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How the Immune System Works Paperback – Mar 25 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 3 edition (March 25 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140516221X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405162210
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 0.9 x 27.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #456,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

“How the Immune System Works remains uniquely popular for its personable and practical overview of the nuts and bolts of the immune system. This third edition provides a perfect introduction to the essential principles of the immune system, covered in humorous but highly informative 'lectures' accompanied by clear and accessible illustrations. It is perfect for exam preparation or as an enjoyable overview of a difficult subject. Both students and instructors will welcome the clarity and authority that Lauren Sompayrac brings to this timely revision. The conversational writing style makes it seem as though the author is talking to the reader directly. There is no other book currently available quite like this one. Those of our students who have discovered the book have recommended it to others. When completing course evaluations, a substantial number have commented on how helpful it was.” (Doody's Book Reviews, October 2008)

From the Back Cover

The immune system has evolved as a protection from pathogenic attack. It is immensely complicated and our appreciation of this complexity increases year on year as new research reveals yet more secrets. Understanding the immune system is crucial for both medical and bioscience students. There are many books out there that offer in-depth introductions to the subject, but none that offers such a personable and practical overview of the nuts and bolts of the immune system as How the Immune System Works.

This third edition of How the Immune System Works provides a perfect introduction to the essential principles of the immune system, covered in humorous but highly informative 'lectures'. Perfect for exam preparation or as an enjoyable overview of a difficult subject.

New features of this edition include:


  • More material on cancer and the immune system
  • Expanded coverage of immune system regulation with a new chapter 'Turning off the Immune Rsponse'
  • A new chapter on immunological memory and vaccines.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
A week before my immunology final, I had finally had it with trying to understand the whole conceptual basis of the immune system from my lecture notes and Parham's "The Immune System." Both were great at giving me a detailed, granular understanding of mechanisms of each interaction, but I needed a higher-level overview of why the mechanisms were appropriate, how they interacted, and which component would respond to each class of threat.
Sompayrac's book is witty, fun reading. It isn't overly simplified, and will require some effort if you're a complete beginner to the field; but if you're a student, it's an invaluable resource to supplement your textbook. You can get the detailed description from the textbook; but from reading this, you'll understand why the mechanism is important.
My main regret is that I didn't think of searching for this book and buying it at the beginning of my class instead of a week before the final.
FWIW, I supplemented the Parham book with this one, and also the High-Yield Immunology book to give a detailed outline. I received an A-; I think if I had gotten both at the start, it would have been an A.
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Format: Paperback
Lauren Sompayrac has done something completely original. He has written a book on immunology in prose that sparkles. The book is easy and fun to read, and very comprehensible. When you are finished, you will understand the basics of immunology. This is no mean feat in a subject as complex as this. The book creates a strong, coherent structure upon which further, more detailed knowledge of immunology can be added if it is your goal,say, to do immunological research.
For students, this is the perfect book with which to start. For the average doctor in clinical practice, Sompayrac's book contains everything you need to know. The writing is so clear, strong and direct that I intend to read Sompayrac's other books on Virology and Cancer, two other extremely important areas of medicine.
I have been practicing medicine for 30 years, and I can tell you that most medical writing is turgid, dull, boring, flatulant, pedantic, and coma-inducing...in other words, God awful. I am hoping that medical book publishers take notice of this man's work, other writers will follow suit, and perhaps he will start a new trend.
Frederick A. Pereira, MD
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Format: Paperback
The immune system is distributed throughout the body, but can still usefully be viewed as singular. The body is always under threat from tiny invaders, and it is only the various parts of our immune system, working together, that makes it possible for us to repel them. Without it, we would be dead very quickly.
This book gives a good overview of the immune system, with enough detail to understand how the various cells and tissues do what they do. How does the system recognize invaders? How does it recognize self, and leave self alone? Why is foreign tissue rejected? How can the system go wrong? What is the role of the Major Histocompatibility Complex? How do we get immunity? The mechanisms cells use are molecular�protein, mostly�and the immune system is all about protein switches, detectors, and processors. The above questions and others are answered by invoking the protein mechanisms, and explaining how the cells of the immune system can do the magic that they do in recognizing and responding appropriately to the millions of different possible invaders, and why some parts of the system take longer than others to swing into action.
The only background you really need for this book is an intelligent layman�s interest in science. You should know what proteins are (chains of amino acids), more-or-less how DNA and RNA work, and the ability to follow a technical discussion. The book was written for medical students, but knowledge of anatomy and physiology is not put to use here. The discussion is chatty, informal, and repetitive. Each of the first several chapters ends in a summary diagram of the system interactions that have been discussed up to that point, and each next chapter begins by giving an extensive review of the previous one.
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Format: Paperback
After slogging through Janeway's _Immunobiology_ and most of a course in immunology, I had memorized a lot of facts but still understood next to nothing about the overall "design" and operation of the immune system. I found _How the Immune System Works_ the perfect antidote to my existential ennui. I recommend it highly and wish there were similar books on other related subjects.
The main pleasure of this book is that it's very "why-oriented" - Sompayrac explains how each mechanism fits into the grand scheme of immunology. Another key innovation is that he points out areas of immunology that aren't well understood yet; that way, you can recognize them as gaps in the science at large rather than as gaps in your own understanding.
Other virtues include brevity, judicious omission of irrelevant detail (this book omits the customary table of 30-odd cytokines along with a list of the 10 or 15 actions of each, for example), and an engaging and readable style.
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Format: Paperback
This is a find. Ordered in frustration about having to relearn immunology (it changes really quickly, and you don't use it much as a clinician), this is one of those gems that enough people don't know about and brings a really intensely interesting field into the reach of anyone who knows college biology (I mean the basic courses, not the 300 and 400 level advanced stuff). The format is 10 lectures, each on different pieces of the immune system, but written in a very conversational, immensely accessible manner. This book should be given to all medical students as reading BEFORE reading Janeway or Abbas or Roitt (those are the major giant, comprehensive immuno textbooks), as it will let them approach those more daunting tomes with a sense of having their feet on the ground. Also a must for scientists wanting to learn about the immune system. Highly recommended.
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