Viruses A Very Short Introduction

Author: Dorothy H. Crawford
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199574858
Release Date: 2011-07-28
Genre: Medical

Discusses the discovery of viruses, analyzes the threat of viral infections, and considers ways to prevent the emergence of new and devastating viruses.

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.

Marine Biology A Very Short Introduction

Author: Philip V. Mladenov
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199695058
Release Date: 2013-09-26
Genre: Science

In this Very Short Introduction, Philip Mladenov provides a fascinating overview of marine biology. Including a tour of marine life and marine processes that ranges from the polar oceans to tropical coral reefs, he outlines the principles of marine biology whilst demonstrating the fundamental impact humans have on the oceans and their ecology.

Networks A Very Short Introduction

Author: Guido Caldarelli
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199588077
Release Date: 2012-10-25
Genre: Computers

Networks are involved in many aspects of everyday life, from food webs in ecology and the spread of pandemics to social networking and public transport. This Very Short Introduction explores the basics of network theory to understand the science of complexity and its importance, using examples from nature, technology, and society, and history.

Microbiology A Very Short Introduction

Author: Nicholas P. Money
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191503917
Release Date: 2014-12-04
Genre: Science

In recent decades we have come to realize that the microbial world is hugely diverse, and can be found in the most extreme environments. Fungi, single-celled protists, bacteria, archaea, and the vast array of viruses and sub-viral particles far outnumber plants and animals. Microbes, we now know, play a critical role in ecosystems, in the chemistry of atmosphere and oceans, and within our bodies. The field of microbiology, armed with new techniques from molecular biology, is now one of the most vibrant in the life sciences. In this Very Short Introduction Nicholas P. Money explores not only the traditional methods of microscopy and laboratory culture but also the modern techniques of genetic detection and DNA sequencing, genomic analysis, and genetic manipulation. In turn he demonstrates how advances in microbiology have had a tremendous impact on the areas of medicine, agriculture, and biotechnology. 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

Author: Alan Whiteside OBE
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191578182
Release Date: 2008-01-24
Genre: Medical

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.

Drugs

Author: Les Iversen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198745792
Release Date: 2016-06-09
Genre:

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 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. 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 disscusses 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 Computer A Very Short Introduction

Author: Darrel Ince
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199586592
Release Date: 2011-11-24
Genre: Computers

Discusses the basic components of computers; how increasingly miniature parts have led to products, applications, and networks that solve problems; the issues that increased connectivity has produced; and some of the emerging technologies in the field.

Virus Hunt

Author: Dorothy H. Crawford
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191654121
Release Date: 2013-06-27
Genre: Medical

The hunt for the origin of the AIDS virus began over twenty years ago. It was a journey that went around the world and involved painstaking research to unravel how, when, and where the virus first infected humans. Dorothy H. Crawford traces the story back to the remote rain forests of Africa - home to the primates that carry the ancestral virus - and reveals how HIV-1 first jumped from chimpanzees to humans in rural south east Cameroon. Examining how this happened, and how it then travelled back to Colonial west central Africa where it eventually exploded as a pandemic, she asks why and how it was able to spread so widely. From hospital intensive care wards to research laboratories and the African rain forests, this is the wide-ranging story of a killer virus and a tale of scientific endeavour.

Epidemiology A Very Short Introduction

Author: Rodolfo Saracci
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191609244
Release Date: 2010-02-25
Genre: Medical

What is epidemiology? What are the causes of a new disease? How can pandemics be prevented? Epidemiology is the study of the changing patterns of disease and its main aim is to improve the health of populations. It's a vital field, central to the health of society, to the identification of causes of disease, and to their management and prevention. Epidemiology has had an impact on many areas of medicine; from discovering the relationship between tobacco smoking and lung cancer, to the origin and spread of new epidemics. However, it is often poorly understood, largely due to misrepresentations in the media. In this Very Short Introduction Rodolfo Saracci dispels some of the myths surrounding the study of epidemiology. He provides a general explanation of the principles behind clinical trials, and explains the nature of basic statistics concerning disease. He also looks at the ethical and political issues related to obtaining and using information concerning patients, and trials involving placebos. 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.

Genomics A Very Short Introduction

Author: John M. Archibald
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780191089480
Release Date: 2018-03-12
Genre: Science

Genomics has transformed the biological sciences. From epidemiology and medicine to evolution and forensics, the ability to determine an organism's complete genetic makeup has changed the way science is done and the questions that can be asked of it. Its most celebrated achievement was the Human Genome Project, a technologically challenging endeavor that took thousands of scientists around the world 13 years and over 3 billion US dollars to complete. In this Very Short Introduction John Archibald explores the science of genomics and its rapidly expanding toolbox. Sequencing a human genome now takes only a few days and costs as little as $1,000. The genomes of simple bacteria and viruses can be sequenced in a matter of hours on a device that fits in the palm of your hand. The resulting sequences can be used to better understand our biology in health and disease and to 'personalize' medicine. Archibald shows how the field of genomics is on the cusp of another quantum leap; the implications for science and society are profound. 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.

