In Defense of Self: How the Immune System Really Works

Paperback | January 18, 2008

byWilliam R. Clark

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We live in a sea of seething microbial predators, an infinity of invisible and invasive microorganisms capable of setting set up shop inside us and sending us to an early grave. The only thing keeping them out? The immune system. William Clark's In Defense of Self offers a refreshingly accessible tour of the immune system, putting in layman's terms essential information that has been for too long the exclusive province of trained specialists. Clark explains how the immune system works by using powerful genetic, chemical,and cellular weapons to protect us from the vast majority of disease-causing microbes-bacteria, viruses, molds, and parasites. Only those microbes our bodies need to help us digest food and process vitamins are admitted. But this same system can endanger us by rejecting potentially life-saving organtransplants, or by overreacting and turning too much force against foreign invaders, causing serious--occasionally lethal--collateral damage to our tissues and resulting in autoimmune disease. In Defense of Self covers everything from how antibodies work and the strategies the body uses todistinguish self from not self to the nature of immunological memory, the latest approaches to vaccination, and how the immune system will react should we ever be subjected to a bioterrorist attack. Clark also offers important insights on the vital role that the immune system plays in cancer, AIDS,autoimmunity, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies and asthma, and other diseases. Of special interest to all those suffering from diseases related to the immune system, as well as their families, In Defense of Self lucidly explains a system none of us could live without.

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We live in a sea of seething microbial predators, an infinity of invisible and invasive microorganisms capable of setting set up shop inside us and sending us to an early grave. The only thing keeping them out? The immune system. William Clark's In Defense of Self offers a refreshingly accessible tour of the immune system, putting i...

Dr. William Clark is Professor and Chair Emeritus of Immunology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is an internationally recognized authority on the killer T lymphocytes involved in organ transplant rejection and in viral immunity. He has written extensively on topics in science and medicine for the general public.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8.1 × 5.4 × 0.7 inPublished:January 18, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195335554

ISBN - 13:9780195335552

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Table of Contents

Part I: How The Immune System WorksChapter 1. What Is An Immune System?Chapter 2. AntibodiesChapter 3. How Do Antibodies Work?Chapter 4. T Cells: The Second Arm of Adaptive ImmunityPart II The Immune System in Health and DiseaseChapter 5. The Immune Response to Infectious Disease: All Out War!Chapter 6. When the Immune System is the Problem, and Not The SolutionChapter 7. Vaccines: How They Work, Why Sometimes They Don't, And What We Can Do About ItChapter 8. When the Walls Come Tumbling Down: AIDSChapter 9. When the Walls Come Tumbling Down: Primary Immune DeficienciesChapter10. When the Immune System is the Problem, and Not The SolutionSection II: Hypersensitivity and AllergyChapter 11. The Immune System and CancerChapter 12. AutoimmunityChapter 13. Organ TransplantationChapter 14. First Defense: The Immune System and Bioterrorism