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In 1900 only a handful of drugs (morphine, quinine, aspirin, etc) had genuine efficacy but had little value for bacterial or viral infections or cancer. These conditions were usually untreatable. Now there are literally thousands of drugs which offer cures or greatly extended life-spans for those with life-threatening conditions. Life Saving Drugs: the Elusive Magic Bullet describes the discovery and development of antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-cancer drugs. The book highlights the colourful characters behind the inventions and the huge improvements in quality of life and life-expectancy that these drugs have produced. Emphasis is given to the new drugs that have emerged as a result of knowledge of the human genome, and the ways in which the newer drugs are being designed to tackle disease, particularly cancer, at the genetic level. Chemical structures are provided for all of the key drugs and the book is well illustrated. Life Saving Drugs: the Elusive Magic Bullet can be read as a history of drug development during the past 100 years by those with only a passing knowledge of chemistry. For anyone entering the medical profession, pharmacy, or nursing, it will provide a superb basic knowledge of all drugs they are ever likely to meet, including their modes of action. For the chemist or medicinal chemist, it will provide the fundamental knowledge of life-saving drugs that they all should know. And for the non-scientist who wants to know about 'super-bugs', SARS, Ebola, and all of the wonderful advances in treating cancer, it is illuminating and easy to read.
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