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Breakthrough!: How the 10 Greatest Discoveries in Medicine Saved Millions and Changed Our View of the World (FT Press Science) 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The basic idea is to outline how the ten greatest medical breakthroughs came about and the impact each of them had on humanity. Queijo is a fine writer and has a good eye for just how much detail he can include without losing the attention of non-scientists. In fact, I think this book can be read by people as young as their early teenage years.
Queijo has kept the book just about as jargon free as he can, and he has a great ear for the facts you think you know but don't. As an example, everyone knows how Joseph Lister, returning from vacation, discovered a mold in a dirty petri dish that killed the surrounding germs. That mold was penicillin.
However, what you don't know is that there are many different types of penicillin, and only one has the magic anti-baterial properties. You also don't know that there was a particular and improbable temperature change required for the penicillin to be effective at all. Finally, you don't know that there was no penicillin spores of the effective type anywhere on the floor of Lister's lab, so how did it get there? Queijo knows it all and he tells the story well.
He also knows why inventor's discovered effective anesthetic agents a half century before they were deployed, and why no one thought it was worth following up. Or that Gregor Mendel went to his deathbed knowing the importance of his genetic experiments, but was unable to convince anyone else of same.
These stories are all important and told with a riveting pace that reminds one of one of the finer whodunits.Read more ›
Hippocrates' discovery that disease had natural causes, sanitation, germ theory, anesthesia, X-rays, vaccines, antibiotics, genetics, and treatments for mental disorders are all worthy candidates for the list. But Queijo ludicrously lists the "rediscovery of alternative medicine" as the tenth "great discovery." He presents no evidence (because there is no evidence) that alternative medicine has "saved millions" or that it has saved anyone. He doesn't realize that alternative medicine represents a betrayal of exactly the kind of rigorous scientific thinking and testing that led to all the other discoveries. His list of ten breakthroughs is actually a list of 9 breakthroughs and one breakdown.
He tells compelling human-interest stories about the discoveries. The complexities, the mis-steps, the near-misses, and the ups and downs make fascinating reading. He offers fascinating tidbits of historical information. He tells how, in the early days after the discovery of x-rays, Thomas Edison received a request to "Please send me one pound of X-rays and bill as soon as possible."
Most of the book is entertaining and informative, but in the chapter on alternative medicine, Queijo loses it entirely.Read more ›
I found this book quite interesting as well as informative. Queijo's descriptions of key medical discoveries, while brief, include background details that aren't as well known as the popular myths that have grown up around such stories as Fleming's accidental discovery of penicillin. What makes Queijo's accounts unique is that he stresses the long processes of discovery, and he emphasizes throughout the book that when evidence necessitating a paradigm shift is discovered, acceptance of the new ideas is not immediate, but rather takes many years and repeated efforts on the part of the researchers.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this book and have purchased it for friends and family as well. It is an interesting and informative look at history as it pertains to the development of the practice of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Betty
We are fortunate to live in this time. Superstition, ignorance and fear have largely been driven back by scientific discovery. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Senior Ninja
Reading expands one’s mind and can cause one to be mindful. I was aware that I lived in an age where it is easy to take one’s health for granted – most infections are relatively... Read morePublished 23 months ago by YoyoMitch
Although parts of this book are interesting, as a volume it doesn't measure up as a scholarly work of the history of medicine. Read morePublished on December 7, 2012 by JWH
I love reading articles about science and medicine, especially medical history, so I was excited to read "Breakthrough! Read morePublished on October 25, 2012 by A. Carter
I love history and I love the history of ideas. That being said, I can't say that I loved this book.
It is written like a very dry, very well-researched dissertation. Read more
As usual, this purchase was an addition for extra informatin for classes, and Amazon came through with ease and efficiency at a great cost for me. Thank You Amazon for everything. Read morePublished on November 14, 2011 by Skie