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Why Aren't We Dead Yet?


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A lively and engaging journey through our immune systems

About the Author

Idan Ben-Barak holds a BSc in medical science and an MSc in microbiology from the Hadassah School of Medicine at the University of Jerusalem, and is currently working towards a PhD in the history and philosophy of science at the University of Sydney. His first foray into writing for a popular readership was submitting a couple of quirky pieces of fiction to New Scientist. He received a scholarship from the Writing Centre for Scholars and Researchers at the University of Melbourne to work on Small Wonders, his first book.


'[F]riendly and engaging ... accessible to anyone who's curious about the mechanics of the human body.'

-- Thuy On * The Age *

'A terrific introduction to the complicated beast that keeps us alive.'

-- Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

'This surprisingly ambitious, eminently accessible book brilliantly summarizes the essential features of the immune system for a lay audience. The quirky humour masks an underlying authority and competence. The work is right up to date, even incorporating recent Nobel Prize winning insights into the evolutionarily ancient innate immune system. It is a triumph of popular medical science.'

-- Sir Gustav Nossal

'An accessible account of a complex and important topic.'

-- Prof. Peter C. Doherty, Nobel Prize winner

'The book is hilarious in a science-nerd kind of way, and the personal notations and anecdotes from Ben-Barak put a real human touch on information that can sometimes come off as clinical and complex.'

* Adventures in Poor Taste *

'I loved this book. Ben-Barak assumes the reader starts with no knowledge of the immune system but does not make the further assumption that we're ignorant. He explains in simple terms but without condescension. He adds liberal doses of humour, often self-deprecating. He writes with an unusual kindness that makes me think he is a kind person, one who would be a lovely dinner guest.'

* Tonstant Weader Reviews *

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