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August 9, 1995

Medical Insects and Arachnids

JAMA. 1995;274(6):506-507. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530060082042

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The impact of insects on human health is easily overlooked in an era of medicine that emphasizes curative drugs and preventive vaccines. Unfortunately, particularly in the tropics, many of the disease agents transmitted by arthropo are neither easily curable nor preventable.

The Lane and Crosskey text, with its splendid maps and drawings, tables of diseases and insect vectors, and tightly edited discourse, forcibly reminds us of the diversity and deadliness of the insect/ arachnid contribution to human suffering. The editors' interests in systematics are made clear from the beginning.

The first chapter emphasizes systematic terminology and philosophy, where we find somewhat preachy discourses on the significance of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature and the best methods for preparing and labeling specimens for museum storage (the role of insects as disease vectors finally appears on page 19). The second chapter outlines the evolution and distinguishing features of arthropods, followed

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