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The Beautiful Cure: Harnessing Your Body’s Natural Defences

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  390 ratings  ·  53 reviews
The immune system holds the key to human health. In The Beautiful Cure, leading immunologist Professor Daniel Davis describes the scientific quest to understand how it works and how it is affected by stress, sleep, age and our state of mind and explains how this knowledge is now unlocking a revolutionary new approach to medicine and well-being.

The body's ability to fight
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published February 1st 2018 by The Bodley Head
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Brian Clegg
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
The subtitle of this book, 'Harnessing Your Body's Natural Defences' makes it sounds like a celebrity lifestyle book, or a collection of New Age nonsense. But this is a very different beast from its (dare I say it, possibly intentionally misleading) subtitle: instead its a scientific exploration of the immune system.

Despite the woo of alternative health practitioners, the immune system is not a single thing, but rather a complex collection of mechanisms that between them help us fight off
Carlos Martinez
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
Really enjoyed this. As other reviewers have noted, the title and cover art make the book look like a Deepak Chopra-style self-help number about the effect of meditation on the immune system. In fact, it's a decidedly scientific overview of the history and future of immunology, including some of the recent exciting developments in immunotherapy and its application in the treatment of certain cancers and auto-immune diseases. Clear, well-written, and nicely pitched for a motivated beginner.
Just being alive is a fight, but it is often a fight that you are unaware of until you feel a few degrees under and have a temperature.  That is the thing that keeps you alive working, your immune system. It is a complex marvel of nature and is something that scientist have really started getting to grips with, with painstaking research and a few lucky and intuitive breakthroughs. This new understanding of our immune system is now unlocking the keys to dramatically different approaches to our ...more
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Id give this book ten stars if I could. One of the most fascinating and mind bending books about the universe that is inside us, our immune system. I will never look at my body the same way again. Reading this book was almost like reading a spiritual text about our own selves.
Simply amazing, and Davis is an incredibly talented writer with an uncanny ability to communicate something so complex and complicated in such an elegant way. Definitely buying this book to add to my notable science books
Disclosure: I would like to thank Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with this book as a Goodreads Giveaway. This edition is an "uncorrected proof" and not the "finished book" which is due for sale in March 2018.

This book should be rated at 4.5 stars; the only thing preventing it from a 5 star rating is the lack of a glossary of terms, which would be incredibly beneficial to the reader. The extensive end notes are amazing and informative.

Davis' ability as a story teller lends a certain
Hashem Koohy
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book mainly focusing on the crucial role of our immune system in protecting us from diseases, how it works. It also illustrates seminal contribution of a number of scientists during the past century.
For me as a person with mathematics background, this was a very invaluable source information and science history, providing me how we know what we now know about the immunology and fundamental challenges ahead of us.
I strongly recommend this book to whoever interested in how
Francis Shaw
May 04, 2019 rated it liked it
An interesting read through the breakthroughs in immunology. Science lovers will find it more stimulating than casual readers, but if you read it knowing little about how the immune system works you will learn quite a lot.
Marc Oliver
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book provides interesting insights into the complexity of the human immune system into the mysteries and the marvels of the bodys ability to fight disease. I love how Davis tells the stories of the scientists who contributed to the better understanding of the immune system. A good read indeed. ...more
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating read, just make sure you're feeling awake when you pick it up :)
Tassos Doudoulakakis
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The joy of being a scientist and being able to understand all that with a little bit of effort
Feb 23, 2018 rated it liked it
A comprehensive and accessible history and current update on immunology. The book is divided into two parts. The first part outlines the historical discoveries that underpin some of the most fundamental aspects of research in this area, whilst simultaneously capturing the human side of being a research scientist. The second half of the book details the understanding and advancement of immunology with exercise like tai chi, and mindfulness. Immunological alterations in space (ISS), and the ...more
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Daniel Davis has done for immunology what Brian Cox has done for physics. The Beautiful Cure is a fascinating account of the developments in modern immunology. Davis introduces us to the scientists involved and tells us about their struggles, rivalries and determination to uncover the nature of our complex immune system and how it can be manipulated to prevent disease. This book is written for the lay reader but there were some passages which did require my intense concentration to follow the ...more
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was ok

2.5 Stars!

In truth, defining any medicine as natural is difficult in a rigorous scientific or philosophical sense because every treatment is an intervention, and all medicines are derived from nature at some level.

Whats so wrong with good old first and second names?...Its good enough for Ben Goldacre and Simon Singh etc and it certainly hasnt compromised their medical career or credentials?...When you see any writer from a medical background insisting on using the middle name as an initial of
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Davis, a well respected researcher in immunology is also a gifted writer. I especially enjoyed his first book, "The Compatibility Gene" that was full of "gee-whiz" information that even someone like me who taught a college course in general immunology could find teachable moments (and in fact used excerpts from that book in my teaching). His latest book is not so useful. It is more or less a history of the highlights in immunological research but done in such a way that the personalities of the ...more
Jan Stette
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolute gem of a book. It takes the reader on a tour of the human immune system, the origins of our understanding of it, and recent developments and breakthroughs that promise new cures for diseases such as cancer and autoimmune conditions.

