47th out of 101 books — 77 voters
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Federal Bodysnatchers and the New Guinea Virus: Tales of Parasites, People, and Politics
Twenty years ago the world slept, confident that biomedical science would protect it from devastating plagues. Our wake-up call sounded at the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic. Then came more unfamiliar pathogens in its wake, such as the West Nile virus. Meanwhile, the neglected diseases of the third world, including malaria and African sleeping sickness, festered—their victi ...more
Published March 17th 2004 by W. W. Norton & Company
(first published 2002)
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Federal Bodysnatchers and the New Guinea Virus: Tales of People, Parasites, and Politics by Robert S. Desowitz was originally published in 2002. The title refers to a legal case involving the patenting of a virus based on genetic information obtained from the Hagahai people of New Guinea. What this book actually covers is ten different essays by epidemiologist Desowitz. Desowitz is informative, humorous, passionate, but always knowledgeable about his topic. Actually my one problem with his book ...more
I heard the Desowitz New Guinea Tapeworms and Jewish Grandmothers: Tales of Parasites and People book was very good, so I had pretty high expectations for this one. Unfortunately, the first half of this book was spent extolling the virtues of DEET to control mosquitoes. There was probably only 1 interesting chapter. I would skip this book and grab the New Guinea book.