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Body Signs: From Warning Signs to False Alarms...How to Be Your Own Diagnostic Detective

by Joan Liebmann-Smith and Jacqueline Egan

We all notice things about our bodies that don't seem quite right. But when are these simply harmless physical quirks and when are they signs that a visit to the doctor is in order? This comprehensive and fascinating guide covers every body part from head to toe -- and everything in between -- to help you decode the often mysterious messages your body sends you.

Drawn from cutting-edge research and the latest scientific literature, and vetted by a panel of medical experts, this remarkable book also includes historical trivia and fascinating factoids about each body area in question, plus an invaluable resource section. Whether you have a health concern or simply enjoy playing medical detective, Body Signs will not only absorb and inform you but will help you gain a more intimate understanding of the wondrous workings of your body.

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An Ocean of Air: Why the Wind Blows and Other Mysteries of the Atmosphere

by Gabrielle Walker

We spend our lives surrounded by air, hardly even noticing it. It's the most miraculous substance on earth, yet responsible for our food, our weather, our water, and our ability to hear. In fact, we live at the bottom of an ocean of air. In this exuberant book, gifted science writer Gabrielle Walker peels back the layers of our atmosphere with the stories of the people who uncovered its secrets:

  • A flamboyant Renaissance Italian discovers how heavy our air really is: The air filling Carnegie Hall, for example, weighs seventy thousand pounds.
  • A one-eyed barnstorming pilot finds a set of winds that constantly blow five miles above our heads.
  • An impoverished American farmer figures out why hurricanes move in a circle by carving equations with his pitchfork on a barn door.
  • A well-meaning inventor nearly destroys the ozone layer.
  • A reclusive mathematical genius predicts, thirty years before he's proved right, that the sky contains a layer of floating metal fed by the glowing tails of shooting stars.
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What You Don't Know Can Kill You: A Physician's Radical Guide to Conquering the Obstacles to Excellent Medical Care

by Laura W. Nathanson

In 2003, Dr. Laura Nathanson was widowed after the misdiagnosis of her beloved husband. After this tragedy, she was determined to help others protect themselves and their loved ones from similarly preventable health care disasters -- and help them benefit from health care miracles.

In What You Don't Know Can Kill You, Dr. Nathanson provides a guide to getting the best medical care and navigating our frustrating and often impenetrable health care system. In clear, non-medical language, she shows how to: Flag any signs of misdiagnosis and misleading analysis of symptoms; Prevent miscommunication among specialists from having dire consequences; and Stay safe in the hospital and bypass its dangers· Choose a health care plan without falling into the "uncovered services" trap

Full of empathy for each individual patient and caregiver, What You Don't Know Can Kill You will empower patients to be their own best advocates.

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Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance

by Atul Gawande

The struggle to perform well is universal: each one of us faces fatigue, limited resources, and imperfect abilities in whatever we do. But nowhere is this drive to do better more important than in medicine, where lives are on the line with every decision. In his new book, Atul Gawande explores how doctors strive to close the gap between best intentions and best performance in the face of obstacles that sometimes seem insurmountable.

Gawandes gripping stories of diligence, ingenuity, and what it means to do right by people take us to battlefield surgical tents in Iraq, to labor and delivery rooms in Boston, to a polio outbreak in India, and to malpractice courtrooms around the country. He discusses the ethical dilemmas of doctors participation in lethal injections, examines the influence of money on modern medicine, and recounts the astoundingly contentious history of hand washing.

And as in all his writing, Gawande gives us an inside look at his own life as a practicing surgeon, offering a searingly honest firsthand account of work in a field where mistakes are both unavoidable and unthinkable. At once unflinching and compassionate, Better is an exhilarating journey narrated by arguably the best nonfiction doctor-writer around. Gawandes investigation into medical professionals and how they progress from merely good to great provides rare insight into the elements of success, illuminating every area of human endeavor..

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Riddled with Life: Friendly Worms, Ladybug Sex, and the Parasites That Make Us Who We Are

by Marlene Zuk

We think of disease as our enemy, something we try to eradicate; germs and infections are things we battle. But in this witty, engaging book, evolutionary biologist Marlene Zuk reveals that, in fact, disease is our partner, not our foe, and is responsible for everything from how we look to how we have sex.

Since the earliest days of life on earth, disease has evolved alongside us. Drawing on the latest research and studies, Zuk explains the role of disease in answering a fascinating range of questions such as: Why do men die younger than women? Why does the average male bird not have a penis? Why do we -- and lots of other animals -- get STDs? How is our obsession with cleanliness making us sicker? And how can parasites sometimes make us well?

Using her own work on sexual selection as well as a sampling of stories from the natural world, Zuk makes us reconsider the fearsome parasite.

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The Science & Technology Bookshelf


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