Quick Book Review: “An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of The Immune System. A Tale in Four Lives” by Matt Richtel
This is a big book with a long title, but I ended up plowing through it pretty fast. Although I have a Master’s degree in immunology, the science has changed rapidly, and this book refreshed my memory on the basics and also got me caught up on some of the newer developments in the field. Using real people as examples, the author explains how the immune system is involved in disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, HIV, and Alzheimer’s disease, and how scientific research is leading us to discover new ways to manipulate the immune system to treat these illnesses. Some of the science involved is pretty complex, but the author (a writer for the New York Times) explains things clearly and logically so that laypeople should be able to understand the concepts pretty well. If you gravitate toward science-based books, you’ll enjoy this one. I definitely felt a lot smarter after finishing it.