One of the things that makes this book special is that the author is an expert in his field (and a very accomplished scientist by the sounds of it) yet it's extremely well written, in a manner that is easy to understand for the lay person (e.g.
Dec 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eye-opening Story on our Immune System

The author writes well and is quite a storyteller. This book does a great job of historically tracing the development of immunology in humans. It read like a mystery novel with a slew of characters working together, and competitively, solve the enigma of how immune systems work. The beauty of these discoveries is how they are applied in modern medicines and therapies--from the treatment auto-immune diseases to cancer therapies.

I gave this book three stars
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Compellingly and clearly written study of immunology, its discovery and research and some key personalities involved. Although it's shelved with Popular Science, it goes into plenty of genetic detail where necessary to tell the story in sufficient depth.

"It's common for science books which feature medical advances to include anecdotes of patients' stories as an emotive hook to the narrative," writes Davis, in the middle of chapter five, pointing out his publisher's eagerness to add more of
Michael Moseley
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
So much going in this field that I was not aware of, we have dreamt of some kind of nano technology inviting the body to fix our ills but I hadnt come across the use of enhancing the bodies own defences to cure us. There is so much that we have to learn about our immune system but we seem to have the first tentative spec of discovery. My step daughters father died 20 odd years ago of malignant melanoma perhaps today he might have survived. This was a well written story that got the balance right ...more
Tashfin Awal
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways and have chosen to give my honest opinion about it.
My only problem with this lovely book is that I entered it feeling almost promised, as if the summary and title had made such bold promises, and felt kind of disappointed and left a skeptic of the entire ordeal. The suggested methods for healing or wellness are not absolutely profound in any way, and not much of this feels shocking or unique as the bold title may suggest. However, the
Stephen Hemingway
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
I enjoyed this book. It's probably best read after "The Compatibility Gene" by the same author.

I am not an immunologist: I didn't even take Biology 'A' Level. However, it's clear that the immune system is a fascinating thing that is experiencing a very rapid explosion of understanding.

The immune system is what we depend on to protect us from disease, so it's not surprising that advances in knowledge in this field have profound implications for improved treatment of a range of conditions, from
Madalina Pasca
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great overview of how the immune system works, whit consistent and logically presented background on research and immunology discoveries which is always great! If you're a medicine student trying to get your head around all those cells and chemical messengers while actually seeing the reason behind understanding and learning all this (which can be a bit frustrating, I know), this one is an easy and enjoyable read. I blame it on the fact that the book was written by a person whit experience in ...more
Daniela D
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just awesome

It's the story of our knowledge about the immune system and how to use it to fight all kinds of things. My takeaways:
-all science and new ideas are controversial until they aren't
-loads of people contribute to the development of an idea and its progress towards a solution
-and my favorite story was that of Polly Matzinger and how she proposed that the immune systems attacks whatever is dangerous... And how this seemed controversial at the time, an opinion that was also influenced by
Zhuo Zhang
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: may-maybe
This is a wonderful science book talking about immune system. The first four chapters are talking about the history of immunology and the rest of four chapter are connecting immunotherapies to our daily life. Each chapter is eye-opening, especially "time and space" - has laid the foundation of individualized therapy because everybody responses to the same medication is so different. I learned a lot yet it is a lot to take in and digest. I wish I could read more science book like this.
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful history of the scientific quest to discover how our immune systems work - the bodys ability to fight disease and heal itself.
I am not a medic or scientist, and I picked up the book by chance. It is written in beautiful, plain English. Unbelievably, I read it from cover to cover, and understand a lot more than I did about immuno-suppressive disease, although this is on-going research, and I hardly scratched the surface of the amazing information to be discovered in this book.
Scott County Library System
How exactly does your immune system protect you from getting sick? The answer may surprise you -- as will the discoveries about this system that happened in the past few decades. Davis does an excellent job of explaining complicated science to lay people. In The Beautiful Cure, he brings the scientific process to life and explains how much we still do not know about the human body. Worth a read for anyone interested in health or scientific discoveries.
Apr 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a goodreads win and I enjoyed the 2nd half but not so much the first half. It went into great depst into some of the researchers background/history and I thought it would give more helpful tips into how to improve your immune system etc. It was well written and I think a person of a scientific background would really love and appreciate this book.
Petrit Nahi
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent writing with great information about how our immune system works and its boundless complexity.

Great book, could not put it down. The story is told through description of the work of several different scientist and these stories of trials and eventual success form the backdrop of the main story of our immune system.
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
So interesting how much our knowledge about the immune system has changed...and how much we still don't know! Davis does a really good job of explaining science to lay people. I really never read books like this, but I enjoyed learning about something new.
Melissa McGuire
I thought this book would be so much better. The description made me believe this book would be so much more interesting, not that it wasnt interesting. I just thought that it would be more revolutionary than it was.
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There is more than one author with this name in the Goodreads database.

Daniel M. Davis is Professor of Immunology at the University of Manchester. His research, using super-resolution microscopy to study immune cell biology, was listed in Discover magazine as one of the top 100 breakthroughs of the year. His first book, The Compatibility Gene, was longlisted for the 2014 Royal Society Winton

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