Miracle Cure: The Creation of Antibiotics and the Birth of Modern Medicine

By 1955, the age-old evolutionary relationship between humans and microbes had been transformed, trivializing once-deadly infections. William rosen captures this revolution with all its false starts, lucky surprises, and eccentric characters. That all changed in less than a generation with the discovery and development of a new category of medicine known as antibiotics.

He explains why, given the complex nature of bacteria—and their ability to rapidly evolve into new forms—the only way to locate and test potential antibiotic strains is by large-scale, systematic, trial-and-error experimentation. The epic history of how antibiotics were born, saving millions of lives and creating a vast new industry known as Big Pharma.

As late as the 1930s, virtually no drug intended for sickness did any good; doctors could set bones, deliver babies, and offer palliative care. Organizing that research needs large, and so our entire scientific-industrial complex, well-funded organizations and businesses, built around the pharmaceutical company, was born.

Timely, combining science, engrossing, miracle cure is a must-read science narrative—a drama of enormous range, politics, technology, and eye-opening, and economics to illuminate the reasons behind one of the most dramatic changes in humanity’s relationship with nature since the invention of agriculture ten thousand years ago.


Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues

Martin J. He patiently and thoroughly builds a compelling case that the threat of antibiotic overuse goes far beyond resistant infections. NatureRenowned microbiologist Dr. Oshinsky, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Polio: An American Story. Blaser invites us into the wilds of the human microbiome, where for hundreds of thousands of years bacterial and human cells have existed in a peaceful symbiosis that is responsible for the equilibrium and health of our bodies.

Now this invisible eden is under assault from our overreliance on medical advances including antibiotics and caesarian sections, threatening the extinction of our irreplaceable microbes and leading to severe health consequences. Taking us into the lab to recount his groundbreaking studies, Blaser not only provides elegant support for his theory, he guides us to what we can do to avoid even more catastrophic health problems in the future.

Missing microbes is science writing at its very best—crisply argued and beautifully written, with stunning insights about the human microbiome and workable solutions to an urgent global crisis. David M. In missing microbes, Martin Blaser sounds an alarm.

The Perfect Predator: A Scientist's Race to Save Her Husband from a Deadly Superbug: A Memoir

A riveting memoir of one woman's extraordinary effort to save her husband's life-and the discovery of a forgotten cure that has the potential to save millions more. Epidemiologist steffanie strathdee and her husband, psychologist Tom Patterson, were vacationing in Egypt when Tom came down with a stomach bug.

Phage treatment had fallen out of favor almost 100 years ago, after antibiotic use went mainstream. She found allies at the fda, researchers from Texas A&M, and a clandestine Navy biomedical center-and together they resurrected a forgotten cure. A nail-biting medical mystery, the perfect Predator is a story of love and survival against all odds, and the rediscovery of a powerful new weapon in the global superbug crisis.

What at first seemed like a case of food poisoning quickly turned critical, where both he and Steffanie worked, and by the time Tom had been transferred via emergency medevac to the world-class medical center at UC San Diego, blood work revealed why modern medicine was failing: Tom was fighting one of the most dangerous, antibiotic- resistant bacteria in the world.

Frantic, steffanie combed through research old and new and came across phage therapy: the idea that the right virus, aka "the perfect predator, " can kill even the most lethal bacteria. Now, with time running out, Steffanie appealed to phage researchers all over the world for help.

Justinian's Flea: The First Great Plague and the End of the Roman Empire

In 542 ad, the bubonic plague struck. Cities were completely depopulated. Weaving together history, jurisprudence, ecology, microbiology, and epidemiology, theology, Justinian's Flea is a unique and sweeping account of the little known event that changed the course of a continent. It was the first pandemic the world had ever known and it left its indelible mark: when the plague finally ended, more than 25 million people were dead.

From the acclaimed author of miracle cure and the third horseman, the epic story of the collision between one of nature's smallest organisms and history's mightiest empire During the golden age of the Roman Empire, Emperor Justinian reigned over a territory that stretched from Italy to North Africa. It was the zenith of his achievements and the last of them.

In weeks, the glorious classical world of Justinian had been plunged into the medieval and modern Europe was born. At its height, five thousand people died every day in Constantinople.

