Break out the Purell – Maryn McKenna is in Durham!
Durham, North Carolina, that is. (Sorry, North East England, Connecticut, and New Hampshire).
Among the list of books that scientists and science writers must read this year is Maryn’s SUPERBUG: The Fatal Menace of MRSA. From her website:
The story of MRSA — methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or drug-resistant staph — is the story of how we took the antibiotic miracle for granted, and how we failed to plan for the creative survival tactics of the bacteria that are mankind’s oldest companions. But it is also a tale with many threads woven through it: How we schedule our work lives. How we choose to feed our families. How we take care of people confined to institutions, whether those institutions are prisons or nursing homes. How much we’re willing to trust in technology. And when something new and different emerges — something extraordinary, something threatening — how, and whether, we recognize it in time.
On [her] website, you’ll find more information about SUPERBUG, including an excerpt; more about me and my adventures chasing diseases across most of the continents; and much more information about MRSA. Thank you for joining me on this journey.
Today, you can see Maryn on her journey at the campus of North Carolina Central University at 4 pm. She’ll be in the 1st floor lecture hall 1221 of the Mary Townes Science Complex at the corner of Lawson and Concord on the northeast corner of the NCCU campus. Here’s a campus map – click on the “classroom” box to see the building highlighted.
The lecture is being sponsored jointly by the NCCU University Honors Program and the College of Science and Technology.
We’ll then bring Maryn to a book talk and signing at The Regulator, Durham’s premier indie bookshop on Ninth Street.
What I’ve really enjoyed about Superbug is the breadth of appeal the book has. Although her scientific and medical discussions of MRSA are stellar, there’s something in this book to be considered by anyone associated with areas from high school athletics and agriculture to the US prison system and criminal justice. Those of our regular readers who know Dr. Tara Smith, University of Iowa prof and blogger at Aetiology and The Panda’s Thumb, will be impressed to learn of the details of her lab’s research in this area.
The individual cases are gripping and, in some cases, heartbreaking. As the father of a young daughter, the book will make me look more vigilantly at any bump or boil on any of us in the family.
If you are still among the surprisingly large group of folks who think that MRSA is only a hospital-associated infection, Superbug will feed your new awareness.
If you have any questions about either event, directions, etc., Gmail me at abelpharmboy or mention/DM @DavidKroll in a tweet.