The immune system holds the key to human health. In The Beautiful Cure, leading immunologist Daniel Davis describes the scientific quest to understand how it works - and how it is affected by stress, sleep, age and our state of mind - and explains how this knowledge is now unlocking a revolutionary new approach to medicine and well-being.
The body's ability to fight disease and heal itself is one of the great mysteries and marvels of nature. But within the last few years painstaking research has resulted in major advances in our understanding of this breathtakingly beautiful inner world: a vast and intricate network of specialist cells, regulatory proteins and dedicated genes that are continually protecting our bodies. Far more powerful than any medicine ever invented, it also plays a crucial role in our daily lives. Already we have found ways to harness these natural defences to create breakthrough drugs and so-called immunotherapies that help us fight cancer, diabetes, arthritis and many age-related diseases, and we are starting to understand whether or not activities such as mindfulness might play a role in enhancing our physical resilience.
Written by an expert at the forefront of this adventure, The Beautiful Cure tells a dramatic story of detective work and discovery, of puzzles solved and of the mysteries that remain, of lives sacrificed and saved, introducing the reader to this revelatory new understanding of the human body and what it takes to be healthy.
Daniel M. Davis is Professor of Immunology at the University of Manchester. His research, using super-resolution microscopy to study immune cell biology, was listed in Discover magazine as one of the top 100 breakthroughs of the year. His previous book, The Compatibility Gene, was longlisted for the 2014 Royal Society Winton Science Book Prize, shortlisted for the Society of Biology Book Prize and described by Bill Bryson in the Guardian's Books of the Year as `elegantly written and unexpectedly gripping'. He is also the author of over 120 academic papers, collectively cited over 10,000 times, including articles in Nature, Science and Scientific American.
"An eye-opening tour de force of scientific writing that reads like the best kind of adventure story. As David Attenborough opens our goggling eyes to the natural world without, so Daniel Davis brings us face to face with the stunningly clever and, yes, beautiful world within - our immune system. One of those books that makes you look at everything human in a new, challenging and thrilling way" -- STEPHEN FRY "Forget AI, robotics, the internet of things. This is where the future feels strange and exciting: in the 'inner universe' of our immune system, and in the radically new therapies that are using it to conquer disease" * Sunday Times * "One of the best accounts I have yet come across of the nature of biological science and discovery ... Daniel Davis's wonderful book recounts in exceptionally clear and sympathetic prose how research into the immune system in recent decades has resulted in what amounts to a health revolution ... Davis's book illustrates this wonderfully well: the immune system is a thing of great beauty and awesome complexity" -- Henry Marsh * New Statesman * "Brilliantly conveys the excitement of scientific discovery" -- BILL BRYSON "Davis relates the extraordinary modern developments in immunotherapy - the idea of somehow supercharging the body's own immune system to fight disease, and one day maybe even eliminate cancer ... The general upshot of Davis's terrific analysis seems to be that if there's anything in medical science that could ever count as a panacea - something to cure all ills - it would be the immune system itself ... Not only a fascinating but an entertaining read" -- Steven Poole * *****Telegraph *
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