From Chapter III
THE CHOLESTEROL ALSO RISES
If you're of Asian descent and have ever had an alcoholic beverage, there's a fifty-fifty chance your heart rate shot up, your temperature climbed, and your face turned bright red. If you're not Asian but you've ever been in a bar frequented by people with an Asian background, chances are you've seen this reaction. It's called Asian flush or, more formally, alcohol flush response. It happens to as many as half of all people of Asian descent, but it's uncommon in just about every other population group. So what's the story? Read More...
From Chapter V
OF MICROBES AND MEN
The family of streptococcal bacteria is responsible for a wide range of human disease—from strep throat to scarlet fever, bacterial pneumonia, and rheumatic fever. Many types of streptococcal bacteria exhibit a phenomenon called molecular mimicry in which they display characteristics of human cells in order to trick the immune system. The cells these bacteria mimic include cells found in the heart, the joints, and even the brain. Read More...
From Chapter VIII
THAT'S LIFE: WHY YOU AND YOUR iPOD MUST DIE
Seth Cook is the oldest living American with a particularly rare genetic disorder. He's lost all his hair. His skin is covered in wrinkles. His arteries are hardened. His joints hurt from arthritis. He takes an aspirin and a blood thinner every day. He is twelve years old. Read More...
The foregoing is excerpted from Survival of the Sickest by Sharon Moalem. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022