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Book Review | All About Bacteria

The latter half of the 19th century was a critical period in the development of Western, or what is now complimentarily called modern, medicine. The famed chemist Louis Pasteur and the physician Robert Koch established on a firm intellectual foundation the notion that the cause of infectious diseases often lay in organisms that existed outside the body.

This new philosophy paved the way for containing such scourges as smallpox and leprosy, curtailed the viciousness of tuberculosis and cholera, and germinated the subsequent, exponential rise of the antibiotic industry. Germ theory, as this approach is called, also broke ranks with so-called traditional systems of medicine, such as Ayurveda or the Chinese systems, which saw disease as the result of an imbalance between an individual and his environment.

However, an increasing number of cases of antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis and modern medicine’s failure to explain epidemics such as obesity and cardiovascular disease have seen a rise in schools of alternative medicine. The latter seek to reinterpret traditional medicine—often in a tone of triumphalism—in terms of modern medicine and try to close that breach, one zany theory at a time.

Comments (1)

  1. hi, I am the author of "All About Bacteria". Pleas read my response to the livemint review at http://ravionhealth.com/2013/03/31/review-of-all-about-bacteria-in-livemint/

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