Epidemiology: A Very Short Introduction

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Author: Rodolfo Saracci

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191609242

Category: Medical

Page: 160

View: 2412

What is epidemiology? What are the causes of a new disease? How can pandemics be prevented? Epidemiology is the study of the changing patterns of disease and its main aim is to improve the health of populations. It's a vital field, central to the health of society, to the identification of causes of disease, and to their management and prevention. Epidemiology has had an impact on many areas of medicine; from discovering the relationship between tobacco smoking and lung cancer, to the origin and spread of new epidemics. However, it is often poorly understood, largely due to misrepresentations in the media. In this Very Short Introduction Rodolfo Saracci dispels some of the myths surrounding the study of epidemiology. He provides a general explanation of the principles behind clinical trials, and explains the nature of basic statistics concerning disease. He also looks at the ethical and political issues related to obtaining and using information concerning patients, and trials involving placebos. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Public Health: A Very Short Introduction

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Author: Virginia Berridge

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191002143

Category: Medical

Page: 144

View: 9821

Public health is a term much used in the media, by health professionals, and by activists. At the national or the local level there are ministries or departments of public health, whilst international agencies such as the World Health Organisation promote public health policies, and regional organisations such as the European Union have public health funding and policies. But what do we mean when we speak about 'public health'? In this Very Short Introduction Virginia Berridge explores the areas which fall under the remit of public health, and explains how the individual histories of different countries have come to cause great differences in the perception of the role and responsibilities of public health organisations. Thus, in the United States litigation on public health issues is common, but state involvement is less, while some Scandinavian countries have a tradition of state involvement or even state ownership of industries such as alcohol in connection with public health. In its narrowest sense, public health can refer to the health of a population, the longevity of individual members, and their freedom from disease, but it can also be anticipatory, geared to the prevention of illness, rather than simply the provision of care and treatment. In the way public health deals with healthy as well as sick people it is therefore a separate concept from health services, which deal with the sick population. Drawing on a wide range of international examples, Berridge demonstrates the central role of history to understanding the amorphous nature of public health today. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Infectious Disease

A Very Short Introduction

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Author: Marta Wayne,Benjamin M. Bolker

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199688931

Category: Medical

Page: 144

View: 474

As doctors and biologists have learned, to their dismay, infectious disease is a moving target: new diseases emerge every year, old diseases evolve into new forms, and ecological and socioeconomic upheavals change the transmission pathways by which disease spread. By taking an approach focused on the general evolutionary and ecological dynamics of disease, this Very Short Introduction provides a general conceptual framework for thinking about disease. Ecology and evolution provide the keys to answering the "where", "why", "how", and "what" questions about any particular infectious disease: where did it come from? How is it transmitted from one person to another, and why are some individuals more susceptible than others? What biochemical, ecological, and evolutionary strategies can be used to combat the disease? Is it more effective to block transmission at the population level, or to block infection at the individual level? Through a series of case studies, Benjamin Bolker and Marta L. Wayne introduce the major ideas of infectious disease in a clear and thoughtful way, emphasizing the general principles of infection, the management of outbreaks, and the evolutionary and ecological approaches that are now central to much research about infectious disease. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Bacteria: A Very Short Introduction

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Author: Sebastian G.B. Amyes

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0199578761

Category: Science

Page: 152

View: 7341

In this Very Short Introduction, Sebastian Amyes explores the nature of bacteria. As a fundamental branch of life, they inhabit every part of the Earth's surface. Amyes examines their origin and evolution, bacteria in the environment, and bacteria and disease, to demonstrate the fundamental role they play in our existence.

