Deadly Companions: How Microbes Shaped Our History By Dorothy Crawford

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Although microscopic single-celled organisms inhabited earth long before humans evolved from their primate ancestors, they continue to coexist and coevolve with humans today, flourishing as both harmless and deadly companions. Within her literary work Deadly Companions: How Microbes Shaped Our History, microbiologist Dorothy Crawford begins with a dramatic account of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the first pandemic of the twenty-first century. Crawford travels back in time four billion years ago to the origin of microbes, recounting the evolutionary history of microbes, showing how microbes spread and cause epidemics, and revealing how coevolution yields host resistance. Furthermore, Crawford explores the intertwining history of microbes and humans, with the purpose to reveal the link between the emergence of microbes and the cultural development of man. …show more content…

Readers not only learn why microbes emerge at these particular stages in human civilization and how they cause lethal infections, diseases, and pandemics, but also how microbes, with their dynamic interactions with humans, impact and shape human life. In addition, Crawford tracks human progress towards understanding the cause of communicable diseases and fighting against the disease-causing microbes with treatments and preventions, which includes antibiotics and vaccinations. In the final chapter of Deadly Companions, Crawford outlines our current situation with evolving pathogenic microbes despite the interference from modern advancement and knowledge. These killer microbes continue to exploit society; especially with poverty, travel, and drug behavior providing opportunities for our deadly companions to

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