This book tells the story of the discovery of the mechanisms behind prion disease, interlaced with the tragedy of an Italian family that carries a mutation that causes fatal familial insomnia.
With a subtitle that says ‘How drug companies mislead doctors and harm patients’ you’re hardly expecting a comedy. ‘Bad Pharma’ is a very important read for anyone prescribing drugs, anyone taking drugs or anyone otherwise involved in the health care system.
We tend to take textbook knowledge for granted, but once upon a time these ‘facts’ were still to be discovered. Eric R. Kandel (1929) witnessed and importantly contributed to this small-step-by-small-step process in the field of neuroscience.
‘Science is not the only path to knowledge. When it comes to understanding the brain, art got there first.’ Jonah Lehrer’s fascination for the theoretical discoveries of artists in the nineteenth and twentieth century resulted in the book ‘Proust was a neuroscientist’.
If there is one certainty in life, it is that time has always been there, and will always remain. But although it is a basic fact of our existence, most people don’t tend to reflect much on the characteristics and implications of time. Eva Hoffman did.
In 1951, cervical tumour cells were taken from Henrietta Lacks and put into culture, to divide endlessly and be distributed across labs all over the world, perhaps to eventually find their way to your incubator: cells known as HeLa cells.