Weight: 420 g
Whether it's asthma, diabetes, Crohn's disease, food or pollen allergies, everyone knows someone who suffers from an autoimmune or allergic disorder.
These days no fewer than one in five Americans suffers from one of these ailments. We seem newly, and bafflingly, vulnerable to immune system malfunction. Why? Science writer Moises Velasquez-Manoff explores the latest thinking on these problems and explores the remarkable new treatments in the works.
Over the past 150 years, improved sanitation, water treatment, and the advent of vaccines and antibiotics saved countless lives, nearly eradicating diseases that had plagued humanity for millennia. But now, evidence suggests that the very steps we took to combat infections also eliminated organisms that kept our bodies in balance. To address this “epidemic of absence,” scientists must restore the human ecosystem.
This book explores the promising but controversial “worm therapy” deliberate infection with parasitic worms in development to treat autoimmune disease. It explains why farmers' children so rarely get hay fever; why allergy is less prevalent in former Eastern Bloc countries; and how one cancer causing bacterium may be good for us.
It probes the link between autism and a dysfunctional immune system. Velasquez-Manoff offers an eye opening portrait of the human organism, one that recognizes our intimate connection with bacteria, viruses, and parasites. You'll never think of your own body the same way again.
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