What If Fungi Win? (Paperback)

What If Fungi Win? By Arturo Casadevall, Stephanie Desmon (With) Cover Image
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Description


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 Author


Arturo Casadevall, MD, PhD, is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor and Alfred and Jill Summer Chair of the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the 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.


Product Details
ISBN: 9781421449005
ISBN-10: 1421449005
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication Date: May 14th, 2024
Pages: 224
Language: English