Get out your credit card and get some...

Science Books

October 5, 2006

The Demon Under the Microscope: From Battlefield Hospitals to Nazi Labs, One Doctor's Heroic Search for the World's First Miracle Drug
Thomas Hager (2006)
ISBN: 1400082137

While the weapons of mass destruction found on the battlefields of WWI played their part in killing and maiming millions of men, there was yet another insidious killer that shared the trenches with soldiers from both sides. Bacteria. Veteran science and medical writer Thomas Hager, Force of Nature: The Life of Linus Pauling, relates how physician Gerhard Domagk's discovery of sulfa drugs changed the face of medicine forever. Sulfa drugs saved millions of lives - including those of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. - leaving Hager to conclude that it is sulfa that should be remembered as the first big drug breakthrough, not penicillin. The development of sulfa drugs in 1932 changed the entire landscape of medicine, as creating such effective disease fighting drugs in the lab was entirely revolutionary. The societal impact associated with finding a treatment for death-sentence diseases such as pneumonia, plague, tuberculosis, diphtheria, cholera and meningitis would be comparable to today's scientists finding a general cure for cancer. Hager's The Demon Under The Microscope is a book with plenty of depth. It not only follows Domagk's development of sulfa, but also illuminates beautifully the characters involved, which affords it a riveting layer of intrigue. Corporate wheeling-and-dealing, good fortune, stratagems, avarice, sacrifice, and unwavering dedication to a noble cause comprise just some of the ingredients that went into Domagk's momentous and hard-won scientific achievement. Entangled within a plot as twisting as a strand of DNA reside Hager's descriptions of the science of sulfa, which he articulates so well that you won't want to skip over them. Well worth a look.

Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science
Jeff Meldrum (2006)
ISBN: 0765312166

For most people, hearing the word Sasquatch probably summons up images of grainy 8mm film footage of someone loping into a thick forest wearing a rented-out Wookie costume. But Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum, Associate Professor of Anatomy and Anthropology at Idaho State University, is about to change all that by subjecting the elusive Sasquatch to a bona-fide scientific investigation. With Meldrum's impeccable academic credentials, and the fact that most of the scientific community considers evidence for the existence of the Sasquatch wanting (to put it mildly), some might say that Sasquatch is a career ending move. But Meldrum's scientific tenacity is infectious, and he has already attracted positive feedback from a number of scientific peers. Meldrum's Sasquatch analysis begins by seriously looking at all the available evidence, with the subsequent summation of said evidence being as impressive as it is expansive. Meldrum's field of expertise is locomotor adaptations, so his appetite for discovering a possible 21st century primate anomaly is certainly whetted. Thankfully this does not mean that Meldrum sets off to serve his own ends by cobbling together circumstantial evidence cherry-picked to favor the existence of a living missing-link. Instead, we are treated to a thorough and objective comparison of the supposed tracks, DNA and film footage of Sasquatch with records of known primates and other species. This is a substantial strength of Sasquatch, as here we have a seasoned anthropology professor working through various possibilities that may explain sightings of a hairy humanoid-looking thingy running through the wilds. Meldrum's scientific stalking of the Sasquatch should make excellent reading for anyone; whether you're a Sasquatch true believer, or a skeptic determined to tear away the Wookie suit to reveal the man within.

[Back to the Main Books Page]

Top of page     Home page     Forums     About

The terms and conditions governing your use of this website.

© 1997 - 2016 McMurdo Media Pty Ltd and its licensors. All rights reserved.