The Beautiful Cure

Revealing the Immune System's Secrets and How They Will Lead to a Revolution in Health and Wellness

Publisher: Doubleday Canada
A leading expert explains how discoveries about the immune system are leading the way to a revolution in beating cancer and other diseases.

The immune system holds the key to human health. The scientific quest to understand how it works--and how it is affected by stress, diet, sleep, age, exercise and our state of mind--is now unlocking a revolutionary new approach to medicine and well-being.

The body's ability to fight disease and heal itself is one of the great mysteries and marvels of nature, but within the last few years, painstaking research has resulted in major advances in our understanding of the immune system, revealing an inner world of breathtaking sophistication, complexity and beauty. Far more powerful than any medicine ever invented, it also plays a crucial role in our daily lives. Already we have found ways to harness these natural defences to create break-through drugs and therapies that can beat cancer, diabetes, arthritis and many age-related diseases, and we are starting to understand how activities such as mindfulness might play a role in enhancing our physical resilience.

Written by an expert at the forefront of this adventure, The Beautiful Cure tells a dramatic story of detective work and discovery, of puzzles solved and of the mysteries that remain, of lives sacrificed and saved, introducing the reader to this revelatory new understanding of the human body and what it takes to be healthy.


"The Beautiful Cure brilliantly conveys the excitement of scientific discovery." —Bill Bryson, author of A Short History of Nearly Everything

"Written with an irresistible blend of authority, charm and wit, The Beautiful Cure is an eye-opening tour de force of scientific writing that reads like the best kind of adventure story. As David Attenborough opens our goggling eyes to the natural world without, so Daniel Davis brings us face to face to the stunningly clever and—yes—beautiful world within—our immune system. It is a story of scientific leaps of imagination, faith and restless curiosity, one of those books that makes you look at everything human in a new, challenging and thrilling way." —Stephen Fry

"A sweeping tour d’horizon . . . lucid and entertaining. . . . Much as Siddhartha Mukherjee did in his book The Gene, Davis expertly weaves together human stories and scientific endeavor." —The Times (UK)

"An elegantly concise book. . . . [The Beautiful Cure] covers a huge amount of factual and conceptual ground while also being a thoughtfully philosophical book about the practice of science itself. . . . [Davis's] book is not only a fascinating but an entertaining read." —The Daily Telegraph (UK)

"A terrific book by a consummate storyteller and scientific expert." —The Guardian (UK)

"Forget AI, robotics, the internet of things. This is where the future feels strange and exciting: in the 'inner universe' of our immune system, and in the radically new therapies that are using it to conquer disease." —Sunday Times (UK)

"One of the best accounts I have yet come across of the nature of biological science and discovery. . . . Daniel Davis's wonderful book recounts in exceptionally clear and sympathetic prose how research into the immune system in recent decades has resulted in what amounts to a health revolution" —New Statesman

"Any reader completely unfamiliar with the workings of the immune system is likely to be dumbstruck with admiration for its intricacy. . . . Davis's book is full of enlivening little anecdotes." —Literary Review

"Highly readable, beautifully researched, backed up with notes, references and interviews by Davis himself, whose status as an immunology professor confers added credibility. He believes that we now know enough about the major components and interactions of the immune system to begin manipulating them to cure diseases such as cancer. We stand, he predicts, on the threshold of a medical revolution." —New Scientist 

"The immune system is already more marvelous, powerful and flexible than any medicine to come out of a laboratory. In this highly readable insider's account of cutting edge research, Daniel Davis reveals how the full potential of the body's defences is now being realized." —Roger Highfield, Director, Science Museum, London

"Everyone knows about the double helix, but DNA is simple while bodies, their diseases and their defences are complicated. One of the most complicated parts of all is the immune system, which does its endless and often unnoticed task of keeping us safe against our enemies. This book is an insight into new, remarkable and almost unnoticed advances in immunology and shows how medicine is moving on from the world of the gene to the world of the antibody." —Steve Jones, author of The Language of the Genes

"The human body is the most complicated assemblage of chemicals in the known universe. It's a huge scientific challenge to understand how we metabilise, how we acquire immunity and how drugs work. Daniel Davis is a distinguished expert in this field and he's a fine writer too. He portrays vividly how great discoveries emerge—via prolonged effort, via cooperation and competition and sometimes by sheer luck. This gripping book gives an authentic flavour of how science is actually done—and why it's important for humanity's future." —Prof. Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal