Today is National Tortilla Chip Day but that’s not really very exciting (unless you own a company that makes tortilla chips). I’m feeling a little under the weather today, which could just be allergies or could signal the beginning of a cold. So today’s topic will be viruses and other things that make us sick.
We can start with The invisible enemy: a natural history of viruses by Dorothy H. Crawford (616 Cra), which “traces the natural history of viruses and addresses controversial subjects related to viruses,” or A field guide to the invisible by Wayne Biddle (500 Bid) which “provides information about the germs, viruses, microbes, odors, miniscule bugs, gases and rays, and other invisible perils that plague human beings.”
If you’re wondering why we get sick in the first place, try Survival of the sickest: a medical maverick discovers why we need disease by Sharon Moalem with Jonathan Prince (616.042 Moa). This book “explores evolutionary history for answers to why certain diseases exist, discussing the effects of environmental factors such as climate, food, and drink on the genes of human ancestors thousands and hundreds of years ago, and examines connections between genetic inheritance and who gets which diseases. Topics include: aging, anemia, cancer, childbirth, cholesterol, climate change, diabetes, DNA, evolution, fetal development, genes, genomes, hypertension, immune system, malaria, mutations, obesity, obsessive-compulsive disorders, pregnancy, stem cells, viruses, and much more.”
If you just want to get the beejeezus scared out of you (and feel grateful that you just have an ordinary cold virus), read The hot zone by Richard Preston (614.57 Pre) which “tells the dramatic story of U.S. Army scientists and soldiers who worked to stop the outbreak of a deadly and extremely contagious virus in 1989.” This is the scariest book I’ve ever read, all about the ebola virus. Believe me, next to this horrible disease, the nastiest cold is like a day at the beach!
- Your inner viruses: the trickle becomes the flood (blogs.discovermagazine.com)
- What’s the difference between viruses and bacteria? (mirror.co.uk)