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The Compatibility Gene Hardcover – 29 Aug 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane (29 Aug 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846145147
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846145148
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In 2013, Daniel M Davis became The Director of Research in a Centre for Inflammation Research funded by the University of Manchester, AstraZeneca and GSK. Prior to this, he was the Head of the Immunology and Infection Section at Imperial College London. He previously studied immunology with Professor Jack Strominger at Harvard University, USA, although his PhD and BSc are in Physics. Professor Davis pioneered the use of microscopy to watch an immune response. His research has revealed new cell structures called immune synapses and membrane nanotubes. Professor Davis has published over 100 papers, collectively cited more than 6000 times. He was the recipient of a Lister Prize Fellowship in 2005, a Wolfson Royal Society Merit Award in 2008, and in 2011, he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark on 6 Sep 2013
Format: Hardcover
This excellent book by Daniel Davis is a well written and enjoyable account of the personalities and challenges behind the discovery of our most complex genetic system, our compatibility genes. The book explores the science that has cracked the clinical problem of tissue rejection following transplantation and leads us to the exciting new understanding of how our immune system may protect us against cancer and cell damage. The final chapters delve into the role of the immune system and compatibility genes in pregnancy, brain plasticity, mate selection and the essence of individuality.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Average Phone User on 10 Nov 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book, well written and just a joy to read. This is the first popular science immunology related book I have read which is not only scientifically spot on but also fun to read. Some of these topics I have struggled to get through to immunology students for years, and now my mum can understand it, I will be out of a job soon!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Estelle on 25 Nov 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although I waited over 2 weeks to receive "The Compatibility Gene", it was definitely worth the wait. Daniel Davis does a fantastic job at revealing the wonders of the immune system - as I read I was overwhelmed by how influential this part of our genome is in our bodies and my feeling of awe was definitely facilitated by Davis' elegant way with words. He brings the story of the immune system to life with anecdotes about the scientists who have devoted their lives to studying it which are both funny and entertaining while at the same time put into perspective the amount of hard graft and frustration that these people face in their work. I read the book within a few days because it was so well written and entertaining, I'd go as far as to say it was hard to put down at times. I would highly recommend this book to anyone - scientist or non scientist - it is a fabulous example of science being communicated very well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Marina Kuimova on 25 Oct 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dan Davis tells an excellent story of the pathway of discoveries in immunology over the last century or so. It's a fascianating read and studded with personal stories of scientists who contributed to compatibility genes discoveries. I am a chemist not an immunologist and found it thoroughly enjoyable - highly recommend it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary on 20 Oct 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book for its personal stories about the scientists and clear explanations of the science they worked hard to discover. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in what is happening inside us and how science is moving our understanding of our body forward.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anna on 16 Oct 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I always thought that fiction books were more fun to read but this one has made me change my mind. I truly enjoyed it and I recommend it to everyone!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Olivia on 10 Oct 2013
Format: Hardcover
The compatibility gene is Professor Davis' first foray into scientific publishing for the general audience. Having a pretty good resume focused around immunology, you know that this book is going to be a good'un. The story starts from the early days of immunology as a subject, introducing the "holy trinity" of Billingham, Brent, and Medawar and their work on transplantation, which led to a Nobel Prize (for Medawar and Brent only, interestingly). Immunology is an all encompassing subject which affects pretty much everything in our bodies, so the thing I really liked about this book is how Davis manages to touch on so much of this with just the right amount of detail, and leaves the reader without feeling short changed of information.

As an aspiring immunologist, this book provides an excellent history of a constantly revolving subject and the thing which surprised me is how recent all the tales were, often meaning Davis had had personal encounters with the person in question, which provides a really unique and personal touch. Another thing I found Davis did really well was incorporating his own research without it feeling like an advertisement for himself or his lab; it just feels relevant. The information is presented in a humbling manor, despite the fact some of his research has been extremely important to the immunology community. This also gives his opinions a certain punch, with the feeling like the words are really from someone in the know!

Overall, I would highly recommend The Compatibility Gene to anyone with an interest in science and biology, particularly immunology. I feel it is an especially useful read for someone at the beginning of a career in science, although I imagine that there is also new information for someone well established. An excellent, motivating read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Clive on 26 Sep 2013
Format: Hardcover
Daniel Davis has written a first rate - and very enjoyable - account of a complex biological system - the immune system. The book works on many levels. Not only does Davis lucidly explain the science - he manages to convey the excitement and tension of scientific discovery and - importantly - the process of scientific discovery itself. These two elements of the book are intertwined brilliantly. The science follows a logical course, taking us from the basics right through to the edge of knowledge and current areas of research. All the while, as the scientific story unfolds, it is interspersed with the biographies, thoughts and feelings of the key scientists making it read like a thriller. The book has colour, humour and insight and, overall, is extremely well written.
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