Missing Microbes

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Oneworld Publications, Feb 6, 2014 - Science - 288 pages
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A clarion call to save humanity’s most essential fellow creatures – and our health Far beneath our skin exists an unfathomable, ancient universe – an internal ecosystem that is critical to our health. Dr Martin Blaser invites us into the wilds of the human ‘microbiome’, unfurling its inner workings and evolution. For thousands of years, bacteria and human cells have co-existed in a relationship that has ensured the health and equilibrium of our body. But now, much like the natural world outside of us, our internal environment is being irrevocably destroyed. The culprit: some of our most revered medical advances – antibiotics – which appear to be linked to the epidemics of asthma, eczema, obesity, certain forms of cancer, and other diseases plaguing modern society. In a book that stands as the Silent Spring of its day, Blaser sounds a provocative alarm that we ignore at our peril.
 

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Contents

4
12
6
13
Contents Modern Plagues Our Microbial Planet
15
The Human Microbiome
22
The Rise of Pathogens
40
The Wonder Drugs
50
The Overuse of Antibiotics
64
The Modern Farmer
79
16
199
1
203
Heartburn
241
Trouble Breathing
242
Taller and Fatter
244
Modern Plagues Revisited
248
Antibiotic Winter
252
Solutions
253

Mother and Child
87
A Forgotten World
104
10
114
11
130
12
144
13
152
14
165
15
185
Epilogue Notes
256
Acknowledgements
257
Index
261
152
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218
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264
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Martin J. Blaser MD has studied the role of bacteria in human disease for more than thirty years. He is the director of the Human Microbiome Program at New York University, served as the chair of medicine at NYU and as the president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and has had major advisory roles at the U.S. National Institutes of Health. He cofounded the Bellevue Literary Review and his work has been written about in publications that include The New Yorker, Nature, The New York Times, The Economist, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. His more than one hundred media appearances include the BBC, CNN, NPR, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and The O’Reilly Factor. He lives in New York City.

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