Catching Breath: The Making and Unmaking of Tuberculosis [EPUB]
14 February 2018, 12:59
2017 | EPUB | 1.18MB
Tuberculosis is an ancient disease, but it's not a disease of history.
With more than a million victims every year--more than any other disease, including malaria--and antibiotic resistance now found in every country worldwide, tuberculosis is once again proving itself to be one of the smartest killers that humanity has ever faced. But it's hardly surprising considering how long it's had to hone its skills. Forty-thousand years ago, our ancestors set off from the cradle of civilization on their journey towards populating the planet. Tuberculosis hitched a lift and came with us, and it's been there ever since; waiting, watching, and learning.
The organism responsible, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, has had plenty of time to adapt to its chosen habitat--human lungs--and has learned through natural selection to be an almost perfect pathogen. Using our own immune cells as a Trojan Horse to aid its spread, it's come up with clever ways to avoid being killed by antibiotics. But patience has been its biggest lesson--it can enter into a latent state when times are tough, only to come back to life when a host's immune system is compromised. Today, more than one million people die of the disease every year and around one-third of the world's population are believed to be infected. That's more than two billion people. Throw in the compounding problems of drug resistance, the HIV epidemic, and poverty, and it's clear that tuberculosis remains one of the most serious problems in world medicine.
Catching Breath follows the history of TB through the ages, from its time as an infection of hunter-gatherers to the first human villages, which set it up with everything it needed to become the monstrous disease it is today, through to the perils of industrialization and urbanization. It goes on to look at the latest research in fighting the disease, with stories of modern scientific research, interviews with doctors on the TB frontline, and the personal experiences of those affected by the disease.
What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite (Revised and Updated) [EPUB]
14 February 2018, 09:20
2018 | EPUB | 1.15MB
Science writer David DiSalvo distills the latest research on how our brains work into easy-to-understand lessons that will give average readers insights into their habitual behavior.
This book reveals a remarkable paradox: what your brain wants is frequently not what your brain needs. In fact, much of what makes our brains "happy" leads to errors, biases, and distortions, which cloud our judgment and muddle our decision making.
Science writer David DiSalvo presents evidence from evolutionary and social psychology, cognitive science, neurology, and even marketing and economics. And he interviews many of the top thinkers in psychology and neuroscience today. From this research-based platform, DiSalvo draws out insights that we can use to identify our brains' foibles and turn our awareness into edifying action. Ultimately, he argues, the research does not serve up ready-made answers, but provides us with actionable clues for overcoming the plight of our advanced brains and, consequently, living more fulfilled lives.
Newly revised to include the latest research on the workings of the brain, What Makes Your Brain Happy is an essential tool for understanding yourself.
Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys but Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Life [EPUB]
12 February 2018, 14:38
2008 | EPUB | 6.96MB
Does drinking really kill brain cells? Does listening to Mozart make your baby smarter? For all the mileage we've gotten from our own brains, most of us have essentially no idea how they work. We're easily susceptible to myths (like the "fact" that we use only 10% of our brains) and misconceptions (like the ones perpetrated by most Hollywood movies), probably because we've never known where to turn for the truth.
But neurologists Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang are glad to help. In this funny, accessible book, we get a guided tour of our own minds, what they're made of, how they work, and how they can go wrong. Along the way, we get a host of diagrams, quizzes, and "cocktail party tips" that shed light on the questions we nag each other about. (Can a head injury make you forget your own name? Are dolphins smarter than chimpanzees?)
Fun and surprisingly engrossing, Welcome to Your Brain shows you how your brain works, and how you can make it work better.