Where the Germs Are: A Scientific Safariby Nicholas Bakalar
To varying degrees we all fear germs, but the
This is a lively and often amusing book about our everyday interactions with microbes, the most common and most unavoidable kinds of life on earth-life that is not only all around us, but even on and in us. It reveals some of the extraordinary things scientists now know about these most ordinary companions.
To varying degrees we all fear germs, but the scientific basis for this fear is not always so firm. How many people a year die from food-borne streptococcus infection? Which pet is more likely to give you a serious illness, a cat or a turtle? What's the best way to prevent a cold (and no nonsense about vitamin C and avoiding going out in the cold with wet hair, please)? Which is a greater threat to health, botulism poisoning or exploding natural gas? You probably have some ideas about these things, but are you quite sure you're right? Where the Germs Are will explain, with a few surprises along the way.
You'll learn, for example, that your nice clean kitchen is a more likely source of illness than your bathroom; that fast-food restaurants are less contaminated with E. coli than fancier table-service establishments; that your luxurious daily bath or shower is doing almost nothing for your hygiene; that a certain bacterium can make you sick even after it's been boiled to death; and that one California scientist found the cure for smelly socks by creating cloth that kills germs.
If you're looking for information about germs, there is no shortage of people willing to tell you everything they think they know. Just ask your well-meaning friends or turn on the local TV news. Or go online for chat rooms replete with terror-filled half-truths, rumors, and bad advice about everything from raw chicken to hepatitis B vaccinations. And, of course, there are advertisers eager to exploit the slightest microbial anxiety by selling you everything from antibacterial earplugs to antibacterial chopsticks (really). Where the Germs Are puts a roadblock in their way by providing reliable, witty, and readable information about how to live with the germs that, like it or not, are our constant companions wherever we go and whatever we do.
- Turner Publishing Company
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- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
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- 2 MB
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Meet the Author
NICHOLAS BAKALAR is a New York-based writer and book editor. He is the author or coauthor of ten books, including Understanding Teenage Depression, Hepatitis A to G, Wiping Out Head Lice, and AIDS and People with Severe Mental Illness.
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