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Part of Darwin College Lectures

Jonathan L. Heeney, Christopher Dobson, Mary Dobson, Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Angela McLean, Stephen J. O'Brien, Ian Morris, Mikko Hypponen, Stephen Emmott, Rowan Williams
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  • Date Published: February 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316644768
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About the Authors
  • Plagues have inflicted misery and suffering throughout history. They can be traced through generations in our genes, with echoes in religion and literature. Featuring essays arising from the 2014 Darwin College Lectures, this book examines the spectrum of tragic consequences of different types of plagues, from infectious diseases to over-population and computer viruses. The essays analyse the impact that plagues have had on humanity and animals, and their threat to the very survival of the world as we know it. On the theme of plagues, each essay takes a unique perspective, ranging from the impact of plagues on history, medicine, the evolution of species, and biblical metaphors, to their impact on national economies, and even our highly connected digital lifestyles. This engaging and timely collection challenges our understanding of plagues, and asks if plagues are the manifestation of nature's checks and balances in light of human population growth and our impact on climate change.

    • A stimulating collection of essays written by a distinguished group of scholars with a diverse approach to their theme
    • Provides a multidisciplinary examination of the effects of plagues, from early history to current medicine and the future
    • Analyses different types of plagues, from infectious diseases to over-population and computer viruses
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    Customer reviews

    06th Feb 2017 by RosalindEnglish

    An instantly readable and compelling account of pathogens and their sometimes devastating effect on society. This collection of essays by experts provides both a broad historical perspective and fascinating detail on the subject, such as the accidental discovery of vaccination and the rapid spread of modern infections such as ebola. The import of this book is clear: plague is a continuing threat, and will never be outpaced by medical ingenuity. Infection radiated by global travel and nourished by antibacterial resistance may prove to be humanity's ultimate nemesis.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316644768
    • length: 248 pages
    • dimensions: 248 x 174 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • contains: 51 colour illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Ebola, the plague of 2014/15 Jonathan L. Heeney
    2. Plagues and history: from the Black Death to Alzheimer's disease Christopher Dobson and Mary Dobson
    3. Plagues and medicine Sir Leszek Borysiewicz
    4. The nature of plagues 2013–14: a year of living dangerously Angela McLean
    5. Plagues, populations, and survival Stephen J. O'Brien
    6. Plagues and socioeconomic collapse Ian Morris
    7. Silicon plagues Mikko Hypponen
    8. The human plague Stephen Emmott
    9. Plague as metaphor Rowan Williams.

  • Editors

    Jonathan L. Heeney, University of Cambridge
    Jonathan L. Heeney studied veterinary medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, where he further specialised, receiving a doctorate in pathology. He earned his PhD in viral immunopathology at the National Institutes of Health, Maryland, and subsequently was a Fellow in molecular and comparative pathology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, California. In the 1990s he established the Laboratory of Viral Pathogenesis in the Netherlands, where he studied viral infections of immunocompromised hosts and pioneered a number of candidate vaccines for the prevention of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C, amongst others. He established an international series of meetings and think tanks focussed on vaccine design based on immune correlates. In 2007 he was elected Professor of Comparative Pathology at the University of Cambridge, where he established the Laboratory of Viral Zoonotics, a laboratory dedicated to the study of viral diseases transmitted from animals to humans. He has published widely on globally important human diseases, from AIDS to Ebola, and their zoonotic origins in animals.

    Sven Friedemann, University of Bristol
    Sven Friedemann is a former Schlumberger Fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge and a research fellow at the University of Cambridge on a Feodor-Lynen fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He is currently a lecturer in the School of Physics at the University of Bristol.


    Jonathan L. Heeney, Christopher Dobson, Mary Dobson, Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Angela McLean, Stephen J. O'Brien, Ian Morris, Mikko Hypponen, Stephen Emmott, Rowan Williams

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