The Drug Hunters: The Improbable Quest to Discover New Medicines

Donald R. Kirsch infuses the book with his own expertise and experiences from thirty-five years of drug hunting, whether searching for life-saving molecules in mudflats by Chesapeake Bay or as a chief science officer and research group leader at major pharmaceutical companies. Yet, trial-and-error, despite our best efforts to engineer cures, risk, luck, and ingenuity are still fundamental to medical discovery.

The drug hunters is a colorful, prozac, fact-filled narrative history of the search for new medicines from our Neolithic forebears to the professionals of today, and from quinine and aspirin to Viagra, and Lipitor. Dr. Through serendipity— by chewing, juniper, brewing, frankincense, snakeroot, alcohol, and snorting—some Neolithic souls discovered opium, and other helpful substances.

The chapters offer a lively tour of how new drugs are actually found, the discovery strategies, the mistakes, and the rare successes. Nowadays, big pharma conglomerates spend billions of dollars on state-of the art laboratories staffed by PhDs to discover blockbuster drugs. The surprising, behind-the-scenes story of how our medicines are discovered, told by a veteran drug hunter.

The search to find medicines is as old as disease, which is to say as old as the human race. Tzi the iceman, a worm-killing birch fungus, was found to have whipworms in his intestines and Bronze-age medicine, the five-thousand-year-old hunter frozen in the Italian Alps, knotted to his leggings.

The Third Horseman: Climate Change and the Great Famine of the 14th Century

The incredible true story of how a cycle of rain, and warfare created the worst famine in European history—years before the Black Death, cold, disease, from the author of Justinian's Flea and the forthcoming Miracle CureIn May 1315, it started to rain. For the seven disastrous years that followed, but of pike, ice, sword, and epidemics not just of disease, Europeans would be visited by a series of curses unseen since the third book of Exodus: floods, failures of crops and cattle, and spear.

All told, six million lives—one-eighth of Europe’s total population—would be lost. With a category-defying knowledge of science and history, William Rosen tells the stunning story of the oft-overlooked Great Famine with wit and drama and demonstrates what it all means for today’s discussions of climate change.


I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

Ed yong, whose humor is as evident as his erudition, prompts us to look at ourselves and our animal companions in a new light—less as individuals and more as the interconnected, interdependent multitudes we assuredly are. The microbes in our bodies are part of our immune systems and protect us from disease.

In the deep oceans, mysterious creatures without mouths or guts depend on microbes for all their energy. Bacteria provide squid with invisibility cloaks, help beetles to bring down forests, and allow worms to cause diseases that afflict millions of people. Many people think of microbes as germs to be eradicated, but those that live with us—the microbiome—build our bodies, protect our health, shape our identities, and grant us incredible abilities.

Joining the ranks of popular science classics like the botany of desire and The Selfish Gene, wondrously informative, and vastly entertaining examination of the most significant revolution in biology since Darwin—a “microbe’s-eye view” of the world that reveals a marvelous, a groundbreaking, radically reconceived picture of life on earth.

Every animal, whether human, squid, or wasp, is home to millions of bacteria and other microbes. In this astonishing book, ed yong takes us on a grand tour through our microbial partners, and introduces us to the scientists on the front lines of discovery. It will change both our view of nature and our sense of where we belong in it.


Ten Drugs: How Plants, Powders, and Pills Have Shaped the History of Medicine

It could be an oddball researcher’s genius insight, a catalyzing moment in geopolitical history, a new breakthrough technology, or an unexpected but welcome side effect discovered during clinical trials. His subjects include the largely forgotten female pioneer who introduced smallpox inoculation to Britain, Viagra, the first antibiotic, the infamous knockout drops, which helped empty public mental hospitals, which saved countless lives, statins, the first antipsychotic, and the new frontier of monoclonal antibodies.

Behind every landmark drug is a story. This is a deep, wide-ranging, and wildly entertaining book. Piece together these stories, century-spanning history, as Thomas Hager does in this remarkable, and you can trace the evolution of our culture and the practice of medicine. Beginning with opium, 000 years, ” which has been used for 10, the “joy plant, Hager tells a captivating story of medicine.


