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The Secrets of the Immune System Revealed The must-read summary of ‘The Beautiful Cure: Harnessing Your Body’s Natural Defences’, by Daniel M. Davis. Our immune system is spread throughout the body and involves many types of cells, organs, proteins, and tissues. It can distinguish our own tissues from foreign tissues and help us defend against invasions from harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites. It also can recognize dead, faulty, and cancerous cells and clears them from our body. In The Beautiful Cure, Professor Davis chronicles the major discoveries on how our immune system works and how these discoveries lead to a revolution in beating cancer, arthritis, and many other diseases. He details how stress, diet, sleep, age, exercise, and our state of mind affect the immunity system, and the how scientists harness and unleash the power of the immune system to develop new medicines and therapies to combat cancer. This guide includes: Book Summary—The summary helps you understand the key ideas and recommendations. Online Videos—On-demand replay of public lectures, and seminars on the topics covered in the chapter. Value-added of this guide: Save time Understand key concepts Expand your knowledge Read this book to discover how scientists harness the power of your body’s natural defenses to beat cancer, arthritis, and other diseases.
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Summary &Study Guide
The Beautiful Cure
Harnessing Your Body’s Natural Defenses
Title: Summary & Study Guide - The Beautiful Cure
Subtitle: Harnessing Your Body’s Natural Defenses
Author: Lee Tang
Publisher: LMT Press (lmtpress.wordpress.com)
Copyright © 2018 by Lee Tang
All rights reserved. Aside from brief quotations for media coverage and reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced or distributed in any form without the author’s permission. Thank you for supporting authors and a diverse, creative culture by purchasing this book and complying with copyright laws.
First Edition: July 2018
Issued in print and electronic formats.
ISBN: 9781988970134 (ebook)
ISBN-13: 9781720823711 (paperback)
ISBN-10: 1720823715 (paperback)
Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: The publisher and author make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of these contents and disclaim all warranties such as warranties of fitness for a particular purpose. The website addresses in the book were correct at the time going to print. However, the publisher and author are not responsible for the content of third-party websites, which are subject to change.
To my wife, Lillian, who is the source of energy and love for everything I do, and to Andrew and Amanda: watching you grow up has been a privilege.
For a complete list of books by Lee Tang and information about the author, visit Lee Tang’s site.
Books by Lee Tang
Part One: The Scientific Revolution in Immunity
1. Dirty Little Secrets
2. The Alarm Cell
3. Restraint and Control
4. A Multibillion-Dollar Blockbuster
Part Two: The Galaxy Within
5. Fever, Stress, and the Power of the Mind
6. Time and Space
7. The Guardian Cells
8. Future Medicines
About the Author
Plea from the Author
‘The Beautiful Cure: Harnessing Your Body’s Natural Defences’, by Daniel M. Davis
This book has two parts. The first part chronicles the major discoveries on how our immune system works and how these discoveries lead to a revolution in beating cancer, arthritis, and many other diseases. The second part details how stress, diet, sleep, age, exercise, and our state of mind affect the immunity system, and the how scientists harness and unleash the power of the immune system to develop new medicines and therapies to combat cancer.
Daniel M. Davis is a professor of Immunology at the University of Manchester in the UK. Professor Davis received a Lister Prize Fellowship in 2005, and a Wolfson Royal Society Merit Award in 2008. In 2011, he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
This guide is a summary and not a critique/review of the book. The summary may not be organized chapter-wise but summarizes the book’s main ideas, viewpoints, and arguments. It is NOT meant to be a replacement, but a supplement to help you understand the book’s key ideas and recommendations.
THE SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION IN IMMUNITY
DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS
Inoculation originated as a procedure used to prevent smallpox by deliberately rubbing the puss from a smallpox patient into your skin. This produces a less severe infection than naturally-acquired smallpox, but still induced immunity to it. Peoples in China, India, and other African countries had practiced inoculation long before the procedure was understood.
The first scientific study of how inoculation works occurred in 1721 when an epidemic of smallpox made the British royal family anxious. The Royals had heard stories about how to inoculate against smallpox but wanted to test its safety and efficacy before using it on the royal family. So they recruited seven prisoners for a ‘clinical trial’. On August 9, 1721, they rubbed the pus from a smallpox patient into incisions made on the prisoners’ arms and legs. Each prisoner became ill with smallpox symptoms for a day or two and then recovered. On September 6, King George I pardoned the prisoner volunteers and released them. A few months later, the Prince and Princess of Wales inoculated two of their daughters. The event led to a considerable interest in inoculation. Even so, the procedure remained controversial as 2 percent of people died after being inoculated.
In 1796, British physician Edward Jenner discovered a safer procedure and invented the first vaccine for smallpox. As a country physician, Jenner noticed that milkmaids never got smallpox. He speculated that humans could catch cowpox, a mild viral infection, from cows and exposure to cowpox could provide protection against smallpox. He tested his hypothesis by inoculating his gardener’s 8-year-old son using the pus from non-fatal cowpox blisters instead of the pus from smallpox patients, which was far more dangerous. It produced a fever and some uneasiness in the gardener’s son, but no full-blown infection. Later, he tested his hypothesis on 23 subjects and proved that they were immune to smallpox. Although he didn’t understand how vaccination works, his invention has eradicated smallpox in 1980.
THE IMMUNE SYSTEM works by reacting against non-self molecules. After exposure to a non-self molecule, the immune system will react more rapidly if it encounters the same non-self molecules again. Vaccination works by exposing you to a dead or harmless version of a germ. This provokes your immune system to build up defenses against it and prepares you to respond rapidly if you encounter the same germ again.
In the early 1920s, French biologist Gaton Raman and London scientist Alexander Glenny, working independently, discovered they could inactivate a protein molecule made by the bacteria which cause diphtheria. This meant that they could use the inactivated protein as a safe vaccine against the disease. To their surprise, the inactivated protein was not an effective vaccine because the immunity was short-lived. But Glenny kept working. In 1926, he discovered the inactivated protein became an effective vaccine after it was purified using a compound containing aluminum salts. After Glenny, researchers discovered vaccines also work better with other substances such as paraffin oil. They called these substances adjuvants. Nobody knew exactly why they worked. It was a ‘dirty little secret’ in our understanding of immunity.
In 1989, Yale University immunologist Charles Janeway was puzzled by this dirty little secret. At the time, scientists believe the heart of the immune system are two types of white blood cells called T cells and
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