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Medicine for non-professionals .. Books that introduce you to this science in a fun and simple way

The reader may think that the medical field in particular is very far from his reading potential, and therefore he does not even try to contemplate it, not only because he thinks it is very cold in its material, similar to the coldness of some doctors in dealing with cases, but on the other hand the number of books translated or authored in This range is as little and not as widespread as simple physics books, take for example Brian Greene or Neil Degras Tyson or Hawking, etc. Everyone knows them, but do you know Siddhartha Mukherjee or Atul Guande?

Let’s start with the first writer, an assistant professor at Columbia University and a practicing physician in the field of oncology, an Indian American citizen, known for his most famous Pulitzer Prize-winning book “The Emperor of Tragedies,” and the book is really close to a masterpiece. It is written with great care. It is possible, through a graceful and attractive narrative style, to ward off boredom because of the coldness of medical knowledge, and its cruelty as well. We are really talking about the disease that was dubbed centuries ago as “the emperor of diseases”, and it is so powerful and influential that we have come to use his name as a metaphor for everything terrifying.

In this book, Mukherjee chronicles cancer, whether for the disease itself or our attempt to cure it, and in the meantime he feeds his talk with stories of patients inhabited by so much pain and hope together, you may really be surprised when you know that our knowledge of cancer reaches 4000 years ago, and you may be more surprised when you know that this is The disease precedes the existence of the human race itself, so this may help find an answer to the most popular question among people: Why do not we treat cancer and it ends? In the book, you will also learn about the nature of this disease, as it is in fact not a single disease, but rather a group of diseases, each of which has a special nature and requires different attempts at treatment.

Mukerji has another book, similar in the style of wonderful narration, which was published in Arabic translation two years ago, which is “The Gene … An Intimate History”, in which he introduces the history of genetics from Darwin and Mendel to the contemporary definition of the gene, after which the writer moves to talk about the future, how Could our contemporary knowledge of the gene shape the future of medicine? Can it re-engineer our bodies? The two books are two epic encyclopedias, each of which crosses the 600-page mark, but it will truly be an inspiring journey.

Now let’s move on to Atul Gwandi, an American surgeon and professor at Harvard Medical School as well as a high-ranking writer, who translated into Arabic his book “Because the human being – medicine and its ultimate value” in February 2019, which is one of his most amazing books indeed. In it, he talks about the very special relationship between medicine and aging, but do not think that the goal is to show the extent of progress doctors have made in treating aging, quite the opposite.

Where during the eight chapters of the book you can notice this strange contradiction between what the doctor wants and what an old man or old woman wants, who has just passed through to their eighty year, and in the first chapters you can find a very questionable comparison between an old Indian man who has been surrounded throughout his life With his family, he practices his business by himself, then one of his feet slipped from a bus in the city center and died, and another American, of the same age, is staying in an elderly home, and he will live for another ten years than his Indian companion, who of them is happier? And is the 10 extra years worth of all that restriction?

Let’s now move on to a conversation about some medical science, and let’s start with David Eagleman, an American neuroscientist from Stanford University, where in his book “The Brain: The Story of You” he gives us a very interesting dose of very strange properties. For this member who weighs less than a kilogram and a half only, in six chapters the book opens the door for you, not for answers to your questions, but for dozens of new questions that you will ask after you finish each chapter, so each of them begins with a question.

Is everything around you, all that you see, hear, and generally perceive, real? This may be a bit strange, but the answer is that it is not so. In fact, what we perceive is the closest thing to a distortion that we all agree on, but it is not the reality in its reality. Do you make your own decisions? Do you have freedom of will? Are there things that you do not realize that affect your decisions? Are you just a complex of neural signals interacting in a complex way, or are you “you”? Well, this book on the mind really does blow your mind off because of the amount of excitement it provides, especially with Eagleman’s really ingenious way of introducing neuroscience, and he’s one of the very few to have the ability to so smoothly in this range.

Another point that deserves some attention from us is the relationship between us and genes. We were brought up in schools on the “authority of genes”, as soon as the doctor utters the word “genetic disease” or “genetic trait” until we are desperate, because that means that the matter is over, in fact it has arisen. Within us with time is a fact that links the “genetic” to the “deterministic”, as if the gene is a strict and irreversible matter that determines almost everything from our gender (male or female) to our personalities and behavior!

Here, Sheldon Krimsky and Jeremy Gruber enter into a book that is very rare to talk about among Arab readers, although it was published in the Kuwaiti Knowledge World series more than four years ago with an excellent translation by Dr. Laila Al-Mousawi. Reasonable, “and let’s start with a simple question: Can genes tell who exactly will get diabetes? Who will tend to elect the political right parties? Who will commit crimes and who will become manageable?

The answer is: Yes, according to social media platforms and a few studies, but the reality is that the perception of genes as a final sentence of imprisonment for our bodies is far from the truth, and you may even be surprised that the concept of the gene itself faces many challenges, and since its appearance more than half ago A century is changing day by day, and scientists are trying, through continuous revision, to come up with the best definition for it, whose being a research program can help to further develop in this area. This book is a bit difficult, not in character as the previous ones, but some effort with it will give you an unimaginable benefit.

Now let’s move to a really interesting interface between medicine and evolutionary biology. Here we’re talking about the book “The Story of the Human Body … Evolution, Health, and Disease” by Daniel Lieberman, a professor at Harvard University. This book doesn’t just ask: How did we become who we are It now? More importantly, it asks: How can accurate knowledge of our evolution as living organisms, and our adaptation to the surrounding environment, help us in the event of illness? Indeed, the book argues that our society’s general failure to think about human development is one of the reasons we fail to prevent certain diseases.

The book is simple in its style, it starts with what is before man and then goes through its beginnings among the savannah grass two to three hundred thousand years ago, then moves to the industrial revolution and what comes after, during 13 chapters the book is not devoid of storytelling and excitement, but not at the level of Mukerji and Guandi, it is a bit dense And stacked with very interesting knowledge with a good translation, as you trace this magnificent evolutionary saga you can actually broaden your horizon, giving you additional space to answer another more important question we usually throw at ourselves: “Who am I really ?!”

We have reached the end of our journey with the world of medicine and the sciences related to it. The author would like to commend the publications of the Kuwaiti Knowledge World series in this particular field, and had it not been for the diversity of topics he would have added two wonderful books, namely “Our life and if it extends … the science of studying longevity and aging” from Written by Jonathan Silvertown, it is similar in its main topic (aging) to Guande’s book (though they differ in treatment angle) and “Cancer Diaries… Solving the Deepest Secrets of Medicine” by George Johnson, as he is the other connected in its subject with Mukherjee’s book. The author also did not wish to address the fields of psychiatry or psychology, as we will devote a special report for that.

Well, in the end, let us explain why we are interested in nominating some interesting medical books, although we are already witnessing a knowledge revolution, as a large number of Arab youths accept to study and read in many academic fields, and some sciences such as astronomy, psychology and human domains such as philosophy have received attention Broadly, we are unfortunately facing a lack of interest in medical sciences within the general reader’s domain, which contributes to the further spread of medical myths, which may be fatal at times, especially with a high wave of alternative medicine, which can be clearly felt in light of the pandemic. Covid-19 “.

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