The Making of the Cretan Landscape by Oliver Rackham and Jennifer Moody Manchester University Press, ISBN 0 X is an absolute must if you want to know more about the landscape of the Cretan archipelago in all its extent and how it was formed in the past millennia not only by natural causes but also human influences.
Both authors have studied many aspects of Crete and the surrounding islands, like the trees and plants, people and the settlements, the buildings, the animals, shepherding, etc. They reveal a different vision of the history and the present of Crete, compared to what can be found in most books. The book has been out-of-stock for some years now and will not be re-printed. It now commands very high prices.
If you are interested in Crete it's still money well spent. Throughout the ages, like all the Greek islands, Crete has suffered many geological catastrophes and upheavals, even in the near past when humans were already living on Crete. Not many easylly understandable books have been published on the geology of Crete. Of course many scientific publications reveal the near geological past of Crete, as well as the many tectonical cataclysmes and the geological evolution of Crete in the prehistory.
The book also contains a glossary with explanations of many scientific geological expressions. A must if you want to stay in Crete for more than a holiday. It's too heavy to carry around with you though. It may seem expensive at first sight but once you hold this book in your hands, you will realize that it is amazing value for money. Born in Heraklion in His best books set in Crete are:.
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The unnamed narrator is a scholarly, introspective writer who opens a coal mine on the fertile island of Crete. He is gradually drawn out of his ascetic shell by an elderly employee named Zorba, an ebullient man who revels in the social pleasures of eating, drinking, and dancing. The narrator's re-entry into a life of experience is completed when his new-found lover, the village widow, is ritually murdered by a jealous mob.
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Freedom and Death a superb book, set in the period of the Turkish occupation. Christ Recrucified - also known as The Greek Passion - is the story of a Greek village under Turkish domination and how the lives of the villagers are changed - some to tragedy, some to self-fulfilment - by the roles they play in the annual drama of the Passion of Christ. Psychoundakis was part of a group of Cretans who tried to keep up morale and endangered themselves by acting as intermediaries between groups of British on the island.
The book is based on interviews with both the Allies and the Germans who took part. It gives insights into the invasion from the air and explains how Ultra intelligence played a key role. It also reveals how General Freyberg actually misinterpreted German coded messages to devastating effects. In W. This is the story of their adventures, working with a fearsome band of partisans, as they daringly capture the General in an ambush and struggle to evade pursuing German troops in the mountainous Cretan landscape to reach their rendezvous for evacuation to safety.
A little weak on Minoan history this book is, however, excellent for all the intervening years including Roman, Arab, Venetian and Turkish Rule, autonomy and unification with Greece in The Aerial Atlas of Ancient Crete is a superb book depicting Crete archaeological sites viewed from the air. See more here. Books about Crete If you cannot get hold of the books below before your journey, don't worry, there are a few newsagents in Chania and Rethymnon that have a good selection of books and maps about Crete.
Although the application of public health measures for the control of risk factors appears to have made a major effect on the frequency of some major killers, those gains have been balanced by an increase in the frequency of other common chronic diseases and the problems of an increasingly elderly population. At the same time, remarkable developments in scientific medicine have allowed industrial countries to develop an increasingly effective high-technology, patch-up form of medical practice. None of these countries has worked out a way to control the spiraling costs of health care, and because of their increasing aged populations, little sign exists that things will improve.
Although some of the diseases that produce this enormous burden may be at least partially preventable by the more effective control of risk factors, to what extent such control will be achievable is unclear, and for many diseases these factors have not been identified. In short, scientific medicine in the 20th century, for all its successes, has left a major gap in the understanding of the pathogenesis of disease between the action of environmental risk factors and the basic disease processes that follow from exposure to them and that produce the now well-defined deranged physiology that characterizes them.
These problems are reflected, at least in some countries, by increasing public disillusion with conventional medical practice that is rooted in the belief that if modern medicine could control infectious diseases, then it would be equally effective in managing the more chronic diseases that took their place.
