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The Medicine Cabinet of Curiosities: An Unconventional Compendium of Health Facts and Oddities, from Asthmatic Mice to Plants That Can Killby Nick Bakalar
Synopses & Reviews
Delightful doses of medical miscellany about wacky doctors and their curious patients, from their smallest bones (the stapes) to their heaviest organs (the liver)
In this addictive collection of trivia, Nicholas Bakalar, the “Vital Signs” columnist for The New York Times, spoons out the things you never realized you really want to know about your body and your health.
Bakalar shares the wonders of medicine, from medical firsts (in 1667, the first survivor of a blood transfusion received sheeps blood) to medical onlys (rabies is the only infectious disease that is 100 percent curable when treated and 100 percent fatal if not). He takes a tour of diseases that belong in horror movies: liquefying organs, flesh-eating bacteria, mushrooms sprouting in the throat. He notes remarkable remedies, such as dark chocolate, which can stand in for blood-pressure pills. And he dissects the chemistry of the human body (including the 0.0000000000000015259 percent that is radium).
With a specialists attention to the funny bone as well as the gray matter, Bakalar tickles the curiosity of both the healthy and the hypochondriac, following Voltaires dictum that “the art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”
Book News Annotation:
Bakalar formerly wrote and now contributes to the "Vital Signs" column in The New York Times. In this book, he describes strange-but-true trivia of the medical world along with more practical introductions to medical procedures and other topics of interest. Chapters offer statistics on death and disease, detail the symptoms of the world's most horrifying diseases, answer questions on medical myths, review the side effects of products purporting to improve sex, note firsts and embarrassing moments in medical history, describe fantastic and bizarre medical inventions, and list remarkable remedies, among other topics. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In this addictive collection of trivia, Bakalar shares the wonders of medicine, takes a tour of diseases that belong in horror movies, and tickles the curiosity of both the healthy and the hypochondriac.
About the Author
Nicholas Bakalar, a longtime “Vital Signs” columnist for The New York Times, is the author or co-author of twelve books, including Where the Germs Are: A Scientific Safari. He has also reported on health and science news for Discover magazine, Wildlife Conservation, and National Geographic News. He lives in New York City.
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