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Superbugs [PDF / EPUB] Superbugs Physician researcher and ethics professor Matt McCarthy is on the front lines of a groundbreaking clinical trial testing a new antibiotic to fight lethal superbugs bacteria that have built up resistan Physician researcher and ethics professor Matt McCarthy is on the front lines of a groundbreaking clinical trial testing a new antibiotic to fight lethal Superbugs bacteria that have built up resistance to the life saving drugs in our rapidly dwindling arsenal This trial serves as the backdrop for Superbugs and the results will impact nothing less than the future of humanityDr McCarthy explores the history of bacteria and antibiotics from Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin to obscure sources of innovative new medicines often found in soil samples to the cutting edge DNA manipulation known as CRISPR bringing to light how we arrived at this juncture of both incredible breakthrough and extreme vulnerability We also meet the patients whose lives are hanging in the balance from Remy a teenager with a dangerous and rare infection to Donny a retired New York City firefighter with a compromised immune system and many.

10 thoughts on “Superbugs

  1. says:

    The book is dealing with the history and future of antibiotics and developing cures against multiresistant monsters especially the experiences of McCarthy himself his patients the ethics and functioning of clinical trials Big Pharma and how bureaucracy makes it difficult to develop new cures It´s one of the very few works dealing with this topic and reaching a larger audience as antibiotic resistance and superbugs are for understandable reasons topics no politician wants the public to worry about too much because of the very negative interconnection and correlations to the economy and subsidy models that helped to breed the problem over the last decades I´ve been searching for books dealing with this topic for a while now and it says a lot that there is a cloak of silence surrounding the problem except of books that use a personal and autobiographical writing style such as Maybe I´ll read it but it seems to be a bit too less specific to correspond to my reading habits with its main focus on the persons and anecdotes and lesser on the science behind the cureBecause many different social and societal problems are fused in this coming mega crisis of infested health care systems and hospitals dust infecting people just talking a walk small cuts that can kill again etc publishers and newspapers dreaded to publish and talk about the real scope of the problem but finally the time seems to have come to openly share the factsFeeding vast amounts of antibiotics and many other drugs and chemicals to livestock to push growth and not let them die in the horrible conditions they are forced to suffer through a short life until they are butchered and their flesh spreads contamination and is so filled with antibiotics that it has influences on the human body prescribing far too many antibiotics to humans who have viral infections or don´t need them people not taking all of their antibiotics and no interest in research for new antibiotics are the reasons for why humankind will enter the postantibiotic era when each little infection or injury could be deadly again The logical conseuence of hyperinflationary floating the whole planet with one of the previously mightiest and best weapons against germs for profit maximization It´s not the only field with a similar coming and completely unnecessary and avoidable catastrophe it´s the same with the climate the second category of multiresistant bugs fungi and microorganisms humankind is breeding by using and potent pesticides herbicides and fungicides in agriculture ecocide and pollution etc It´s not pessimistic to say that we are traveling towards a multi disaster era because we are fighting an unwinnable arms race against evolution and nature itself by trying to be smarter and cleverer tinkering around with tools flora and fauna had hundreds of millions of years and microorganisms billions of years to optimize I am a techno optimist but I deem it impossible to find enough cures and new drugs not to speak of a sustainable economic and political system that doesn´t include self destruction buttons made out of pure greed and worshipping the almighty mister mammonAs a doctor McCarthy has to have an optimistic outlook to stay motivated and have a positive effect on his patients and although bacteriophages nano and biotechnology promise breakthroughs that could heal only the richer people in the wealthy nations will be able to pay for the treatments while the rest of the world's population stays a breeding ground for the unnecessarily unleashed demons A wiki walk can be as refreshing to the mind as a walk through nature in this completely overrated real life outside books

  2. says:

    Science has never been my thing I took the reuired classes to fulfill academic reuirements and never looked back This changed late last summer when my elderly mother was given an antibiotic to clear up an infection prior to surgery and had a violent reaction to the medication To make a long story short she wound up with life threatening sepsis spent a week in the hospital for treatment and in fact she never had an infection at the onset I suppose this experience although unrelated to the book is what prompted me to read Superbugs McCarthy does a great job of grounding you in the discovery and history of antibiotics as well as their overuse and the subseuent development of resistant bacteria and fungi Explanations about the difficulty of devising protocols and implementing pioneering trials are also addressed The role of Big Pharma funding pricing and profit margins is covered too The good doctor humanizes his account by introducing you to a number of his patients; some of whom have happy outcomes and others less so This is an accessible and very readable narrative and I for one am glad Dr McCarthy and his mentor Dr Walsh are leading the charge to find new drugs to outsmart and destroy these very nasty bugs

  3. says:

