Defending the Body: Unraveling the Mysteries of Immunology

Joel Davis, Author Atheneum Books $0 (250p) ISBN 978-0-689-11946-0
The alphabet soup of immunology--AZT, HIV, RNA, DNA, GCG, HLA, ARC, IDDM, CD4, SCIDS, TCGF, to sample the argot--may bewilder the layperson; this book tells in lay terms how the immune system functions. Since the language of science isn't always exactly translatable, Davis ( Endorphins: New Waves in Brain Chemistry ) has broken material that could ordinarily appear in a medical journal into bite-sized pieces that can be comfortably digested. Subjects such as vaccines, AIDS, cancer, DNA and molecular biology are stripped of their esoterica and presented with the welcome prodding of a devoted teacher. Keenly aware of science's elusiveness to the popular media, due in part to the press's propensity to misquote, misinterpret and mislead, Davis makes an effort throughout to get the facts straight and present them accessibly. Anecdotes about famous immunologists give the reader glimpses of their lives, drives and personalities and insight into current research modalities. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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