPV, to the most feared killer viruses, such as HIV and Ebola. In this book, readers explore the mechanics of how infections occur and what kinds of diseases arise from what types of viruses. They delve into the modern landscape of prevention and cure, including how vaccines work.

Bacteria A Very Short Introduction

Author: Sebastian G.B. Amyes
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780199578764
Release Date: 2013-05-30
Genre: Science

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.

Pandemics

Author: Christian W. McMillen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199340071
Release Date: 2016-12-01
Genre:

The 2014 Ebola epidemic demonstrated the power of pandemics and their ability not only to destroy lives locally but also to capture the imagination and terrify the world. Christian W. McMillen provides a concise yet comprehensive account of pandemics throughout human history, illustrating how pandemic disease has shaped history and, at the same time, social behavior has influenced pandemic disease. Extremely interesting from a medical standpoint, the study of pandemics also provides unexpected, broader insights into culture and politics. This Very Short Introduction describes history's major pandemics - plague, tuberculosis, malaria, smallpox, cholera, influenza, and HIV/AIDS - highlighting how each disease's biological characteristics affected its pandemic development. McMillen discusses state responses to pandemics, such as quarantine, isolation, travel restrictions, and other forms of social control, and pays special attention to the rise of public health and the explosion of medical research in the wake of pandemics, especially as the germ theory of disease emerged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Today, medicine is able to control all of these diseases, yet some of them are still devastating in much of the developing world. By assessing the relationship between poverty and disease and the geography of epidemics, McMillen offers an outspoken and thought-provoking point of view on the necessity for global governments to learn from past experiences and proactively cooperate to prevent any future epidemic.

Cancer A Very Short Introduction

Author: Nick James
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199560233
Release Date: 2011-05-26
Genre: Health & Fitness

In 1961 John F. Kennedy pledged to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Ten years later, Richard Nixon echoed this pledge by declaring a 'war' on cancer. More than 30 years later, however, cancer remains one of the largest causes of death worldwide, with around 1 in 3 developing the disease.

The History of Medicine A Very Short Introduction

Author: William Bynum
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191607554
Release Date: 2008-07-31
Genre: Medical

Against the backdrop of unprecedented concern for the future of health care, this Very Short Introduction surveys the history of medicine from classical times to the present. Focussing on the key turning points in the history of Western medicine, such as the advent of hospitals and the rise of experimental medicine, Bill Bynum offers insights into medicine's past, while at the same time engaging with contemporary issues, discoveries, and controversies. 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.

Molecular Biology A Very Short Introduction

Author: Aysha Divan
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198723882
Release Date: 2016-08-25
Genre: Science

Molecular Biology is the story of the molecules of life, their relationships, and how these interactions are controlled. It is an expanding field in life sciences, and its applications are wide and growing. We can now harness the power of molecular biology to treat diseases, solve crimes, map human history, and produce genetically modified organisms and crops, and these applications have sparked a multitude of fascinating legal and ethical debates. In this Very Short Introduction, Aysha Divan and Janice Royds examine the history, present, and future of Molecular Biology. Starting with the building blocks established by Darwin, Wallace and Mendel, and the discovery of the structure of DNA in 1953, they consider the wide range of applications for Molecular Biology today, including the development of new drugs, and forensic science. They also look forward to two key areas of evolving research such as personalised medicine and synthetic biology. 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.

Microbiology

Author: Nicholas P. Money
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780199681686
Release Date: 2014
Genre: Science

Describes the expansions of microbiology; it's methods, from traditional microscopy and laboratory culture to the latest genomic analysis.

Blood

Author: Christopher Cooper
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199581450
Release Date: 2016-09-15
Genre: Science

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.