Plague: A Very Short Introduction

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Author: Paul Slack

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191623962

Category: Medical

Page: 160

View: 1898

Throughout history plague has been the cause of many major catastrophes. It was responsible for the Black Death of 1348 and the Great Plague of London in 1665, and for devastating epidemics much earlier and much later, in the Mediterranean in the sixth century, and in China and India between the 1890s and 1920s. Today, it has become a metaphor for other epidemic disasters which appear to threaten us, but plague itself has never been eradicated. In this Very Short Introduction, Paul Slack explores the historical impact of plague over the centuries, looking at the ways in which it has been interpreted, and the powerful images it has left behind in art and literature. Examining what plague meant for those who suffered from it, and how governments began to fight against it, he demonstrates the impact plague has had on modern notions of public health and how it has shaped our history. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Genomics: A Very Short Introduction

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Author: John M. Archibald

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191089486

Category: Science

Page: 144

View: 3107

Genomics has transformed the biological sciences. From epidemiology and medicine to evolution and forensics, the ability to determine an organism's complete genetic makeup has changed the way science is done and the questions that can be asked of it. Its most celebrated achievement was the Human Genome Project, a technologically challenging endeavor that took thousands of scientists around the world 13 years and over 3 billion US dollars to complete. In this Very Short Introduction John Archibald explores the science of genomics and its rapidly expanding toolbox. Sequencing a human genome now takes only a few days and costs as little as $1,000. The genomes of simple bacteria and viruses can be sequenced in a matter of hours on a device that fits in the palm of your hand. The resulting sequences can be used to better understand our biology in health and disease and to 'personalize' medicine. Archibald shows how the field of genomics is on the cusp of another quantum leap; the implications for science and society are profound. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Anxiety: A Very Short Introduction

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Author: Daniel Freeman,Jason Freeman

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199567158

Category: Psychology

Page: 155

View: 7444

Are we born with our fears or do we learn them? Why do our fears persist? What purpose does anxiety serve? In this Very Short Introduction we discover what anxiety is, what causes it, and how it can be treated. Looking at six major anxiety disorders, the authors introduce us to this most ubiquitous and essential of emotions.

Complexity

A Very Short Introduction

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Author: John H. Holland

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199662541

Category: History

Page: 95

View: 4470

In this Very Short Introduction, John Holland presents an introduction to the science of complexity. Using examples from biology and economics, he shows how complexity science models the behaviour of complex systems.

Medical Ethics: A Very Short Introduction

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Author: R. A. Hope

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192802828

Category: Medical

Page: 152

View: 968

Issues in medical ethics are rarely out of the media and it is an area of ethics that has particular interest for the general public as well as the medical practitioner. This short and accessible introduction deals with moral questions such as euthanasia as well as asking how health care resources can be distributed fairly.

Economics: A Very Short Introduction

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Author: Partha Dasgupta

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191578281

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 192

View: 3605

Economics has the capacity to offer us deep insights into some of the most formidable problems of life, and offer solutions to them too. Combining a global approach with examples from everyday life, Partha Dasgupta describes the lives of two children who live very different lives in different parts of the world: in the Mid-West USA and in Ethiopia. He compares the obstacles facing them, and the processes that shape their lives, their families, and their futures. He shows how economics uncovers these processes, finds explanations for them, and how it forms policies and solutions. Along the way, Dasgupta provides an intelligent and accessible introduction to key economic factors and concepts such as individual choices, national policies, efficiency, equity, development, sustainability, dynamic equilibrium, property rights, markets, and public goods. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Pandemics

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Author: Christian W. McMillen

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199340072

Category:

Page: 176

View: 8377

The 2014 Ebola epidemic demonstrated the power of pandemics and their ability not only to destroy lives locally but also to capture the imagination and terrify the world. Christian W. McMillen provides a concise yet comprehensive account of pandemics throughout human history, illustrating how pandemic disease has shaped history and, at the same time, social behavior has influenced pandemic disease. Extremely interesting from a medical standpoint, the study of pandemics also provides unexpected, broader insights into culture and politics. This Very Short Introduction describes history's major pandemics - plague, tuberculosis, malaria, smallpox, cholera, influenza, and HIV/AIDS - highlighting how each disease's biological characteristics affected its pandemic development. McMillen discusses state responses to pandemics, such as quarantine, isolation, travel restrictions, and other forms of social control, and pays special attention to the rise of public health and the explosion of medical research in the wake of pandemics, especially as the germ theory of disease emerged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Today, medicine is able to control all of these diseases, yet some of them are still devastating in much of the developing world. By assessing the relationship between poverty and disease and the geography of epidemics, McMillen offers an outspoken and thought-provoking point of view on the necessity for global governments to learn from past experiences and proactively cooperate to prevent any future epidemic.

