The first book from the creator of the wildly popular science YouTube channel, Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell, a gorgeously illustrated deep dive into the immune system that will change how you think about your body forever.
You wake up and feel a tickle in your throat. Your head hurts. You're mildly annoyed as you get the kids ready for school and dress for work yourself. Meanwhile, an utterly epic war is being fought, just below your skin. Millions are fighting and dying for you to be able to complain as you drink your cup of tea and head out the door.
So what, exactly, IS your immune system?
Second only to the human brain in its complexity, it is one of the oldest and most critical facets of life on Earth. Without it, you would die within days. In Immune, Philipp Dettmer, the brains behind the most popular science channel on YouTube, takes readers on a journey through the fortress of the human body and its defences. There is a constant battle of staggering scale raging within us, full of stories of invasion, strategy, defeat, and noble self-sacrifice. In fact, in the time you've been reading this, your immune system has probably identified and eradicated a cancer cell that started to grow in your body.
Each chapter delves deeply into an element of the immune system, including defences like antibodies and inflammation as well as threats like viruses, bacteria, allergies and cancer, as Dettmer reveals why boosting your immune system is actually nonsense, how parasites sneak their way past your body's defences, how viruses – including the coronavirus – work, and what goes on in your wounds when you cut yourself.
Enlivened by engaging full-colour graphics and immersive descriptions, Immune turns one of the most intricate, interconnected, and confusing subjects – immunology – into a gripping adventure through an astonishing alien landscape.
Challenging what you know and think about your own body and how it defends you against all sorts of maladies and how it might also eventually be your own downfall, Immune is a vital and remarkably fun crash course in what is arguably, and increasingly, the most important system in the body.
Philipp Dettmer is the founder and head writer of Kurzgesagt, one of the largest science channels on Youtube with over fifteen million subscribers and one billion views. After dropping out of high school at age fifteen, Philipp met a remarkable teacher who inspired in him a passion for learning and understanding the world. He went on to study history and information design with a focus on infographics. After college, Philipp started Kurzgesagt as a passion project to explain complicated ideas from a holistic perspective. When the channel took off, Philipp dedicated himself full-time to making difficult ideas engaging and accessible.
– A Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller
"Through wonderful analogies and a genius for clarifying complex ideas, Immune is a truly brilliant introduction to the human body's vast system for fighting infections and other threats. With his trademark wit and intellectual deft, Dettmer helps us understand not just the beautiful and strange mechanics of human immune responses, but also what works (and perhaps more importantly what doesn't work!) when seeking to bolster immunity."
– John Green, New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars
"Immune reads as if it's a riveting sci-fi novel, as Philipp Dettmer takes you on a journey into the body for an up-close look at the armies of expert warriors, rogue gladiators, and stealthy detectives that protect you in the daily war against trillions of ruthless microbe enemies. By the end of the book, I understood my entire body far better than I ever had before. Immune is a delightful treat for the curious"
– Tim Urban, creator of Wait But Why