Paperback / softback
May 14, 2024
9781421449005
English
224
43593
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5.00 Inches (US)
0.64 Inches (US)
$16.95 USD, £14.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
May 14, 2024
9781421449012
9781421449005
English
224
43593
4
7.00 Inches (US)
5.00 Inches (US)
$16.95 USD, £14.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

What If Fungi Win?

Could fungal pathogens outsmart us before we find ways to combat them?

Humans and fungi share nearly 50 percent of the same DNA. Because we're related, designing drugs to combat the varieties that attack us is a challenge. Meanwhile, in an ever hotter, wetter world, fungi may be finding new ways to thrive, queueing up global outbreak potentials for which no vaccine and woefully few medications exist; some fungi are already beginning to resist treatment. Among other lifeforms, bats, amphibians, and essential crops are also increasingly threatened by these pathogens.

Enter fungal kingdom frontiersman Dr. Arturo Casadevall, an epidemiologist, professor, and inventor. Casadevall shares how the 1990s AIDS epidemic's fungal complications drove his medical mycology work, how COVID-19's fungal incidences underscore the continuing threat to the immunocompromised, and how he and his Johns Hopkins University laboratory team are discovering ways to counter the threats posed by these cunning, hungry combatants.

What If Fungi Win? describes the beneficial roles of fungi along with their mischievous and deadly impacts and illustrates how committed experts like Casadevall are researching ways to save us and our food supplies. In addition to an overview of blights, lichens, molds, mushrooms, rusts, and smuts, readers will learn about:

• how fungi proliferated following the mass dinosaur extinction
• Oregon's ancient 2,384-acre Armillaria ostoyae—Earth's largest organism
• the rye fungus ergot that may have fueled the Salem witch trials
• mushrooms used to create vegan leather and eco-friendly packaging, as well as plastic-consuming fungi
• why it's critical that funding institutions pay attention to fungal risks and aid scientists in their work.

About the Authors

Arturo Casadevall, MD, PhD, is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor and Alfred and Jill Summer Chair of the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Casadevall is the author of more than 1,000 publications, and his key research interests are focused on host defense mechanisms, how fungi cause disease, and the development of antibody-based therapies for infectious diseases. His research on fungi has been funded for three decades by NIH and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, among others. In addition to his medical mycology work, Casadevall is an entrepreneur with several patents for fungi-based inventions, including eco-friendly packaging. He is editor-in-chief of mBio and senior editor of eLife, was deputy editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation and serves on several editorial boards. He has served on the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity and the National Commission on Forensic Science. He is currently chair of the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Microbiology, the honorific arm of the American Society for Microbiology. He has received numerous honors including election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation; American Academy of Physicians; American Academy of Microbiology; Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science; American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences. He is an elected member of the Council for Foreign Relations. Casadevall was a featured expert guest on NPR station WYPR's RadioLab podcast 2020 episode "Fungus Amungus" as well as on "The Kingdom: How Fungi Made Our World," a 2018 documentary. Stephanie Desmon is a communications director at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and an award-winning journalist. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, and many other publications. Desmon also co-hosts Hopkins' Public Health on Call podcast.

Endorsements

"A fascinating look at an incredible and terrifying life form. Casadevall and Desmon weave a riveting tale about an organism that could either save us or kill us, and our need to get out in front of it."

- Laura Sullivan, Investigative Correspondent, National Public Radio's All Things Considered and Morning Edition; Correspondent, PBS's Frontline

"If you don't know why you should care about fungi, read this captivating book that illustrates the dangers of ignoring them—including how climate change poses new fungal risks for humanity. A fascinating and timely review by a distinguished authority in the field of medical mycology."

- H. Thorsten Lumbsch, PhD; Vice President, Science & Education and Curator of Lichenized Fungi, Field Museum

"What If Fungi Win? is an entertaining, informative, and thought-provoking narrative that explores both the beneficial (food, vegan textiles, environmentally friendly packaging) and devastating (animal and crop diseases) impacts of fungi—past present, and future—that moves seamlessly from the big picture to specific examples and experiments."

- Jennifer Lodge, PhD; Vice President for Research and Innovation, Duke University

"An engaging exploration of the impacts of fungi on our daily lives—and on our planet. From microscopic single-celled yeast to a massive 2,300-acre mycelial network, and from helpful fungi that could serve as air-cooling systems to emerging fungal threats to crops, humans, and other life forms, Dr. Casadevall offers an accessible, thought-provoking assessment, reminding us that 'Science is humanity's best insurance policy.'"

- Joshua D. Nosanchuk, MD; Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education; Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases; Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center

"Drawing on his decades of experience and wealth of knowledge, preeminent expert Dr. Casadevall defines the possible threats posed by pathogenic fungi, the challenges clinicians face in treating these diseases, and what physicians and scientists are doing to combat the problems."

- Read Pukkila-Worley, MD; Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School

"Dr. Casadevall, both a globally leading scientist and a generous humanist, stimulates us to discuss our understanding of these diverse organisms' natures. Taking a contemporary view that includes fungi as the stars of NASA programs and streaming series, he also humbly explains why he and other scientists need to more fully understand the scope of fungal disease threats to better prevent and combat them. A must-read."

- Marcio L. Rodrigues, PhD; Professor of Microbiology and Mycology, Microbiology Institute of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; Senior Investigator, Carlos Chagas Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation; Fellow, the American Academy of Microbiology and the Brazilian Academy of Sciences
Johns Hopkins University Press
Johns Hopkins Wavelengths
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9781421449005 : what-if-fungi-win-casadevall-desmon
Paperback / softback
May 14, 2024
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