Seven Modern Plagues

Author: Mark Jerome Walters
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 161091466X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Epidemiologists are braced for the big one: the strain of flu that rivals the pandemic of 1918-1919, which killed at least 20 million people worldwide. In recent years, we have experienced scares with a host of new influenza viruses: bird flu, swine flu, Spanish flu, Hong Kong flu, H5N1, and most recently, H5N7. While these diseases appear to emerge from thin air, in fact, human activity is driving them. And the problem is not just flu, but a series of rapidly evolving and dangerous modern plagues. According to veterinarian and journalist Mark Walters, we are contributing to—if not overtly causing—some of the scariest epidemics of our time. Through human stories and cutting-edge science, Walters explores the origins of seven diseases: mad cow disease, HIV/AIDS, Salmonella DT104, Lyme disease, hantavirus, West Nile, and new strains of flu. He shows that they originate from manipulation of the environment, from emitting carbon and clear-cutting forests to feeding naturally herbivorous cows “recycled animal protein.” Since Walters first drew attention to these “ecodemics” in 2003 with the publication of Six Modern Plagues, much has been learned about how they developed. In this new, fully updated edition, the author presents research that precisely pinpoints the origins of HIV, confirms the link between forest fragmentation and increased risk of Lyme disease, and expands knowledge of the ecology of West Nile virus. He also explores developments in emerging diseases, including a new chapter on flu, examining the first influenza pandemic since the Hong Kong flu of 1968; a new tick-borne infection in the Mid-West; a second novel bird flu in China; and yet a new SARS-like virus in the Middle East. Readers will not only learn how these diseases emerged but the conditions that make future pandemics more likely. This knowledge is critical in order to prevent the next modern plague.

Missing Microbes

Author: Martin J. Blaser, MD
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 0805098119
Format: PDF, Docs
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A critically important and startling look at the harmful effects of overusing antibiotics, from the field's leading expert Tracing one scientist's journey toward understanding the crucial importance of the microbiome, this revolutionary book will take readers to the forefront of trail-blazing research while revealing the damage that overuse of antibiotics is doing to our health: contributing to the rise of obesity, asthma, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer. In Missing Microbes, Dr. Martin Blaser invites us into the wilds of the human microbiome where for hundreds of thousands of years bacterial and human cells have existed in a peaceful symbiosis that is responsible for the health and equilibrium of our body. Now, this invisible eden is being irrevocably damaged by some of our most revered medical advances—antibiotics—threatening the extinction of our irreplaceable microbes with terrible health consequences. Taking us into both the lab and deep into the fields where these troubling effects can be witnessed firsthand, Blaser not only provides cutting edge evidence for the adverse effects of antibiotics, he tells us what we can do to avoid even more catastrophic health problems in the future.

The Seventh Plague

Author: James Rollins
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062381709
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In a breathtaking blend of scientific intrigue and historical mystery, #1 New York Times bestselling mastermind James Rollins reveals an ancient threat hidden within the pages of the Bible, one that threatens the modern world in The Seventh Plague. If the biblical plagues of Egypt truly happened—could they happen again—on a global scale? Two years after vanishing into the Sudanese desert, the leader of a British archeological expedition, Professor Harold McCabe, comes stumbling out of the sands, frantic and delirious, but he dies before he can tell his story. The mystery deepens when an autopsy uncovers a bizarre corruption: someone had begun to mummify the professor’s body—while he was still alive. His strange remains are returned to London for further study, when alarming news arrives from Egypt. The medical team who had performed the man’s autopsy has fallen ill with an unknown disease, one that is quickly spreading throughout Cairo. Fearing the worst, a colleague of the professor reaches out to a longtime friend: Painter Crowe, the director of Sigma Force. The call is urgent, for Professor McCabe had vanished into the desert while searching for proof of the ten plagues of Moses. As the pandemic grows, a disturbing question arises. Are those plagues starting again? Before Director Crowe can investigate, a mysterious group of assassins leaves behind a fiery wake of destruction and death, erasing all evidence. With the professor’s body incinerated, his home firebombed, Sigma Force must turn to the archaeologist’s only daughter, Jane McCabe, for help. While sifting through what’s left of her father’s work, she discovers a puzzling connection tying the current threat to a shocking historical mystery, one involving the travels of Mark Twain, the genius of Nikola Tesla, and the adventures of famous explorer Henry Morgan Stanley. To unravel a secret going back millennia, Director Crowe and Commander Grayson Pierce will be thrust to opposite sides of the globe. One will search for the truth, traveling from the plague-ridden streets of Cairo to a vast ancient tomb buried under the burning sands of the Sudan; the other will struggle to stop a mad genius locked within a remote Arctic engineering complex, risking the lives of all those he holds dear. As the global crisis grows ever larger, Sigma Force will confront a threat born of the ancient past and made real by the latest science—a danger that will unleash a cascading series of plagues, culminating in a scourge that could kill all of the world’s children . . . decimating humankind forever.

