Germs, Genes, and Civilization How Epidemics Shaped Who We Are Today

ISBN-10: 0137019963

ISBN-13: 9780137019960

Edition: 2010

Authors: David P. Clark
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Book details

List price: $32.95
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: Financial Times/Prentice Hall
Publication date: 7/7/2010
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 304
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.188
Language: English

Dr. Clark has taught courses in Molecular Biology and Bacterial Physiology and Biochemistry at Southern Illinois University since 1981. Research into the Regulation of Alcohol Fermentation in E. coli has been funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences from 1982 till present. Supervised 11 master's and 7 PhD students Published approximately 70 articles in scientific journals Previously published work includes "Molecular Biology Made Simple and Fun" coauthored with Lonnie Russell. (Cache River Press, Vienna, IL, First edition, 1997 and Second edition, 2000)

Preface
Introduction: our debt to disease
Epidemics select genetic alterations
Every cloud has a silver lining: our debt to disease
Crowding and culling
The message of this book
Where did our diseases come from?
Africa: homeland of mankind and malaria
Many human diseases originated in animals
Are new diseases virulent to start with?
Diseases from rodents
Leprosy is a relatively new disease
What goes around comes around
Transmission, overcrowding, and virulence
Virulence and the spread of disease
Infectious and noninfectious disease
Many diseases become milder with time
Development of genetic resistance to disease
Hunting and gathering
How do microorganisms become dangerous?
Water, sewers, and empires
Introduction: the importance of biology
Irrigation helps agriculture but spreads germs
The class system, water, and infection
The origin of diarrheal diseases
Cholera comes from the Indian subcontinent
Cholera and the water supply
The rise and fall of the Indus Valley civilization
Cities are vulnerable to waterborne diseases
Cholera, typhoid, and cystic fibrosis
How did disease affect the rise of Rome?
How much did malaria contribute to the fall of Rome?
Uncivilized humans and unidentified diseases
Bubonic plague makes an appearance
Meat and vegetables
Eating is hazardous to your health
Hygiene in the home
Cannibalism is hazardous to your health
Mad cow disease in England
The political response
Mad cow disease in humans
Fungal diseases and death in the countryside
Fungal diseases and cereal crops
Religious mania induced by fungi
Catastrophes caused by fungi
Human disease follows malnutrition
Coffee or tea?
Opportunistic fungal pathogens
Friend or enemy
Pestilence and warfare
Who kills more?
Spread of disease by the military
Is it better to besiege or to be besieged?
Disease promotes imperial expansion
Protozoa help keep Africa black
Is bigger really better?
Disease versus enemy action
Typhus, warrior germ of the temperate zone
Jails, workhouses, and concentration camps
Germ warfare
Psychology, cost, and convenience
Anthrax as a biological weapon
Amateurs with biological weapons are rarely effective
Which agents are used in germ warfare?
World War I and II
Germ warfare against rabbits
Germ warfare is unreliable
Genetic engineering of diseases
Venereal disease and sexual behavior
Venereal disease is embarrassing
Promiscuity, propaganda, and perception
The arrival of syphilis in Europe
Relation between venereal and skin infections
AIDS is an atypical venereal disease
Origin of AIDS among African apes and monkeys
Worldwide incidence and spread of AIDS
The Church, morality, and venereal infections
Moral and religious responses to AIDS
Public health and AIDS
Inherited resistance to AIDS
The ancient history of venereal disease
Religion and tradition: health below or heaven above?
Religion and health care
Belief and expectation
Roman religion and epidemics
Infectious disease and early religious practices
Worms and serpents
Sumerians, Egyptians, and ancient Greece
Hygiene and religious purity
Protecting the living from the dead
Diverting evil spirits into animals
Cheaper rituals for the poor
Vampires, werewolves, and garlic
Divine retribution versus individual justice
The rise of Christianity
Coptic Christianity and malaria
Messianic Taoism during the collapse of Han China
Buddhism and smallpox in first-millennium Japan
The European Middle Ages and the Black Death
The Great Plague of London
Loss of Christian faith in industrial Europe
Cleanliness is next to godliness
Manpower and slavery
Legacy of the last Ice Age
The New World before contact
Indigenous American infections
Lack of domesticated animals in America
The first epidemic in the Caribbean
Epidemics sweep the American mainland
The religious implications
Deliberate use of germ warfare
Slavery and African diseases
Exposure of islands to mainland diseases
Cholera and good intentions
The issue of biological isolation
Spotted fevers and rickettsias
The origins of typhus are uncertain
What about the Vikings?
Urbanization and democracy
Cities as population sinks
Viral diseases in the city
Bacterial diseases in the city
The Black Death
Climatic changes: the "Little Ice Age"
The Black Death frees labor in Europe
Death rates and freedom in Europe
The Black Death and religion
The White Plague: tuberculosis
The rise of modern hygiene
The collapse of the European empires
Resistant people?
How clean is too clean?
Where are we now?
Emerging diseases and the future
Pandemics and demographic collapse
The various types of emerging diseases
Changes in knowledge
Changes in the agent of disease
Changes in the human population
Changes in contact between victims and germs
The supposed re-emergence of tuberculosis
Diseases are constantly emerging
How dangerous are novel viruses?
Transmission of emerging viruses
Efficient transmission and genuine threats
The history and future of influenza
The great influenza epidemic of 1918���1919
Disease and the changing climate
Technology-borne diseases
Emergence of antibiotic resistance
Disease and the food supply
Overpopulation and microbial evolution
Predicting the future
Future emerging diseases
Gloom and doom or a happy ending?
Further reading
Index
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