Drugs

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Author: Les Iversen

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198745796

Category:

Page: 144

View: 1807

The twentieth century saw a remarkable upsurge of research on drugs, with major advances in the treatment of bacterial and viral infections, heart disease, stomach ulcers, cancer, and metal illnesses. These, along with the introduction of the oral contraceptive, have altered all of our lives. There has also been an increase in the recreational use and abuse of drugs in the Western world. This Very Short Introduction, in its second edition, gives a non-technical account of how drugs work in the body. Reviewing both legal (alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine) and illegal drugs, Les Iversen disscusses why some are addictive, and whether drug laws need reform. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Viruses: A Very Short Introduction

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Author: Dorothy H. Crawford

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192539728

Category: Medical

Page: 160

View: 8301

Viruses are big news. From pandemics such as HIV, to swine flu, and SARS, we are constantly being bombarded with information about new lethal infections. In this Very Short Introduction Dorothy Crawford demonstrates how clever these entities really are. From their discovery and the unravelling of their intricate structures, Crawford demonstrates how these tiny parasites are by far the most abundant life forms on the planet. With up to two billion of them in each litre of sea water, viruses play a vital role in controlling the marine environment, and are essential to the ocean's delicate ecosystem. In this fully updated edition, Crawford recounts stories of renowned killer viruses such as the recent Ebola and Zika epidemics, as well as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, and considers the importance of air travel in facilitating the international spread of viruses in the twenty first century. Discussing the impact of global warming, which is increasing the range of vector-transmitted viruses such as dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile virus, she also considers the effect this will have on native populations in subtropical and temperate climates of the Americas, Australasia, and Europe. By examining our lifestyle in the 21st century, Crawford looks to the future to ask whether we can ever live in harmony with viruses, and considers the ways in which we may need to adapt to prevent emerging viruses with devastating consequences. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Logic: A Very Short Introduction

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Author: Graham Priest

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192539701

Category: Philosophy

Page: 152

View: 8714

Logic is often perceived as having little to do with the rest of philosophy, and even less to do with real life. In this lively and accessible introduction, Graham Priest shows how wrong this conception is. He explores the philosophical roots of the subject, explaining how modern formal logic deals with issues ranging from the existence of God and the reality of time to paradoxes of probability and decision theory. Along the way, the basics of formal logic are explained in simple, non-technical terms, showing that logic is a powerful and exciting part of modern philosophy. In this new edition Graham Priest expands his discussion to cover the subjects of algorithms and axioms, and proofs in mathematics. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Theatre: A Very Short Introduction

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Author: Marvin Carlson

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191648612

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 144

View: 9370

From before history was recorded to the present day, theatre has been a major artistic form around the world. From puppetry to mimes and street theatre, this complex art has utilized all other art forms such as dance, literature, music, painting, sculpture, and architecture. Every aspect of human activity and human culture can be, and has been, incorporated into the creation of theatre. In this Very Short Introduction Marvin Carlson takes us through Ancient Greece and Rome, to Medieval Japan and Europe, to America and beyond, and looks at how the various forms of theatre have been interpreted and enjoyed. Exploring the role that theatre artists play — from the actor and director to the designer and puppet-master, as well as the audience — this is an engaging exploration of what theatre has meant, and still means, to people of all ages at all times. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Immune System: A Very Short Introduction

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Author: Paul Klenerman

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191068489

Category: Medical

Page: 144

View: 7743

The immune system is central to human health and the focus of much medical research. Growing understanding of the immune system, and especially the creation of immune memory (long lasting protection), which can be harnessed in the design of vaccines, have been major breakthroughs in medicine. In this Very Short Introduction, Paul Klenerman describes the immune system, and how it works in health and disease. In particular he focuses on the human immune system, considering how it evolved, the basic rules that govern its behaviour, and the major health threats where it is important. The immune system comprises a series of organs, cells and chemical messengers which work together as a team to provide defence against infection. Klenerman discusses these components, the critical signals that trigger them and how they exert their protective effects, including so-called "innate" immune responses, which react very fast to infection, and "adaptive" immune responses, which have huge diversity and a capacity to recognise and defend against a massive array of micro-organisms. Klenerman also considers what happens when our immune systems fail to be activated effectively, leading to serious infections, problems with inherited diseases, and also HIV/AIDS. At the opposite extreme, as Klenerman shows, an over-exaggerated immune response leads to inflammatory diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis, as well as allergy and asthma. Finally he looks at the "Immune system v2.o" — how immune therapies and vaccines can be advanced to protect us against the major diseases of the 21st century. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Perception: a Very Short Introduction

