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Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing

Exploring new ways to treat cancer, diabetes, arthritis and other age-related diseases

7 February 2018

Professor of Immunology, Daniel M Davis from The University of Manchester has authored a new book, The Beautiful Cure: Harnessing Your Body’s Natural Defences. Professor Davis allocates each chapter to a scientist or a pair of scientists who challenged mainstream thought on immunology, often seen as mavericks in their field, but who ultimately made ground-breaking discoveries, developing and enriching the study of immunology and sourcing new ways of treating cancer, diabetes, arthritis and other age-related diseases.

Professor Davis interviewed many of the key scientists himself and describes the experiments that led to key breakthroughs as well as the scientists backgrounds.

The Guardian reviews this book, and describes how scientists Alick Isaacs and Jean Lindenmann discovered inferon; a signalling protein involved in a host of immune responses. Recent studies of inferon have indicated that it may help people fight the flu virus, meaning that those who lack the inferon gene are more susceptible to being admitted to hospital suffering from severe flu. So if people who lack the interferon gene could be screened and prioritised for vaccination during the autumn period, it could prevent hospitals being swamped by elderly patients suffering from flu each winter.

Professor Davis told MICRA “My book is about the wonders of how the immune system works, and how this knowledge leads us to new medicine: I don’t think it’s over stating the situation to suggest that we are at the dawn of a health revolution.”

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