Friday, January 17, 2014

Book Recommendation: The Germ Code

     The Germ Code by Jason Tetro is a fascinating fast moving account of  germs and how as he says "we can pick our battles carefully and co-exist as best we can." On the book's front cover there is a blurb "How to stop worrying and love the microbes."

     I hadn't thought much about how germs attack our body. I just thought germs enter the body and because they're there they make us sick. Scientists know much more. It's what germs do and how they do it once they gain entry to our body. They take the DNA and find out which parts of the DNA do the damage and which parts of our DNA are attacked and why it works this way. 

     Tetro describes fights with diseases that have caused us more problems than if we'd left them alone. He also discusses the scary topic of antibiotics and how germs change themselves so that antibiotics are no longer effective. He also covers some pretty weird and gross treatments that actually work.

    We often hear of flues such as H1N1, which is around this winter, and their danger of becoming a pandemic. What is a pandemic? He tells us in his book. 

     There are thousands of germs but only a few that are any threat to us. 

    He also  explains  where certain diseases come from and how they originated.

     The science of fighting diseases is much more developed than I ever thought. However, there are simple things we can do to escape infections. Washing hands carefully when you go from place to place is very effective. 

    So if you have any interest whatsoever in disease and how it works, this is the book for you.