Medicine: Grave New World

When Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet sat down 17 years ago to write Biological Aspects of Infectious Disease, there was an abundance of knowledge about the nature of most of mankind's ills, but a dearth of specific remedies. Now, thanks to the sulfas and antibiotics, the picture is so different that Burnet, rewriting his book completely as The Natural History of Infectious Disease (Cambridge University Press; $4.50) can make the revolutionary statement: "It is not too much to say that at the present time no acute infection occurring in a previously healthy individual will...

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