medicine

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

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Rated by Roxanne B.
Jul 14, 2011

State of Wonder is a remarkable novel that takes place in the Amazon jungle. Dr. Marina Singh, a pharmaceutical research scientist, is sent on a mission to discover the reasons behind her office mate’s death in the Amazon and to track down her former mentor, Dr. Swenson. Dr. Swenson has been working on a potentially valuable new fertility drug for years, but has gone off the company radar. What Dr. Singh finds is beyond belief and includes insect- and snake-invested jungles, cannibals, and subterfuge, but also the commonality of the human condition. This is a book to be savored, both for the

Mar 31, 2010

asthma.jpgMark Jackson, Professor of the History of Medicine and Director of the Centre for Medical History at the University of Exeter, contributed a volume on asthma for Oxford University Press’s series Biographies of Disease.  Asthma and allergies, as you may know, have been on a progressive trend afflicting more and more people since the beginning of the 20th century.  Knowing this I was interested to see what asthma was like in the ancient, medieval, and early modern periods of history.  In addition, I wanted to know the latest theories explaining this increasing trend.  Jackson’s research delivers

Feb 26, 2010

bodiesindoubt_reis1.gifElizabeth Reis, Associate Professor in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the History Department at the University of Oregon, shines a bright light into a dark alley in the history of American medicine.  The question for medical professionals: how to treat intersex patients, or, in other words, hermaphrodites—patients with ambiguous anatomical and physiological sexual identities.  Reis’s medical history starts at the beginning of American medicine where hermaphrodites were looked upon as monstrosities of nature, perhaps even a judgment of God for some kind of sexual perversion.  Later