From Vaccines to Vanilla: Getting to the Heart of Our Obsession with “Natural”

An unexpected benefit of lockdown (we have to take little joys where we find them) has been getting to virtually snoop through people's bookshelves in Zoom meetings. Some journalists have done the good work of putting together lists of titles they've spotted on shelves during interviews. Dr. Fauci's books made it into one of these... Continue Reading →

Debunking Medical Myth and “Viral BS”

Dr. Seema Yasmin is an MD, epidemiologist, and former disease detective with the Centers for Disease Control (cool job alert) who works in health journalism, doing what NHS doctor Ben Goldacre has implored other doctors and scientists to do: "translating" dense medical studies and scientific data so that the general public can more easily understand... Continue Reading →

The Data on Drinking

Drink?: The New Science of Alcohol and Health, by David Nutt David Nutt is an English neuropsychopharmacologist, meaning he studies drugs that affect the brain. Of which alcohol is a big, bad one. He was fired, or asked to resign, from his position as a government drug advisor for saying on primetime radio "that alcohol... Continue Reading →

The Macabre History of Human Skin Books

Standing in front of a display case at the Mütter Museum at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, medical librarian Megan Rosenbloom was captivated by a book allegedly bound in human skin. Her curiosity about how and why such objects exist, and whether most are real at all, led to the hands-on and historical investigations... Continue Reading →

Medical Nonfiction for Lay Readers

There was a time I didn't want to read one word about bodies or medicine, but maybe because of developing chronic health issues myself, or again living in the US uninsured, but as I mentioned in my first Nonfiction November post, I've been drawn to medical-related nonfiction lately. Here are three targeted at lay readers... Continue Reading →

Past and Future of the Pandemic

Apollo's Arrow, by Nicholas A. Christakis (Bookshop.org) It seemed to me that the novel coronavirus was a threat that was both wholly new and deeply ancient. Yale sociologist, public health educator, and former hospice physician Nicholas A. Christakis's Apollo's Arrow covers the coronavirus pandemic, drawing comparisons to previous plagues and pandemics from history and mythology,... Continue Reading →

Looking Back and Ahead From the Age of Resistance

Biography of Resistance: The Epic Battle Between People and Pathogens, by Muhammad H. Zaman, PhD (Amazon / Book Depository) Muhammad H. Zaman is a researcher and professor of biomedical engineering and international health at Boston University. In Biography of Resistance he traces the evolution of superbugs, namely how strains of bacteria have become resistant to... Continue Reading →

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