A Matter of Life and Death: Inside the Hidden World of the Pathologist

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Canongate, Apr 1, 2011 - Medical - 384 pages
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From the forensic anthropologist with his own "body farm" in Tennessee to the doctor who had a heart-and-lung transplant and ended up using her own lungs for research?a jaw-dropping investigation into the world of pathology

Profiling some of the world's most eminent and pioneering pathologists, this book?part Oliver Sacks, part crime investigation?shares many fascinating stories of mysterious illnesses and miraculous scientific breakthroughs. Topics discussed include the search for the mutations that make flu viruses deadly, doubts about the existence of "shaken baby syndrome," the quest to "build" new organs for transplantation, and what can be read in bones. It is a look into a world that is hidden, yet which everyone will encounter at some time in their lives, for pathology lies at the cornerstone of modern medicine. It is pathologists who are responsible for recognizing new diseases such as AIDS, SARS, or bird flu; for diagnosing which cancer a patient is suffering from; and for explaining the cause of death at the autopsy table. Crammed full of extraordinary characters, this book has great appeal to those interested in the extraordinary reality behind crime fiction and television dramas.

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About the author (2011)

Sue Armstrong is a science writer and broadcaster. As a foreign correspondent she worked for a variety of media including the New Scientist and BBC World Service. She has also undertaken a variety of assignments writing reports for the World Health Organization and UNAIDS.

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