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The Demon Under the Microscope
The Demon Under the Microscope: From Battlefield Hospitals to Nazi Labs, One Doctor's Heroic Search for the World's First Miracle Drug | Thomas Hager
9 posts | 8 read | 62 to read
The Nazis discovered it. The Allies won the war with it. It conquered diseases, changed laws, and single-handedly launched the era of antibiotics. This incredible discovery was sulfa, the first antibiotic. In The Demon Under the Microscope, Thomas Hager chronicles the dramatic history of the drug that shaped modern medicine. Sulfa saved millions of livesamong them those of Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr.but its real effects are even more far reaching. Sulfa changed the way new drugs were developed, approved, and sold; transformed the way doctors treated patients; and ushered in the era of modern medicine. The very concept that chemicals created in a lab could cure disease revolutionized medicine, taking it from the treatment of symptoms and discomfort to the eradication of the root cause of illness. A strange and colorful story, The Demon Under the Microscope illuminates the vivid characters, corporate strategy, individual idealism, careful planning, lucky breaks, cynicism, heroism, greed, hard work, and the central (though mistaken) idea that brought sulfa to the world. This is a fascinating scientific tale with all the excitement and intrigue of a great suspense novel. For thousands of years, humans had sought medicines with which they could defeat contagion, and they had slowly, painstakingly, won a few battles: some vaccines to ward off disease, a handful of antitoxins. A drug or two was available that could stop parasitic diseases once they hit, tropical maladies like malaria and sleeping sickness. But the great killers of Europe, North America, and most of Asiapneumonia, plague, tuberculosis, diphtheria, cholera, meningitiswere caused not by parasites but by bacteria, much smaller, far different microorganisms. By 1931, nothing on earth could stop a bacterial infection once it started. . . . But all that was about to change. . . . from The Demon Under the Microscope From the Hardcover edition.
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kranthir
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Pickpick

Thomas Hager is a gifted narrator. He builds up the story, mixing it up with interesting bits of history and science. The book captures major milestones in understanding the disease and developing drugs for it. With so much happening during the 1940‘s, it‘s hard to just fill up the book with facts and miss the big picture. But the author does a good job in focusing on the main theme. I definitely recommend it.

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Megabooks
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This talks about the search to find a drug to combat bacterial #Contagion. It has a wonderful historical overview of the #LittlestThings that have caused major problems in history. I‘m going to recommend two other books about bacteria and drugs in the comments. All three are great #audiobooks, too. I highly recommend these books for pharm/science/history nerds!

#StarTrekSummerMay #MayMovieMagic

Cinfhen I like NF but I haven‘t read too many scientific ones... they make me nervous 🥺but I might try your suggestions 😄 4y
See All 20 Comments
Cinfhen BTW: I‘m allergic to all Sulfa antibiotics 🤪 4y
Megabooks @Cinfhen I‘m allergic too! I Contain Multitudes would be a good place to start. It‘s the most “pop science” of the three. 😁😁 4y
Cinfhen Thanks for the go to rec!! BTW: I saw this book suggested and it sounds fascinating too 4y
Megabooks @Cinfhen Thanks! Stacked that one! 4y
KateFulfordAuthor Sounds interesting- thanks! 4y
rohit-sawant Great post! Appreciate the reccs! 4y
Crazeedi I love to read books medical, etc. I'm checking all these out! Thank you! 4y
gradcat I‘m like @Cinfhen ... in more ways than one: I, too, love nonfiction but am a bit scared of the sciencey ones, plus, I have a severe allergy to sulfa antibiotics as well ... go figure! But you do make these books sound very interesting....👍 Oops, I see that @Megabooks also has that allergy—I think it is fairly common, right? 💉🧫😂 (edited) 4y
jb72 I love nonfiction books especially science based ones. 4y
Megabooks @KateFulfordAuthor I hope you enjoy it! 4y
Megabooks @rohit-sawant I hope you try one! 😁👍🏻 4y
Megabooks @Crazeedi Awesome! Enjoy! 4y
Megabooks @gradcat well, sulfa is a molecular side-chain used in dye making, as opposed to something natural like the penicillin mold, so that may be why there are more allergies. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 4y
Megabooks @jb72 Me too! 👍🏻👍🏻 4y
gradcat Goodness @megabooks ! Who knew!?! 🤣🧐 4y
SW-T I have to stay off your feed 🤣You always post about such interesting books! Another one for my TBR list 🤗 4y
Megabooks @SW-T Thanks! 🥰 I think the best/worst thing about Litsy the ever-increasing TBR!! 😂 4y
89 likes8 stack adds20 comments
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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Pickpick

Fascinating look into the development of the first antibiotics, with scenes from WWI battlefields, Nazi experiments, Nobel ceremonies, and lots of moments over microscopes. Surprise appearance by the early FDA, explaining how they started drug testing protocols. Must enjoy science and medicine, although it‘s written in layman‘s language. I loved it!

