- Paperback: 372 pages
- Publisher: Mariner Books; 1 edition (October 28, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0156027771
- ISBN-13: 978-0156027779
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 101 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Microbe Hunters 1st Edition
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The pages begin with "... microscopic critters can inflict upon humankind torments and agonies unsuspected, sufferings unheard of, pains and diseases yet unnamed..." all Nature is over-run and covered with a kind of leprosy."
A few centuries past history was made by Antony Leeuwenhoek who was born into a world of superstitions where Galileo was silenced for life when he proved that the earth rotated the sun. But Antony was a man of wonderment and an insatiable curiosity that would lead to the development of the world's first microscope. He was the first to observe "beasts" that annihilated entire animal and human species that were millions of times larger in size. These silent and invisible purveyors of contagions and panics could cover a major swath of predation without warning.
Microbe Hunters is a 350 page manuscript of twelve chapters where the names of countless chemists, scientists and observers punctuate the pages with too-many-to count individual disappointments but compensated with the once-in-a-decade alas "I found it" moment of ecstasy.
The science of microbe hunting was popularized by many diseases that were in need of cures and treatments during the nineteenth century when population densities expanded along with new railroads, greater economic opportunities, and new medical discoveries.
Human and animal diseases in need of attention during the times of Pasteur, Ehrlich, and Voltaire were pervasive.
The book has chapters and pages on nagana, Texas fever, cholera, rabies, smallpox, anthrax, shiga, malaria, diphtheria, tuberculosis, syphilis, and Malta fever.
Microbes emerged on planet earth perhaps three billion years past and their existence into perpetuity is no doubt assured. Their ability to mutate and adapt to rapid changes presents contrasts to human and animal adaptations that are generational; medical and scientific discoveries have accelerated humanity's Providence but advancing anti-biotic resistant germs may temper future progress.
As my granddaughters reached their teens I bought copies of the book for them. At first there was not much interest but now one of them works at University Hospital in Madison, WI; a second will enter Johns Hopkins for a Masters degree in Public Health and now a third is working this summer at a retirement/ nursing home, helping wherever she can and finds she loves what she does.
This is such an outstanding book that everyone studying biology or medicine should have to read it. It is an excellent history of the men who researched diseases and a beginning of understanding disease and specific ways of curing that disease.
I feel that this book is excellent for teaching basic scientific principles.