    This is not my first book review of AuthorMDAssistant Professor of Medicine Matt McCarthy and given his content I will persevere to review additional literary orchestrations as they are never trite If virology is your “chocolate fix” then “Superbugs The Race to Stop an Epidemic” is the signal to “Graviora manent” The uestion is what always motivates the genius In this case a decade was spent in a lab as Little Flem asked himself “How did bacteria thrive and how could they be killed?” Not uite the Nobel prize winner yet we meet via Dr McCarthy Alexander Fleming in his humble days as a “triage medic” transporting dead and dying patients “Little Flem as he was known was not drawn to controversy or to combat or even conversation One colleague claimed that trying to speak to him was like playing tennis with a man who when he received a serve put the ball in his pocket” Matt McCarthy MD Knowledge brings sadness and the uestion “Why?’ Confronted with wisdom that not all physicians act on behalf of patients Recount of the Tuskegee study is given Eighty two percent were black and twenty two percent could not read or write What must it be like to do 20 spinal taps on a uotidian basis and watch suffering men with syphilis? Superbugs The Race to Stop an Epidemic” is on the level of literary star “Siddhartha Mukherjee MD” in originality and brevity Dr Matt McCarthy opens wide the doors to a brilliant introvert and Nobel Prize winner Sir Alexander Fleming who engineered the drug penicillin He adored music Sad realistic and honest Read

  4. says:

    A perfect work of popular science Like Atul Gawande Matt McCarthy has the magical ability to transmit deeply technical knowledge in a way that makes the reader feel like part of a high level professional conversation; like Michael Lewis a gift for the place where big ideas overlap; like Elizabeth Kolbert a sense of narrative urgency about the state of the present world that makes anything outside its pages seem trivial MagnificentCharles Finch Winner of National Book Critic Circle Award There might not be another author who so fluidly combines a world class doctor and researcher's knowledge and experience with a memoirist’s sensibility Matt McCarthy is Siddhartha Mukherjee and David Sedaris rolled into one Who else but McCarthy could write a dispatch from the front lines of the secret fight for the future of the human race that is not just gripping and illuminating but also poignant and funny?Ben Reiter New York Times Bestselling Author of Astroball Intriguing This book discusses many big things along with microscopic ones and the two combine to provide a valuable insight to a challenge facing us all whether doctor or patientRobin Osborne GPSpeak It is a fascinating read enhanced by his detours into medical history McCarthy can wring suspense from fungal infection and faculty meetingsJenny Nicholls North and South Mostly heart breaking but at times laugh out loud funny Superbugs is an immersive and educational read that combines feelings of futility with a sense of hope at just the right momentsAnna Kosmynina COSMOS A riveting insider’s look at the race to find a cure for antibiotic resistant infections one of the most pressing challenges in modern medicine The author’s storytelling is at once urgent and empathetic a compelling combination that leaves readers feeling informed and optimistic Insightful and honest McCarthy effectively combines useful information about the latest advances in microbial research with accounts of the best aspects of humanity Kirkus Reviews McCarthy gives an insider’s look at the history of antibiotics and the urgent fight against deadly drug resistant bacteria People Dr McCarthy offers a glimmer of hope a new way to both cure and prevent future superbug infections with a single treatmentChristian Broadcasting Network McCarthy weaves the history of the life saving drugs into a suspenseful account of his own role in a groundbreaking clinical trial The Boston Globe Magazine It may sound like another sci fi superhero movie but physician and author Matt McCarthy warns that the topic of lethal bacteria is not to be taken lightly McCarthy explains how these pathogens have built up a resistance to our current arsenal of antibioticsNPR’s All Things Considered Cutting edge science Twin Cities Pioneer Press Sheds a lot of light on an issue that should be in the public consciousness SF Gate Incredibly interesting with a good mix of the scientific and human aspects McCarthy also goes into the history of antibiotic development and the economics of today’s drug development that limit the research for new antimicrobials The book is easy to read and never dull due to the patient interactions McCarthy explains novel concepts in a simple easy to understand way Sam Still Reading

  5. says:

    Summary A wonderful entertaining well cited look at the history current status and future of antibiotics in medicineAs you might guess if you've been reading my blog long this blend of memoir science and medicine was perfect for me Author Matt McCarthy is a professor at Cornell who treats patients with drug resistant bacterial infections In this book he talks about his experience running his first clinical trial He also covers some of the history of antibiotics and brings us into the lives of his patients Digressions about everything from funding for drug development to the metrics hospitals track kept me interested as wellI've found that balance is key to my enjoyment of books that are a memoir plus something else This book got that balance just right I was always entertained by the mix of historical info personal stories and patient stories The asides gave me a broader view of both the many responsibilities the author juggles and the different parts of the health care system His obvious affection for his mentor made me enjoy hearing about his mentor's background The parts of the author's own life that he chose to share connected the other pieces giving the book a generally good flow The citations in this book were some of the best I've seen perhaps the best from a non University Press book which I loved I generally think that if someone is an expert enough to write about a topic they should be able to cite published papers as McCarthy did here I really can't praise this enoughSection breaks were sometimes a bit rough They appeared to be dictated by the phase of the clinical trial he was in but several started with historical anecdotes obscuring the organization based in the author's own timeline Section break titles would help and perhaps they'll be added into the final version of the book I read from an ARC My only other small complaint is that a few of the author's analogies didn't uite work for me and I could have done with fewer baseball metaphors These complaints were very small though and overall I loved this engaging look at the history current state of and future of antibiotics in human medicineThis review was originally posted on Doing Dewey

