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The plant hunter : a scientist's quest for nature's next medicines  Cover Image Book Book

The plant hunter : a scientist's quest for nature's next medicines / Cassandra Leah Quave.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781984879110
  • ISBN: 1984879111
  • Physical Description: 371 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
  • Publisher: [New York] : Viking, [2021]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
My Leg and the Wilderness -- Welcome to the Jungle -- Worms in the Belly -- An Unexpected Houseguest -- Wash and Fold -- From the Field to the Lab -- Babies and Biofilms -- A Lab of My Own -- The Sea Cabbage -- Billy Fell Off the Swing -- The One-Legged Hunter -- Cassandra's Curse.
Summary, etc.:
"A leading medical ethnobotanist tells us the story of her quest to develop new ways to fight illness and disease through the healing powers of plants in this uplifting and adventure-filled memoir. Plants are the basis for an array of lifesaving and health-improving medicines we all now take for granted. Ever taken an aspirin? Thank a willow tree for that. What about life-saving medicines for malaria? Some of those are derived from cinchona and wormwood. In today's world of synthetic pharmaceuticals, scientists and laypeople alike have lost this connection to the natural world. But by ignoring the potential of medicinal plants, we are losing out on the opportunity to discover new life-saving medicines needed in the fight against the greatest medical challenge of this century: the rise of the post-antibiotic era. Antibiotic-resistant microbes plague us all. Each year, 700,000 people die due to these untreatable infections; by 2050, 10 million annual deaths are expected unless we act now. No one understands this better than Dr. Cassandra Quave, whose groundbreaking research as a leading medical ethnobotanist--someone who identifies and studies plants that may be able to treat antimicrobial resistance and other threatening illnesses--is helping to provide clues for the next generation of advanced medicines. In The Plant Hunter, Dr. Quave weaves together science, botany, and memoir to tell us the extraordinary story of her own journey. Traveling by canoe, ATV, mule, airboat, and on foot, she has conducted field research in the flooded forests of the remote Amazon, the murky swamps of southern Florida, the rolling hills of central Italy, isolated mountaintops in Albania and Kosovo, and volcanic isles arising out of the Mediterranean-all in search of natural compounds, long-known to traditional healers, that could help save us all from the looming crisis of untreatable superbugs. And as a person born with multiple congenital defects of her skeletal system, she's done it all with just one leg. Filled with grit, tragedy, triumph, awe, and scientific discovery, her story illuminates how the path forward for medical discovery may be found in nature's oldest remedies"-- Provided by publisher.
Additional Physical Form available Note:
Issued also in electronic format.
Subject: Quave, Cassandra Leah.
Medical botanists > United States > Biography.
People with disabilities > United States > Biography.
Medicinal plants.
Ethnobotany.
Genre: Autobiographies.
Biographies.

Available copies

  • 2 of 2 copies available at Town of Hanover Libraries.

Holds

  • 0 current holds with 2 total copies.

Holds

0 current holds with 2 total copies.

Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Etna Library 581.6 QUA 31257000290881 New items Available -
Howe Library 581.6 QUA
Memorial: In memory of Elizabeth Skolfield Miller.
31254003739444 New books - Main floor Available -

Syndetic Solutions - BookList Review for ISBN Number 9781984879110
The Plant Hunter : A Scientist's Quest for Nature's Next Medicines
The Plant Hunter : A Scientist's Quest for Nature's Next Medicines
by Quave, Cassandra Leah
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BookList Review

The Plant Hunter : A Scientist's Quest for Nature's Next Medicines

Booklist


From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.

Where will the next miracle treatment for a new, staph-resistant superbug or COVID-like virus come from? A verdant jungle or spongy swamp is just as likely an answer as a pharmaceutical lab. Such is the field of ethnobotany, the science of combing through the connections between humans and the rest of nature to discover native plants with life-improving medicinal properties. Inspired by her own daunting experiences with the health care system following a childhood below-the-knee amputation to correct a congenital defect, Quave travelled from Albania to the Amazon, foraging for rare plants while forging her career and merging marriage and motherhood with grant-writing and oral presentations. Trekking through unforgiving terrain on her prosthetic leg, Quave learned that hunting elusive fungi was often less challenging than chasing down scarce funding for research programs. In the war against infectious diseases, Quave is a fierce combatant, exhibiting focused determination, admirable flexibility, and persuasive enthusiasm in this candidly personal narrative about overcoming physical and professional obstacles in her dedicated pursuit of innovative medical advancements.

