The Family That Couldn't Sleep: A Medical Mystery, D. T. Max
  • List: $17.99  |  Sale: $12.59
    Club: $8.99
    • Facebook Share
    • Twitter Share
    • Pinterest Share

Details

The Family That Couldn't Sleep: A Medical Mystery

Author: D. T. Max

Narrator: Grover Gardner

Unabridged: 8 hr 45 min

Format: Digital Audiobook

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Published: 09/18/2006

Genre: Medical

Synopsis

For two hundred years a noble Venetian family has suffered from an inherited disease that strikes their members in middle age, stealing their sleep, eating holes in their brains, and ending their lives in a matter of months. In Papua New Guinea, a primitive tribe is nearly obliterated by a sickness whose chief symptom is uncontrollable laughter. Across Europe, millions of sheep rub their fleeces raw before collapsing. In England, cows attack their owners in the milking parlors, while in the American West, thousands of deer starve to death in fields full of grass. What these strange conditions-including fatal familial insomnia, kuru, scrapie, and mad cow disease-share is their cause: prions. Prions are ordinary proteins that sometimes go wrong, resulting in neurological illnesses that are always fatal. Even more mysterious and frightening, prions are almost impossible to destroy because they are not alive and have no DNA-and the diseases they bring are now spreading around the world. In The Family That Couldn't Sleep, essayist and journalist D. T. Max tells the spellbinding story of the prion's hidden past and deadly future. Through exclusive interviews and original archival research, Max explains this story's connection to human greed and ambition-from the Prussian chemist Justus von Liebig, who made cattle meatier by feeding them the flesh of other cows, to New Guinean natives whose custom of eating the brains of the dead nearly wiped them out. The biologists who have investigated these afflictions are just as extraordinary-for example, Daniel Carleton Gajdusek, a self-described "pedagogic pedophiliac pediatrician" who cracked kuru and won the Nobel Prize, and another Nobel winner, Stanley Prusiner, a driven, feared self-promoter who identified the key protein that revolutionized prion study. With remarkable precision, grace, and sympathy, Max-who himself suffers from an inherited neurological illness-explores maladies that have tormented humanity for centuries and gives reason to hope that someday cures will be found. And he eloquently demonstrates that in our relationship to nature and these ailments, we have been our own worst enemy.

Recommended

A Short Guide to a Long Life, David B. Agus
A Short Guide to a Long Life
by David B. Agus

List: $11.99

Sale: $8.40

Club: $5.99

Narrator: David B. Agus
Published: 01/07/2014

The End of Illness, David B. Agus
The End of Illness
by David B. Agus

List: $23.95

Sale: $16.77

Club: $11.97

Narrator: Holter Graham
Published: 01/17/2012

How Doctors Think, M.D. Groopman
How Doctors Think
by M.D. Groopman

List: $19.99

Sale: $13.99

Club: $9.99

Narrator: Michael Prichard
Published: 04/23/2007

Healing Developmental Trauma How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship, Laurence Heller
Healing Developmental Trauma
by Laurence Heller

List: $19.99

Sale: $13.99

Club: $9.99

Narrator: Tom Perkins
Published: 06/30/2015

The Smart but Scattered Guide to Success How to Use Your Brain's Executive Skills to Keep Up, Stay Calm, and Get Organized at Work and at Home, Ed.D. Dawson
The Smart but Scattered Guide to Succ...
by Ed.D. Dawson

List: $17.99

Sale: $12.59

Club: $8.99

Narrator: Randye Kaye
Published: 02/23/2016

Your Medical Mind How to Decide What is Right for You, Jerome Groopman
Your Medical Mind
by Jerome Groopman

List: $18.95

Sale: $13.27

Club: $9.47

Narrator: Linda Emond
Published: 09/20/2011
{"id":"240468","ean":"9781400172894","abr":"Unabridged","title":"The Family That Couldn't Sleep: A Medical Mystery","subtitle":"A Medical Mystery","author":"D. T. Max","rating_average":"4.14","narrator":"Grover Gardner","ubr_id":"240468","abr_id":"0","ubr_price":"17.99","abr_price":"0.00","ubr_memprice":"10.79","abr_memprice":"0.00","ubr_narrator":"Grover Gardner","abr_narrator":"","ubr_length":"Unabridged: 9 hr ","abr_length":"Abridged: "}