Full review at www.thebibliophage.com
#thebibliophage2018

Ncostell Just stacked this one, thanks for the heads up! I‘m a pharmacist and this is right up my alley! 5y
Daisey This sounds fascinating! 5y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Ncostell Oooh. I‘ll bet you enjoy it. Any suggestions for me from this topic? Someone else recommended 5y
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Ncostell I‘ll have to check out The Mold in Dr. Florey‘s Coat too. Believe it or not, I haven‘t read much outside of school on the history of medicine. Not sure why! 5y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @eraderneely Oooh! I‘ll add that one to my TBR also. Thanks! 5y
ValerieAndBooks As a former microbiologist I ‘ll have to check this out. I had a hard time with the science aspect of microbiology but continue to be fascinated by the historical aspect of it (Salk, Henrietta Lacks, etc) and epidemics (1918 influenza etc). 5y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @ValerieAndBooks That‘s pretty much my favorite medical / science stuff also. 5y
127 likes13 stack adds9 comments
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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Our grandson is a chemistry undergrad, hoping to develop new drugs when he completes his schooling. He‘s contemplating getting his MD as well. I‘m definitely recommending this book to him for summer reading. It‘s fascinating!

#mttbr #theygrowuptoofast #nonfiction2018 #audiobook

Geeklet That sounds interesting. I love books about chemical discoveries. They‘re always weirdly fascinating. 5y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @CSeydel Thanks!! I‘m stacking it! 😍 5y
108 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Megabooks
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I've been #rereading this tonight. It's the pharm geek in me that loves the chase after diseases and for cures. It's an interesting bookend to I Contain Multitudes, which covers the commensal biome more than the infectious one. Both books are very interesting for science lovers! #audiobook #audible

LauraJ You post the best non-fiction books 🏆 6y
Megabooks @LauraJ Thank you! I love nonfiction! 6y
80 likes8 stack adds2 comments
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Megabooks
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Pickpick

4.5🌟story & narration This book turns the hunt for an antibiotic into a thriller! The players in developing sulfa drugs and the history leading up to their findings reads more like a thriller than dry nonfiction. Perfect for any science nerd or history buff. TW in a spoiler #nonfictionnovember

Megabooks While none of the main characters were Nazi collaborators, there is half a chapter on concentration camp medical experimentation. 6y
Megabooks And it's on sale on #Audible now! 6y
73 likes11 stack adds2 comments
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Megabooks
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When, after an embarrassingly long number of hours listening, you realize both books you're listening to are narrated by the same man! 😳

Reviewsbylola Thats funny! 6y
LauraBrook I really like Stephen Hoye! 6y
Megabooks @LauraBrook Yes! He's really good! 6y
72 likes3 comments
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Megabooks
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Ok @BarbaraTheBibliophage you got me interested enough in this one to go back to the sale! 😃👍🏻 Also picked up The Andromeda Strain. Heavy nonfiction is my jam right now! (Yes, I know TAS is fiction 😉)

the_hibernator If I had any credits left, I'd have snapped that up 6y
Megabooks @the_hibernator If you choose two at the sale, you can purchase a $14.95 credit at checkout even if you've used your one or two already. It won't change your plan. 6y
Megabooks @BarbaraTheBibliophage 😊😊👍🏻 6y
75 likes6 stack adds4 comments
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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A few new #audiobooks from the 2 for 1 Audible sale going on right now. This is why I love #nonfictionnovember! Although I enjoy #nonfiction all year long too.

Megabooks I was really tempted by Overdiagnosed, but I'm afraid it would make me too angry. 6y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Ebooksandcooks And I was tempted by the two you picked. I also got 6y
the_hibernator I got nailed by this sale too 6y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @the_hibernator I was proud of myself for skipping the recent narrators sale, then this one came along! 😜 6y
72 likes1 stack add4 comments