When this improvement did not happen—and when a mood of increasing frustration about what medicine could achieve had developed—a natural move occurred toward trying to find an alternative answer to these problems.
Hence, many countries have seen a major migration toward complementary medicine. It is against this rather uncertain background that the role of science and technology for medical care in the future has to be examined.
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Before considering the remarkable potential of recent developments in basic biological research for improvements in health care, we must define priorities for their application. In the setting of priorities for biomedical research in the future, the central objective is to restore the balance of research between industrial and developing countries so that a far greater proportion is directed at the needs of the latter. In the s, it was estimated that even though 85 percent of the global burden of disability and premature mortality occurs in the developing world, less than 4 percent of global research funding was devoted to communicable, maternal, perinatal, and nutritional disorders that constitute the major burden of disease in developing countries WHO b.
The second priority is to analyze in much more detail methods of delivery of those aspects of health care that have already been shown to be both clinically effective and cost-effective. It is vital that the delivery of health care be based on well-designed, evidence-based pilot studies rather than on current fashion or political guesswork.
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It is essential to understand why there are such wide discrepancies in morbidity and mortality between different socioeconomic groups in many industrial countries and to define the most effective approaches to educating the public about the whole concept of risk and what is meant by risk factors. In addition, a great deal more work is required on mechanisms for assessing overall performance of health care systems.
The third priority must be to focus research on the important diseases that the biomedical sciences have yet to control, including common communicable diseases such as malaria, AIDS, and tuberculosis; cardiovascular disease; many forms of cancer; all varieties of diabetes; musculoskeletal disease; the major psychoses; and the dementias. Of equal importance is gaining a better understanding of both the biology and pathophysiology of aging, together with trying to define its social and cultural aspects. In the fields of child and maternal health, the requirements for research differ widely in industrial and developing countries.
Industrial countries need more research into the mechanisms of congenital malformation and the better control and treatment of monogenic disease and behavioral disorders of childhood. In developing countries, both child and maternal health pose different problems, mainly relating to health education and the control of communicable disease and nutrition. In many developing countries, some of the common monogenic diseases, notably the hemoglobin disorders, also require urgent attention. In short, our priorities for health care research come under two main heads: first, apply knowledge that we already have more effectively; second, apply a multidisciplinary attack on diseases about which we have little or no understanding.
These issues are developed further in chapter 4. The sections that follow briefly outline some examples of the new technologies that should help achieve these aims.
Without question the fields of molecular and cell biology were the major developments in the biological sciences in the second half of the 20th century. The announcement of the partial completion of the human genome project in was accompanied by claims that knowledge gained from this field would revolutionize medical practice over the next 20 years. After further reflection, some doubts have been raised about this claim, not in the least the time involved; nevertheless, considerable reason for optimism still exists.
Alan Dershowitz, Devil’s Advocate | The New Yorker
Although the majority of common diseases clearly do not result from the dysfunction of a single gene, most diseases can ultimately be defined at the biochemical level; because genes regulate an organism's biochemical pathways, their study must ultimately tell us a great deal about pathological mechanisms. The genome project is not restricted to the human genome but encompasses many infectious agents, animals that are extremely valuable models of human disease, disease vectors, and a wide variety of plants.
However, obtaining a complete nucleotide sequence is one thing; working out the regulation and function of all the genes that it contains and how they interact with each other at the level of cells and complete organisms presents a much greater challenge. The human genome, for example, will require the identification and determination of the function of the protein products of 25, genes proteomics and the mechanisms whereby genes are maintained in active or inactive states during development methylomics.
It will also involve the exploration of the roles of the family of regulatory ribonucleic acid RNA molecules that have been discovered recently Mattick All this information will have to be integrated by developments in information technology and systems biology. These tasks may take the rest of this century to carry out.
