A Practical Guide for Deciding What’s Really Safe and What’s Really Dangerous in the World Around You.
By David Ropeik and George Gray Houghton Mifflin. 2002.
An assessment of the level of threat posed by various illnesses, accidents, environmental pollutants and other factors. David Ropeik is director of risk communication at the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis and George Gray is a toxicologist.
My book contribution: Section on sexually transmitted disease
TechTV’s Catalog of Tomorrow–Trends Shaping Your Future Que Publishing. 2003.
New Vaccines – Eradicating the plagues of mankind
New Drugs – New elixirs for old scourges
Excerpt from “New Vaccines:”
They drank venom, so the story goes, as an attempt to become immune to its effect. The results of this experiment by Indian Buddhists in the 7th century remain murky, but their experiment shows how far back the idea of using immunization reaches.
More recently that concept has taken on a new urgency. The release of anthrax spores through the U.S. mail in the fall of 2001 was the first attack of its kind. It lead to the deaths of five people from inhaling anthrax. In each case, the bacteria managed to distribute its toxin in these people’ s bodies, unhindered by the administered antibiotics. The anthrax attack has been a forceful political and public health argument for better therapies and better vaccines. …
Some researchers call the body’s immune response choreography, a concerto. First reactions to an invader involve a general disposal of a team of cells. The following reactions are more specific with a line of defense that can target particular invaders. It involves producing antibodies, tailored proteins that match the proteins on the invader, such as a bacterium or a virus…
There is an anthrax vaccine available. The only FDA-approved vaccine, AVA, for Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed, does the trick by stimulating the body to produce antibodies that wipe out the bacteriums’s toxins. But the vaccine is expensive to produce, is in short supply, causes side effects, and must be given 6 times of 18 months and annually after that.