By Michael B. A. Oldstone
The tale of viruses and humanity is a narrative of worry and lack of know-how, of grief and heartbreak, and of significant bravery and sacrifice. Michael Oldstone tells some of these tales as he illuminates the heritage of the devastating ailments that experience tormented humanity, focusing totally on the main recognized viruses.
Oldstone starts off with smallpox, polio, and measles. approximately three hundred million humans have been killed by means of smallpox during this century by myself and the writer offers a shiny account of the lengthy crusade to eliminate this deadly killer. Oldstone then describes the interesting viruses that experience captured headlines in additional contemporary years: Ebola, Hantavirus, mad cow ailment (a scary ailment made worse via executive mishandling and secrecy), and, after all, AIDS. And he tells us of the various scientists observing and ready even now for the following nice plague, tracking influenza lines to work out no matter if the lethal version from 1918--a viral pressure that killed over 20 million humans in 1918-1919--will make a comeback. For this revised variation, Oldstone contains discussions of recent viruses like SARS, fowl flu, virally brought on cancers, power losing illness, and West Nile, and entirely updates the unique textual content with new findings on specific viruses.
Viruses, Plagues, and History paints a sweeping portrait of humanity's long-standing clash with our unseen viral enemies. Oldstone's ebook is a shiny background of a desirable box, and a hugely trustworthy dispatch from an eminent researcher at the entrance line of this ongoing crusade.
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Extra info for Viruses, Plagues, and History: Past, Present and Future
The CD4 molecule is also present, but less plentiful, on monocyte/macrophages (macrophages are infection fighting cells, an activated form of monocytes) in the blood and in certain tissues of the body. The CD4 molecule along with certain chemokine (cell-attracting) molecules is the receptor for HIV. Because the CD4 receptor appears on relatively few cell types that HIV can infect, these viruses attack only limited sites in the body (2,3). In contrast, a molecule called CD46, one of the cell receptors for measles virus (the other is SLAM), appears on many types of cells (4–7).
The situation may have been very different had the natives not been susceptible to the diseases carried by the Spanish. Viruses interfered so that Canada and the United States never united into a single country. Further, the virus-promoted Louisiana Purchase provided an opportunity for the United States to enhance its size by unprecedented western expansion, without precipitating a potential geopolitical conflict with France. The aftermath of virus infection uprooted native cultures and peoples of South, Central, and Latin America and replaced them with a European culture, where Christianity flourished.
By the first, the virus or its proteins are directly toxic to a cell. In this instance, the virus kills its host cell. With some viruses this process serves to release viral particles from the inside of a cell to the outside environment. Alternatively, a second mechanism enables a virus to avoid killing the cell but instead to alter its function. By this means, the synthesis of an important product made by a cell is turned down or turned up. For example, a nonlethal virus infection of cells that make growth hormone can diminish the amount of this hormone made by the infected host cell.