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Deadly Companions: How Microbes Shaped Our History (edition 2007)
Deadly Companions: How Microbes Shaped Our History by Dorothy H. Crawford
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0199561443, Paperback)Combining tales of devastating epidemics with accessible science and fascinating history, Deadly Companions reveals how closely microbes have evolved with us over the millennia, shaping human civilization through infection, disease, and deadly pandemic. Beginning with a dramatic account of the SARS pandemic at the start of the 21st century, Dorothy Crawford takes us back in time to follow the interlinked history of microbes and humanity, offering an up-to-date look at ancient plagues and epidemics, and identifying key changes in the way humans have lived--such as our move from hunter-gatherer to farmer to city-dweller--which made us ever more vulnerable to microbe attack. Showing that how we live our lives today--with increased crowding and air travel--puts us once again at risk, Crawford asks whether we might ever conquer microbes completely. Among the possible answers, one thing becomes clear: that for generations to come, our deadly companions will continue to influence our lives.
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(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:41 -0400)
"Beginning with a dramatic account of the SARS pandemic at the start of the 21st century, Crawford takes us back in time to follow the interlinked history of microbes and man, taking an up-to-date look at ancient plagues and epidemics and exploring how changes in the way humans have lived throughout history have made us vulnerable to microbe attack. As we moved from hunter-gatherers to farmers to city-dwellers, microbes like malaria and smallpox moved with us, changing and evolving to spread between us and cause disease with ever more efficiency. Trade and conquest brought new opportunities. With the power to decimate populations, the diseases spread by microbes shaped the course of human history in a way that few other factors could." "Today, despite decades of success fighting microbial disease, we find ourselves once again at risk. As modern culture, with its overcrowded cities, air travel, and widespread use of antibiotics, faces threats from new microbes such as bird flu, and virulent drug-resistant strains of familiar foes, Crawford points out that the idea of a world free of dangerous microbes is an illusion: we can use our understanding of their opportunistic behaviour to tame them, even to make them into allies in some cases, but their existence and evolution is intertwined with ours, and we will never fully shake off our deadly companions."--BOOK JACKET.
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