The Human Superorganism

Author: Rodney Dietert, PhD
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101983911
Release Date: 2016-07-12
Genre: Science

"Eyeopening... Fascinating... may presage a paradigm shift in medicine.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Teeming with information and big ideas... Outstanding.” —Booklist (starred review) The origin of asthma, autism, Alzheimer's, allergies, cancer, heart disease, obesity, and even some kinds of depression is now clear. Award-winning researcher on the microbiome, professor Rodney Dietert presents a new paradigm in human biology that has emerged in the midst of the ongoing global epidemic of noncommunicable diseases. The Human Superorganism makes a sweeping, paradigm-shifting argument. It demolishes two fundamental beliefs that have blinkered all medical thinking until very recently: 1) Humans are better off as pure organisms free of foreign microbes; and 2) the human genome is the key to future medical advances. The microorganisms that we have sought to eliminate have been there for centuries supporting our ancestors. They comprise as much as 90 percent of the cells in and on our bodies—a staggering percentage! More than a thousand species of them live inside us, on our skin, and on our very eyelashes. Yet we have now significantly reduced their power and in doing so have sparked an epidemic of noncommunicable diseases—which now account for 63 percent of all human deaths. Ultimately, this book is not just about microbes; it is about a different way to view humans. The story that Dietert tells of where the new biology comes from, how it works, and the ways in which it affects your life is fascinating, authoritative, and revolutionary. Dietert identifies foods that best serve you, the superorganism; not new fad foods but ancient foods that have made sense for millennia. He explains protective measures against unsafe chemicals and drugs. He offers an empowering self-care guide and the blueprint for a revolution in public health. We are not what we have been taught. Each of us is a superorganism. The best path to a healthy life is through recognizing that profound truth. From the Hardcover edition.

Your Baby s Microbiome

Author: Toni Harman
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 9781603586962
Release Date: 2017-02-23
Genre: Health & Fitness

From the Directors of the Award-Winning Documentary Microbirth At least two amazing events happen during childbirth. There’s the obvious main event, which is the emergence of a new human into the world. But there’s another event taking place simultaneously, a crucial event that is not visible to the naked eye, an event that could determine the lifelong health of the baby. This is the seeding of the baby’s microbiome, the community of “good” bacteria that we carry with us throughout our lives. The seeding of the microbiome, along with breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact, kick-starts the baby’s immune system and helps protect the infant from disease across a lifetime. Researchers are discovering, however, that interventions such as the use of synthetic oxytocin, antibiotics, C-sections, and formula feeding interfere with, or bypass completely, the microbial transfer from mother to baby. These bacteria are vital for human health, and science has linked an imbalance in the human microbiome with multiple chronic diseases. Drawing on the extensive research they carried out for their documentary film Microbirth, authors Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford reveal a fascinating new view of birth and how microscopic happenings can have lifelong consequences, for ourselves, our children—and our species as a whole.

Planet of Microbes

Author: Ted Anton
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226353944
Release Date: 2017-10-31
Genre: Nature

This book takes readers into the latest discoveries about early microbial life, where findings from the earth's furthest extremes are seeking to reshape the future of our planet and ourselves. As scientists take the next step in applying the lessons of popular and controversial research, the world's tiniest, and sometimes most dangerous, microorganisms are being tapped as allies in achieving better health and sustainable energy, while revealing fundamental clues to the mystery of where we came from.--Provided by publisher.

Strange Survivors

Author: One R. Pagan
Publisher: BenBella Books
ISBN: 9781944648596
Release Date: 2018-02-27
Genre: Science

Life is beautiful, ruthless, and very, very strange. In the evolutionary arms race that has raged on since life began, organisms have developed an endless variety of survival strategies. From sharp claws to brute strength, camouflage to venom—all these tools and abilities share one purpose: to keep their bearer alive long enough to reproduce, helping the species avoid extinction. Every living thing on this planet has developed a time-tested arsenal of weapons and defenses. Some of these weapons and defenses, however, are decidedly more unusual than others. In Strange Survivors, biologist Oné R. Pagán takes us on a tour of the improbable, the ingenious, and the just plain bizarre ways that creatures fight for life. Inside this funny, fascinating field guide to nature’s most colorful characters, you’ll meet killer snails, social bacteria, and an animal with toxic elbows. But Strange Survivors is more than a collection of curiosities—it is a love letter to science and an argument for the continuing relevance of this evolutionary battle as we face the threat of resistant bacteria and the need for novel medical therapies. Whether discussing blood-thinning bats and electric fish or pondering the power of cooperation, Pagán reveals the surprising lessons found in some of life’s natural oddities and how the tactics they employ to live might aid our own survival.

Author: Anthony Marra
Publisher: Εκδόσεις Ίκαρος
ISBN: 9789605721336
Release Date: 2016-10-13
Genre: Fiction

Η εξαιρετικά καλογραμμένη συλλογή διηγημάτων του Anthony Marra, σκιαγραφεί μια πλειάδα αξέχαστων χαρακτήρων των οποίων οι ζωές διασταυρώνονται μεταξύ τους με τρόπο σπαραχτικό. Την δεκαετία του 1930 στο Λένινγκραντ, ένας ζωγράφος-διορθωτής επεξεργάζεται επίμαχες φωτογραφίες για λογαριασμό του Κόμματος του Στάλιν, σβήνοντας και αλλοιώνοντας πρόσωπα με τον αερογράφο του. Μαγεμένος από την εικόνα μιας μπαλαρίνας, βρίσκεται κατηγορούμενος για σχέση με την πολωνική κατασκοπεία. Μια ομάδα γυναικών αφηγείται τις ιστορίες της αλλά και αυτές των γιαγιάδων τους, πρώην κρατουμένων της Γκουλάγκ, που εγκαταστάθηκαν σε πόλη ορυχείων της Σιβηρίας. Δύο ζεύγη αδερφών μοιράζονται μια άγρια, προστατευτική αγάπη. Νεαροί άνδρες σε ολόκληρη τη πρώην Σοβιετική Ένωση αντιμετωπίζουν τη βία στο σπίτι και στο στρατόπεδο. Μεγάλες θυσίες γίνονται και στο όνομα ενός πετρελαιοειδούς τοπίου, το οποίο είναι συνηθισμένο εκτός από το σχεδόν ακατανόητο ειρηνικό παρελθόν που απεικονίζει. Ο Τσάρος της αγάπης και της τέκνο, με εκπληκτική πρόζα μιλά για τη ματαιότητα της προσπάθειας να εξαλειφθούν άνθρωποι και γεγονότα, για την ανθρώπινη προσαρμοστικότητα, το παράλογο της ζωής και του πολέμου, αλλά και το πόσο μικρή είναι η ζωή μας σε σχέση με το μέγεθος του σύμπαντος.