Lyme

Author: Mary Beth Pfeiffer
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1610918444
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Lyme disease is spreading rapidly around the globe as ticks move into places they could not survive before. Mary Beth Pfeiffer argues it is the first epidemic to emerge in the era of climate change, infecting millions around the globe. She tells the heart-rending stories of its victims, families whose lives have been destroyed by a single, often unseen, tick bite. Pfeiffer also warns of the emergence of other tick-borne illnesses that make Lyme more difficult to treat and pose their own grave risks. Lyme is an impeccably researched account of an enigmatic disease, making a powerful case for action to fight ticks, heal patients, and recognize humanity's role in a modern scourge.

Revelation

Author: Will Self
Publisher: Canongate Books
ISBN: 0857861018
Format: PDF
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The final book of the Bible, Revelation prophesies the ultimate judgement of mankind in a series of allegorical visions, grisly images and numerological predictions. According to these, empires will fall, the "Beast" will be destroyed and Christ will rule a new Jerusalem. With an introduction by Will Self.

Sustaining Life

Author: Eric Chivian
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195175093
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Examines the relationship between the animals, plants, and insects on land and in the water and how they have provided health benefits to society.

Infections and Inequalities

Author: Paul Farmer
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520229136
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Argues that illnesses such as AIDS and drug-resistant tuberculosis, malaria, and typhoid target poor communities.

The Book of Revelation and the Work of the Priest

Author: Rudolf Steiner
Publisher: Rudolf Steiner Press
ISBN: 1855840529
Format: PDF, Docs
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Lectures to 57 priests in Dornach Sept 5-22, 1924 (CW 346)John's Book of Revelation, the Apocalypse, has been subjected to countless theological and academic interpretations over the years, usually based on theories and abstract speculations. Rudolf Steiner, however, discussed the Book of Revelation through direct experience and knowledge of the spiritual truths contained in John's mysterious imagery. Rudolf Steiner had already presented his insights on the Apocalypse to various audiences, but in 1924 he presented a completely new perspective. This time, his comments were in response to requests from priests of The Christian Community, the movement for religious renewal, which itself had taken form on the basis of Steiner's insights. This book will be of value to anyone who would like a fresh perspective on the most enigmatic book of the New Testament. Includes eight color plates of blackboard drawings. Read Bobby Matherne's review of this book

Seeking the Sacred Raven

Author: Mark Jerome Walters
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1610911075
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Will the 'Alala ever return to the wild? A bird sacred to Hawaiians and a member of the raven family, the 'Alala today survives only in captivity. How the species once flourished, how it has been driven to near-extinction, and how people struggled to save it, is the gripping story of Seeking the Sacred Raven. For years, author Mark Jerome Walters has tracked the sacred bird's role in Hawaiian culture and the indomitable 'Alala's sad decline. Trekking through Hawaii's rain forests high on Mauna Loa, talking with biologists, landowners, and government officials, he has woven an epic tale of missed opportunities and the best intentions gone awry. A species that once numbered in the thousands is now limited to about 50 captive birds. Seeking the Sacred Raven is as much about people and culture as it is about failed policies. From the ancient Polynesians who first settled the island, to Captain Cook in the 18th century, to would-be saviors of the 'Alala in the 1990s, individuals with conflicting passions and priorities have shaped Hawaii and the fate of this dwindling cloud-forest species. Walters captures brilliantly the internecine politics among private landowners, scientists, environmental groups, individuals and government agencies battling over the bird's habitat and protection. It's only one species, only one bird, but Seeking the Sacred Raven illustrates vividly the many dimensions of species loss, for the human as well as non-human world.

Viruses Plagues and History

Author: Michael B. A. Oldstone M.D.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199754845
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The story of viruses and humanity is a story of fear and ignorance, of grief and heartbreak, and of great bravery and sacrifice. Michael Oldstone tells all these stories as he illuminates the history of the devastating diseases that have tormented humanity, focusing mostly on the most famous viruses. Oldstone begins with smallpox, polio, and measles. Nearly 300 million people were killed by smallpox in this century alone and the author presents a vivid account of the long campaign to eradicate this lethal killer. Oldstone then describes the fascinating viruses that have captured headlines in more recent years: Ebola, Hantavirus, mad cow disease (a frightening illness made worse by government mishandling and secrecy), and, of course, AIDS. And he tells us of the many scientists watching and waiting even now for the next great plague, monitoring influenza strains to see whether the deadly variant from 1918--a viral strain that killed over 20 million people in 1918-1919--will make a comeback. For this revised edition, Oldstone includes discussions of new viruses like SARS, bird flu, virally caused cancers, chronic wasting disease, and West Nile, and fully updates the original text with new findings on particular viruses. Viruses, Plagues, and History paints a sweeping portrait of humanity's long-standing conflict with our unseen viral enemies. Oldstone's book is a vivid history of a fascinating field, and a highly reliable dispatch from an eminent researcher on the front line of this ongoing campaign.