In the process, however, valuable fallout from this field is likely to occur for a wide variety of medical applications. The first applications of DNA technology in clinical practice were for isolating the genes for monogenic diseases. Either by using the candidate gene approach or by using DNA markers for linkage studies, researchers have defined the genes for many monogenic diseases. This information is being used in clinical practice for carrier detection, for prenatal diagnosis, and for defining of the mechanisms of phenotypic variability. It has been particularly successful in the case of the commonest monogenic diseases, the inherited disorders of hemoglobin, which affect hundreds of thousands of children in developing countries Weatherall and Clegg a , b.
Through North-South collaborations, it has been possible to set up screening and prenatal diagnosis programs for these conditions in many countries, resulting in a marked decline in their frequency, particularly in Mediterranean populations figure 5. Gene therapy, that is, the specific correction of monogenic diseases, has been fraught with difficulties, but these are slowly being overcome and this approach seems likely to be successful for at least some genetic diseases in the future.
From the global perspective, one of the most exciting prospects for the medical applications of DNA technology is in the field of communicable disease. Remarkable progress has been made in sequencing the genomes of bacteria, viruses, and other infective agents, and it will not be long before the genome sequence of most of the major infectious agents is available.
In the latter case, DNA technology will be combined with studies of the basic immune mechanisms involved in individual infections in an attempt to find the most effective and economic approach. Recombinant DNA technology was used years ago to produce pure antigens of hepatitis B in other organisms for the development of safe vaccines. More recently, and with knowledge obtained from the various genome projects, interest has centered on the utility of DNA itself as a vaccine antigen.
This interest is based on the chance observation that the direct injection of DNA into mammalian cells could induce them to manufacture—that is, to express—the protein encoded by a particular gene that had been injected. Early experiences have been disappointing, but a variety of techniques are being developed to improve the antigens of potential DNA-based vaccines.
The clinical applications of genomics for the control of communicable disease are not restricted to infective agents. Recently, the mosquito genome was sequenced, leading to the notion that it may be possible to genetically engineer disease vectors to make them unable to transmit particular organisms Land A great deal is also being learned about genetic resistance to particular infections in human beings Weatherall and Clegg , information that will become increasingly important when potential vaccines go to trial in populations with a high frequency of genetically resistant individuals.
The other extremely important application of DNA technology for the control of communicable disease—one of particular importance to developing countries—is its increasing place in diagnostics. Rapid diagnostic methods are being developed that are based on the polymerase chain reaction PCR technique to identify pathogen sequences in blood or tissues.
These approaches are being further refined for identifying organisms that exhibit drug resistance and also for subtyping many classes of bacteria and viruses.
Alan Dershowitz, Devil’s Advocate
Although much remains to be learned about the cost-effectiveness of these approaches compared with more conventional diagnostic procedures, some promising results have already been obtained, particularly for identification of organisms that are difficult to grow or in cases that require a very early diagnosis Harris and Tanner This type of technology is being widely applied for the identification of new organisms and is gaining a place in monitoring vaccine trials Felger and others The remarkable speed with which a new corona virus and its different subtypes were identified as the causative agent of SARS and the way this information could be applied to tracing the putative origins of the infection are an example of the power of this technology Ruan and others Genomics is likely to play an increasingly important role in the control and management of cancer Livingston and Shivdasani It is now well established that malignant transformation of cell populations usually results from acquired mutations in two main classes of genes:.
In the rare familial cancers, individuals are born with one defective gene of this type, but in the vast majority of cases, cancer seems to result from the acquisition during a person's lifetime of one or more mutations of oncogenes. For example, in the case of the common colon cancers, perhaps up to six different mutations are required to produce a metastasizing tumor. The likelihood of the occurrence of these mutations is increased by the action of environmental or endogenous carcinogens.
Array technology, which examines the pattern of expression of many different genes at the same time, is already providing valuable prognostic data for cancers of the breast, blood, and lymphatic system.
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