Author(s): Christopher Wanjek
This text offers lively, clear explanations of the most widely held medical myths and misperceptions. Beginning by dispelling incorrect notions about how the body works (for example, do we really use only ten per cent of our brains?), author Christopher Wanjek goes on to set the record straight.
"...Bad Medicine is an enjoyable romp through a host of biomedical misconceptions..." (New Scientist, 21 December 2002) "...Wanjek shoots and scores when he tackles the major myths of medicine..." (Focus, February 2003)
CHRISTOPHER WANJEK is a frequent contributor to the Washington Post; he has also written for Smithsonian and Forbes, among other publications. He writes jokes for The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live. Wanjek is also a senior writer for NASA. He has previously worked as an in house science writer at MIT and the NIH.
Acknowledgments.Introduction: The Roots of Bad Medicine.PART I: I SING THE BODY ECLECTIC.10 Percent Misconception, 90 Percent Misdirection: The Brain at Work.Big Brain, Little Smarts: Brain Size and Intelligence.Blinded by Lies: The Eyes Have It.All in Good Taste: How the Tongue Works.Scrubbing Your Liver: The Demystification of Detoxification.Refer to the Appendix: Useless Organ or Helpful Player?Going Gray? Not Today: White Hair and Its Causes.Samson s Delight: Baldness Cures.The Race Is Off: Race Defined.PART II: GROWING OLD.Losing One s Mind: Memory Loss and Aging.Getting Stiffed: Vitality and Aging.Illness Gets Old: Aging and Disease.See You in 2150: The Long and Short of Life Span.On and On: Longevity and Genetics.PART III: ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU SICK.The Plague Lives! The Black Plague in the Modern Age.Cold Comfort: How to Catch a Cold.The Ill Advised War on Bacteria: Are All Bacteria Bad?Radiating Misperception: Radiation, Pro and Con.Swimming with Sharks: Sharks and Cancer.Mutating Misconceptions: What Your Genes Say about Your Future Health.PART IV: EATING IT UP.Learning Your Alpha Beta Carotenes: Antioxidants, Pro and Con.The Unbearable Heaviness of Being: Fat People and Food.Not Milk? Milk and Your Health.Organic Reasoning: The Benefits of Organic Food.Water, Water Everywhere: Bottled Water vs. Tap Water.The Whole Grain Truth: Are Whole Grains Healthier?PART V: THE RETURN OF THE WITCH DOCTOR.The Delusion of Dilution: Homeopathy X 50.Magnetic Charm: Magnets and Your Health.Reversal of Fortune: The Viability of Ayurveda.Something Smells Funny: Aromatherapy As a Cure.Suffocating Trends: Oxygen--How Much Is Too Much?The Ultimate Hands Off Approach: Touch Therapy, Qigong, and Falun Gong.Getting to the Root of the Problem: Herbs As Alternative Medicine.A Shot in the Arm: The True Dangers of Vaccines.PART VI: RISKING IT ALL.Toxic Avenger: The Science of Toxicity.Peer Reviewed for Your Pleasure: How Health Studies Work.Candy Adds Years to Your Life: And Other Important Health Study Findings.We re #1: Rating America s Health.PART VII: JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIES. I m Not a Reporter, but I Play One on TV: The Accuracy of Television Medical News.Rambo VI: The Quest for Hearing: Guns and Their Aftereffects.Knocked Out, Loaded: Imagined Violence and Real Problems.Heartbreaker: Hollywood Style.Epilogue: Tomorrow s Promise: Bad Medicine on the Horizon.Appendix: More Bad Medicine.Recommended Reading.Bibliography.Index.