The Vaccine Race: Science, Politics, and the Human Costs of Defeating Disease

She describes the terrible dilemmas of pregnant women exposed to German measles and recounts testing on infants, prisoners, orphans, and the intellectually disabled, which was common in the era. It is also the story of yet one more unrecognized woman whose cells have been used to save countless lives. In june 1962, using tissue extracted from an aborted fetus from Sweden, produced safe, a young biologist in Philadelphia, clean cells that allowed the creation of vaccines against rubella and other common childhood diseases.

. With another frightening virus--measles--on the rise today, impact, no medical story could have more human drama, or urgency than The Vaccine Race. Until the late 1960s, tens of thousands of american children suffered crippling birth defects if their mothers had been exposed to rubella, popularly known as German measles, while pregnant; there was no vaccine and little understanding of how the disease devastated fetuses.

The new cells and the method of making them also led to vaccines that have protected billions of people around the world from polio, rabies, chicken pox, hepatitis A, measles, shingles and adenovirus. Two years later, in the midst of a devastating German measles epidemic, his colleague developed the vaccine that would one day wipe out homegrown rubella.

The vaccine race invites comparison with Rebecca Skloot's 2007 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Nature  the epic and controversial story of a major breakthrough in cell biology that led to the conquest of rubella and other devastating diseases. Meredith wadman’s masterful account recovers not only the science of this urgent race, but also the political roadblocks that nearly stopped the scientists.

The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention

Rosen traces the steam engine’s history from its early days as a clumsy but sturdy machine, to its coming-of-age driving the wheels of mills and factories, to its maturity as a transporter for people and freight by rail and by sea. The most powerful idea in the World will appeal to readers fascinated with history, science, and the hows and whys of innovation itself.

In the process he tackles the question that has obsessed historians ever since: What made eighteenth-century Britain such fertile soil for inventors? Rosen’s answer focuses on a simple notion that had become enshrined in British law the century before: that people had the right to own and profit from their ideas.

The result was a period of frantic innovation revolving particularly around the promise of steam power. The sweeping true story of how the steam engine changed the world, from the acclaimed author of Miracle CureIf all measures of human advancement in the last hundred centuries were plotted on a graph, when the Industrial Revolution would cause the line to shoot straight up, they would show an almost perfectly flat line—until the eighteenth century, beginning an almost uninterrupted march of progress.

In the most powerful idea in the world, william Rosen tells the story of the men responsible for the Industrial Revolution and the machine that drove it—the steam engine. Along the way we enter the minds of such inventors as thomas newcomen and James Watt, scientists including Robert Boyle and Joseph Black, and philosophers John Locke and Adam Smith—all of whose insights, tenacity, and ideas transformed first a nation and then the world.

William rosen is a masterly storyteller with a keen eye for the “aha!” moments of invention and a gift for clear and entertaining explanations of science.

The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution

Jonathan eig's masterful narrative revolves around four principal characters: the fiery feminist margaret sanger, the son of the founder of international harvester and a schizophrenic; the visionary scientist Gregory Pincus, who was dismissed by Harvard in the 1930s as a result of his experimentation with in vitro fertilization but who, who was a champion of birth control in her campaign for the rights of women but neglected her own children in pursuit of free love; the beautiful Katharine McCormick, who owed her fortune to her wealthy husband, grew obsessed with the idea of inventing a drug that could stop ovulation; and the telegenic John Rock, after he was approached by Sanger and McCormick, a Catholic doctor from Boston who battled his own church to become an enormously effective advocate in the effort to win public approval for the drug that would be marketed by Searle as Enovid.

Spanning the years from sanger’s heady greenwich village days in the early twentieth century to trial tests in Puerto Rico in the 1950s to the cusp of the sexual revolution in the 1960s, establishment opposition, and, scientific ingenuity, this is a grand story of radical feminist politics, ultimately, a sea change in social attitudes.

A chicago tribune "best books of 2014" • a slate "Best Books 2014: Staff Picks" • A St. Brilliantly researched and briskly written, cultural, The Birth of the Pill is gripping social, and scientific history. Louis post-dispatch "best books of 2014"The fascinating story of one of the most important scientific discoveries of the twentieth century.

We know it simply as "the pill, " yet its genesis was anything but simple.