In Defense of Self: How the Immune System Really Works (Google eBook)

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Oxford University Press, Jan 4, 2008 - Science - 280 pages
3 Reviews
We live in a sea of seething microbial predators, an infinity of invisible and invasive microorganisms capable of setting up shop inside us and sending us to an early grave. The only thing keeping them out? The immune system. William Clark's In Defense of Self offers a refreshingly accessible tour of the immune system, putting in layman's terms essential information that has been for too long the exclusive province of trained specialists. Clark explains how the immune system works by using powerful genetic, chemical, and cellular weapons to protect us from the vast majority of disease-causing microbes-bacteria, viruses, molds, and parasites. Only those microbes our bodies need to help us digest food and process vitamins are admitted. But this same system can endanger us by rejecting potentially life-saving organ transplants, or by overreacting and turning too much force against foreign invaders, causing serious--occasionally lethal--collateral damage to our tissues and resulting in autoimmune disease. In Defense of Self covers everything from how antibodies work and the strategies the body uses to distinguish self from not self to the nature of immunological memory, the latest approaches to vaccination, and how the immune system will react should we ever be subjected to a bioterrorist attack. Clark also offers important insights on the vital role that the immune system plays in cancer, AIDS, autoimmunity, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies and asthma, and other diseases. Of special interest to all those suffering from diseases related to the immune system, as well as their families, In Defense of Self lucidly explains a system none of us could live without.

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Review: In Defense of Self: How the Immune System Really Works

User Review  - Dev Bhatt - Goodreads

Great book for those without a medical background who are interested in what makes our defenses tick Read full review

Review: In Defense of Self: How the Immune System Really Works

User Review  - Xin - Goodreads

A very good book about how the immune system works. The language is easy to understand, and its coverage of the relevant topics is very comprehensive. Read full review


The Immune System in Health and Disease

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About the author (2008)

Dr. William Clark is Professor and Chair Emeritus of Immunology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is an internationally recognized authority on the killer T lymphocytes involved in organ transplant rejection and in viral immunity. He has written extensively on topics in science and medicine for the general public.

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