Syndetic Solutions - Publishers Weekly Review for ISBN Number 9781984879110
The Plant Hunter : A Scientist's Quest for Nature's Next Medicines
The Plant Hunter : A Scientist's Quest for Nature's Next Medicines
by Quave, Cassandra Leah
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Publishers Weekly Review

The Plant Hunter : A Scientist's Quest for Nature's Next Medicines

Publishers Weekly


(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Ethnobotanist Quave blends memoir, botany, and anthropology in her spirited, globe-trotting debut. "Since the 1980s no new chemical classes of antibiotics have been discovered and successfully brought to market," Quave writes: "That's where I come in." Born without several bones in her right leg and foot, Quave spent time in and out of hospitals, where she nearly died of a staph infection before antibiotics saved her life. This sparked her interest in medicine, and Quave traces her journeys across the globe in search of plant information: she travels to the Amazon, where she receives an herb bath from a healer and reconsiders her relationship to medicine; to southern Italy where she studies the dietary habits of Albanian immigrants; to a Mediterranean island to collect plants in danger of disappearing, such as "purple flowering" Daphne sericea; and into her labs, where she tests her plants against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Her survey is packed with facts--readers will learn that they have willow trees to thank for Advil, that the cocoa plant is where numbing medication comes from, and the Madagascar periwinkle is the source for a chemotherapy drug. Nature-minded readers will find themselves immersed in--and inspired by--Quave's poignant tale. Agent: Elias Altman, Massie & McQuilkin. (Oct.)

Syndetic Solutions - Kirkus Review for ISBN Number 9781984879110
The Plant Hunter : A Scientist's Quest for Nature's Next Medicines
The Plant Hunter : A Scientist's Quest for Nature's Next Medicines
by Quave, Cassandra Leah
Rate this title:
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Kirkus Review

The Plant Hunter : A Scientist's Quest for Nature's Next Medicines

Kirkus Reviews


Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Searching for new drugs in old folkways. Ethnobotanist and microbiologist Quave, a professor and herbarium curator at Emory, shares a fascinating account of her development as a scientist, her research into the pharmacological potential of plants used in traditional medicine, the challenge of balancing work with motherhood, and her lifelong struggle with disability and infection. Born with a congenital defect that left her right leg underdeveloped--the fibula was "totally missing"--Quave had her leg amputated below the knee when she was 3, resulting in a staph infection that would have killed her if not for antibiotics. As she grew up, she required 20 more surgeries and often was hospitalized with infections. Her health problems made her acutely aware of the power of antibiotics and the peril of bacterial resistance. "We're facing a double crisis in the battle against superbugs," she writes, "the loss of effective antibiotics and the cataclysmic failure of the economic model that supports their discovery and development." Despite being physically compromised, Quave has mounted research expeditions to rugged, biodiverse hot spots around the world in search of some of the 33,443 plant species used in medicine; of these, she notes, no more than a few hundred have been rigorously investigated. The author details the painstaking process of gathering, transporting, preparing, and analyzing plant samples to test whether or not ethnobotanical research actually could lead to discovery of drugs. She also describes the arduous competition for grant money, where being a woman often put her at a disadvantage. Throughout her career, Quave has encountered bullying, sexism, and outright sexual harassment, and her scientific accomplishments have been undervalued. Science, she notes with regret, has become a "blood sport" among powerful men. Without generous funding for research into superbugs and infectious diseases, Quave warns, humans will find themselves increasingly at the mercy of viruses and bacteria they cannot control. A highly compelling--and alarming--memoir. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Syndetic Solutions - Library Journal Review for ISBN Number 9781984879110
The Plant Hunter : A Scientist's Quest for Nature's Next Medicines
The Plant Hunter : A Scientist's Quest for Nature's Next Medicines
by Quave, Cassandra Leah
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Library Journal Review

The Plant Hunter : A Scientist's Quest for Nature's Next Medicines

Library Journal


(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Ever since Quave (host of the podcast Foodie Pharmacology) was in college and then graduate school at Emory (where she now teaches medical ethnobotany and curates the herbarium), she has devoted her time to discovering new plant-based medicines. She has traveled the world, from her native Florida to the Amazon rain forest to Ginestra in southern Italy, to collect and catalogue plant specimens and talk to local healers about the uses of their native flora. With vivid insight and occasional humor, Quave's book combines memoir with science history to discuss her love of nature and her entry into ethnobotany (a field that's dedicated to the exploration of links between food and medicine). Quave also describes her experiences as a woman with disability; she was born with a rare bone disorder, which has led to numerous surgeries and infections requiring treatment. She writes about meeting her husband in Italy, having three children, helping to raise her nephew, and teaching and conducting research all the while. VERDICT Quave's inviting memoir demonstrates grit and determination and explains some of the fascinating and critical uses of plants for healing (including possible uses against antimicrobial resistance and even COVID-19).--Marcia G. Welsh, formerly at Dartmouth Coll. Lib., Hanover, NH


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