The failure of ‘democratized’ health care, and parasites on parade: Books in brief

James Eaton

Writing Gaia book cover.

Creating Gaia

Eds Bruce Clarke & Sébastien Dutreuil Cambridge Univ. Push (2022)

In 1966, unbiased scientist James Lovelock proposed that Earth’s local climate and the chemistry of its surface area, air and sea “have advanced with lifetime to offer the best possible conditions for its survival”. From 1972, he and evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis made this notion into the Gaia speculation. Their trans-Atlantic correspondence appears in this enlightening guide, edited by historians Bruce Clarke and Sébastien Dutreuil. At the time, the idea experienced minimal backing from Earth and everyday living scientists now, notables in the field add essays of help.

The Doctor Who Wasn't There book cover.

The Medical doctor Who Wasn’t There

Jeremy A. Greene Univ. Chicago Press (2022)

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, medical professional Jeremy Greene converted his clinic to telemedicine, with blended final results. He turned curious about the clinical historical past of communications technology these types of as the telephone, invented in 1876. The 1910 ‘telephonic stethoscope’ was hailed for checking hearts, lungs and abdomens. However it was no use to the many patients who lacked a phone even decades later. This vivid, extremely readable but US-concentrated record describes how several other systems tried “to democratize obtain to healthcare”.

Códice Maya de México book cover.

Códice Maya de México

Ed. Andrew D. Turner Getty Exploration Inst. (2022)

Only four Maya publications survived the Spanish conquest of Mesoamerica. Three are in Europe and proved key to deciphering Maya glyphs. The fourth, found out in the 1960s, continues to be in Mexico. Its authenticity was debated right up until 2018, when scrutiny of its colors, notably ‘Maya blue’, proven it as the oldest surviving e-book of the Americas, from about 1100. Archaeologist Andrew Turner and contributors present a intriguing investigation of this science and the book’s supernatural information — predictions primarily based on Venus’s movements — with a vivid facsimile.

Parasites book cover.

Parasites

Scott L. Gardner et al. Princeton Univ. Press (2022)

Parasite at first meant ‘next to food’, but afterwards signified sitting following to a host to get no cost food items. Now it describes a extensive-time period relationship amongst species, in which the parasite added benefits and the host is harmed, while in observe the latter ranges from “deadly effects” to “some benefits”, take note parasitologists Scott Gardner and Gabor Rácz, and parrot specialist Judy Diamond. Their world-ranging analyze, illustrated by Brenda Lee, focuses on three abundant styles of parasite — nematodes, flatworms and thorny-headed worms.

Pandemic Divide book cover.

The Pandemic Divide

Ed. Gwendolyn L. Wright et al. Duke Univ. Push (2022)

US Black and Latinx populations encounter illness and COVID-19 deaths at a larger amount and before age than the countrywide typical. “COVID-19 pulled again the curtain on the extent of racialized inequality in the United States,” notes the foreword to this disturbing but proactive selection of content articles by 27 US lecturers from a lot of fields. So did George Floyd’s murder in 2020. Each gatherings spotlight inequality arising from discrimination in health care, policing, instruction, work, housing and credit history markets.

Competing Pursuits

The writer declares no competing interests.

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