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Author: Brian J. Rogers,Brian Rogers

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198791003

Category:

Page: 184

View: 1748

Perception is one of the oldest and most deeply investigated topics in the field of psychology, and it also raises some profound philosophical questions. It is concerned with how we use the information reaching our senses to guide and control our behavior as well as to create our particular, subjective experiences of the surrounding world. In this Very Short Introduction, Brian J. Rogers discusses the philosophical question of what it means to perceive, as well as describing how we are able to perceive the particular characteristics of objects and scenes such as their lightness, color, form, depth, and motion. What we perceive, however, does not always correspond to what exists in the world and, as Rogers shows, the study of illusions can be useful in telling us something about the nature and limitations of our perceptual processes. Rogers also explores perception from an evolutionary perspective, explaining how evolutionary pressures have shaped the perceptual systems of humans and other animals. He shows that perception is not necessarily a separate and independent process but rather part of a "perceptual system," involving both the extraction of perceptual information and the control of action. Rogers goes on to cover the significant progress made recently in the understanding of perception through the use of precise and controlled psychophysical methods, single cell recordings, and imaging techniques. There have also been many insights from attempts to model perceptual processes in artificial systems. As Rogers shows, these attempts have revealed how difficult it is to program machines to perform even the most simple of perceptual tasks that we take for granted. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Paul

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Author: E. P. Sanders

Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.

ISBN: 9781402768859

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 218

View: 3863

Missionary, theologian, and religious genius, Paul is the most powerful human personality in the history of the Church. His epistles laid the foundations on which later Christian theology was built. In his original introduction to the disciple’s life and thought, E. P. Sanders, whose research on Paul has significantly influenced recent scholarship, pays equal attention to analyze Paul’s gospel and to explore his fundamental--and sometimes contradictory--convictions.

Light

A Very Short Introduction

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Author: Ian A. Walmsley

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199682690

Category: Science

Page: 152

View: 7882

Light enables us to see the world around us. Our sense of sight provides us with direct information about space and time, the physical arrangement of the world, and how it changes. This almost universal shared sensation of vision has led to a fascination with the nature and properties of light across the ages. But the light we see is just a small part of the whole spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, ranging from radio waves to gamma rays. In this Very Short Introduction Ian Walmsley discusses early attempts to explain light, and the development of apparently opposing particulate and wave theories by scientists such as Isaac Newton and Christiaan Huygens. He shows how light was recognized as an electromagnetic wave in the 19th century, and the development of the quantum mechanics view of wave-particle duality in the 20th century. He also describes the many applications of light, domestic and scientific, such as microwaves, DVDs, and lasers. We now use the whole range of electromagnetic radiation to peer both into the human body and deep into space. Turning to the future of optics, Walmsley concludes by looking at some of the most exciting new developments using quantum light sources in communications and computing. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Applied Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction

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Author: Alain Goriely

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191068888

Category: Mathematics

Page: 144

View: 2680

Mathematics is playing an increasing important role in society and the sciences, enhancing our ability to use models and handle data. While pure mathematics is mostly interested in abstract structures, applied mathematics sits at the interface between this abstract world and the world in which we live. This area of mathematics takes its nourishment from society and science and, in turn, provides a unified way to understand problems arising in diverse fields. This Very Short Introduction presents a compact yet comprehensive view of the field of applied mathematics, and explores its relationships with (pure) mathematics, science, and engineering. Explaining the nature of applied mathematics, Alain Goriely discusses its early achievements in physics and engineering, and its development as a separate field after World War II. Using historical examples, current applications, and challenges, Goriely illustrates the particular role that mathematics plays in the modern sciences today and its far-reaching potential. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.