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Immunology and diseases of the gut
  1. Allan M Mowat

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Edited by T T MacDonald, A C Bateman. London: Remedica, 2006, £20.00 (softcover), pp 179. ISBN 1-901346-56-0.

Gastroenterologists (and other clinical specialists) complain that immunology is conceptually opaque, overcomplicated and obsessed with acronyms and unnecessary jargon. As a result, any message it may have for understanding disease is hidden and/or ignored. Immunologists on the other hand, are frustrated by what they see as lazy and superficial attempts to try to understand a topic they find to be unimaginably clear and relevant. Often, there is little or no significant communication between the disciplines, meaning that important opportunities for improving diagnosis and treatment are lost. This is a major loss to 21st-century medicine and to gastroenterology in particular, in which, as the authors of this book point out, many of the most important conditions have an immunological basis. Unfortunately, this issue is not likely to improve in the foreseeable future. Academic gastroenterologists are increasingly a threatened species in many countries, …

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