  6. says:

    This book is part medical memoir part medical history and part medical economics science lesson Disclosure I won this as part of a GoodReads GiveawayFirst Dr McCarthy offers an insiders' view into how clinical trials are coordinated and implemented as he takes you through his own clinical trial experience for the antibiotic dalba the important role Big Pharma plays in bringing medicine to the masses which I appreciated but still couldn't help weighing against their unethical and uestionable pricing practices and the vital ethics of obtaining informed consent from patients when recruiting them into clinical trials as he takes you through some of their personal storiesSecond Dr McCarthy gives good history lessons devoting a chapter to the shocking awful and cruel Syphilis Tuskegee Experiment discussing Alexander Fleming's discovery of the first antibiotic Penicillin detailing how scientists Elizabeth Lee Hazen and Rachel Fuller Brown collaborated in discovering and creating the first anti fungal medication Nystatin and many other interesting and important historical tidbitsThird but certainly not least Dr McCarthy explains the economics behind drug discovery and creation revealing why antibiotic development is so difficult and why we're struggling to come up with new antibiotic medicines to fight antibiotic resistant bacteria He also discusses current research efforts and the science behind them in easy to understand terms Finally he explains the dangers of antibiotic and antifungal overuse and the resulting development of both antibiotic resistant bacteria and antifungal resistant fungi which is why coming up with new medication is so vital at this point in time despite its difficultyOverall this was a fascinating read

  7. says:

    Written by Matt McCarthy MD this book is a narrative of how a practicing doctor who is also a professor of medicine takes on the endless battle against the bacterial superbugs that threaten our very existence With some historical perspectives Dr McCarthy relates his interactions with patients and the application and development of an antibiotic alba that he is developingWith the help and encouragement of his mentor Dr Thomas Walsh Dr McCarthy narrates the challenges and obstacles he faces from patient consent forms to the financial forces of Big Pharma Each case shares its similarities and differences and provides an insight into the toll this work can take not only on the patients but the doctors who must also deal with the setbacks and emotional strainsThe book did lack a descriptive approach into what superbugs are about which I had thought it would be about Instead it focuses on the people afflicted by the infections and reads like a case study book However the messages are clear as to implications of why this work is so important The doctors involved in developing these antibodies we rarely hear of but their persistence and dedication to winning this endless battle is truly a heroic tale

  8. says:

    Probably having a terrible cold with runny nose fever and aching sinuses is not the best time to read a book about superbugs While I suspect I may have a sinus infection I know going to the doc in the box will do me little good because they never give out antibiotics any The over prescribing of antibiotics is one of the factors that has led to the rise of superbugs These are infections that our known antibiotics can’t kill For example MRSA easy to catch and difficult to defeat Dr McCarthy the author and his mentor Dr Walsh work on the cutting edge of testing new substances that may be antibiotics that can cure infections from the superbugs In this book you read about how a study was done to test a drug called Dalba which fights infections like MRSA They also discuss using combinations of drugs to win the battle Even interesting is the locations searched for these new substances that may be effective drugs They are found in dirt waste and sewage You leave this book grateful for doctors like McCarthy and Walsh and marvel that the world is such a remarkable place

  9. says:

    As the world is dealing with the Coronavirus I discovered I had this audiobook on deck since November 2 months before the outbreak; interesting timing Coming out of a recent 85 years in healthcare and having worked in the lab side of healthcare science for years I found this book fascinating and informative Yes this is scary and I've worked with MRSA CDIF and other infectious diseases however never touching them; just working on systems processes and euipment to test It's interesting how a clinical trial comes to life and it's also very interesting how many different patients from different walks of life get exposure to random bugs Some of the most useful parts of this book for me were the development of antibiotics soil antibiotics and how information is shared between researchers As the book wrapped up on the note of Crispr I've also been researching a lot of this topic and find it interesting how one can consider gene therapy as a way to rid one of a disease I'm looking forward to conversations about Crispr and how they can eradicate disease and hopefully without introducing additional superbugs or gene mutations that run amuck and create a zombie society just kidding; but who knows Good book and good timing to read Yes the Coronavirus is a flu by nature attacking the respiratory systems and provided maybe 6 12 months a cure vaccine etc will be found and we will all be back at work oblivious to the interruptions we've just had

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