Astrobiology A Very Short Introduction

Author: David C. Catling
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191665257
Release Date: 2013-10-24
Genre: Science

Astrobiology is the study of the origin and development of life on this and other planets. What fascinates people about astrobiology is that it seeks answers to long-standing unsolved questions: How quickly did life evolve on Earth and why did life persist here? Is there life elsewhere in the Solar System or beyond? The research of astrobiology has become more crucial than ever in recent decades, as biologists have discovered microbes that live in ever more extreme settings, such as bubbling hot springs, in acid, or deep within rocks. Rooted in strong and rigorous research, astrobiology incorporates the work of microbiologists, geologists, and astronomers. In this Very Short Introduction, David C. Catling introduces the origins of astrobiology and demonstrates its impact on current astronomical research and potential future discoveries. 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 Viral Network

Author: Theresa MacPhail
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801454882
Release Date: 2015-03-03
Genre: Medical

In The Viral Network, Theresa MacPhail examines our collective fascination with and fear of viruses through the lens of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. In April 2009, a novel strain of H1N1 influenza virus resulting from a combination of bird, swine, and human flu viruses emerged in Veracruz, Mexico. The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) announced an official end to the pandemic in August 2010. Experts agree that the global death toll reached 284,500. The public health response to the pandemic was complicated by the simultaneous economic crisis and by the public scrutiny of official response in an atmosphere of widespread connectivity. MacPhail follows the H1N1 influenza virus’s trajectory through time and space in order to construct a three-dimensional picture of what happens when global public health comes down with a case of the flu. The Viral Network affords a rare look inside the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, as well as Hong Kong’s virology labs and Centre for Health Protection, during a pandemic. MacPhail looks at the day-to-day practices of virologists and epidemiologists to ask questions about the production of scientific knowledge, the construction of expertise, disease narratives, and the different "cultures" of public health in the United States, Europe, Hong Kong, and China. The chapters of the book move from the micro to the macro, from Hong Kong to Atlanta, from the lab to the WHO, from the pandemic past in 1918 to the future. The various historical, scientific, and cultural narratives about flu recounted in this book show how biological genes and cultural memes become interwoven in the stories we tell during a pandemic. Ultimately, MacPhail argues that the institution of global public health is as viral as the viruses it tracks, studies, and helps to contain or eradicate. The "global" is itself viral in nature.

Crystallography A Very Short Introduction

Author: A. M. Glazer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780191027123
Release Date: 2016-03-24
Genre: Science

Crystals have fascinated us for centuries with their beauty and symmetry, and have often been invested with magical powers. The use of X-ray diffraction, first pioneered in 1912 by father and son William and Lawrence Bragg, enabled us to probe the structure of molecules, and heralded the scientific study of crystals, leading to an understanding of their atomic arrangements at a fundamental level. The new discipline, called X-ray crystallography, has subsequently evolved into a formidable science that underpins many other scientific areas. Starting from the determination of the structures of very simple crystals, such as that of common salt, today it has become almost routine to determine the positions of tens of thousands of atoms in a crystal. In this Very Short Introduction Mike Glazer shows how the discoveries in crystallography have been applied to the creation of new and important materials, to drugs and pharmaceuticals and to our understanding of genetics, cell biology, proteins, and viruses. Tracing the history of crystallography, he analyses astonishing developments in new sources of X-rays, as well as of neutrons, and in electron microscopy, and considers the impact they have on the study of crystals 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.

Cancer Virus

Author: Dorothy H. Crawford
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191508684
Release Date: 2014-02-27
Genre: Medical

The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) was discovered in 1964. At the time, the very idea of a virus underlying a cancer was revolutionary. Cancer is, after all, not catching. Even now, the idea of a virus causing cancer surprises many people. But Epstein-Barr, named after its discoverers, Sir Anthony Epstein and Dr Yvonne Barr, is fascinating for other reasons too. Almost everyone carries it, yet it is only under certain circumstances that it produces disease. It has been associated with different, apparently unrelated, diseases in different populations: Burkitt's Lymphoma, producing tumours in the jaw, in African children; a nasal tumour in China; glandular fever in Europe and the USA; and the majority of cases of Hodgkin's Disease everywhere. This book tells the story of the discovery of the virus, and the recognition of its connection with these various diseases - an account that spans the world and involves some remarkable characters and individual stories.