Riddled With Life: Friendly Worms, Ladybug Sex, and the Parasites That Make Us Who We Are

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9780151012251: Riddled With Life: Friendly Worms, Ladybug Sex, and the Parasites That Make Us Who We Are

We think of disease as our enemy, something we try to eradicate; germs and infections are things we battle.But in this witty, engaging book, evolutionary biologist Marlene Zuk reveals that, in fact, disease is our partner, not our foe, and is responsible for everything from how we look to how we have sex.Since the earliest days of life on earth, disease has evolved alongside us. Drawing on the latest research and studies, Zuk explains the role of disease in answering a fascinating range of questions such as: Why do men die younger than women? Why does the average male bird not have a penis? Why do we-and lots of other animals-get STDs? How is our obsession with cleanliness making us sicker? And how can parasites sometimes make us well?Using her own work on sexual selection as well as a sampling of stories from the natural world, Zuk makes us reconsider the fearsome parasite.

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Review:

"Fascinating and persuasive. Zuk is not an ideologue, just an unusually clear-eyed scholar." - The New York Times book review."

From the Back Cover:

An NPR Best Science Book of 2007

"Fascinating."--Natalie Angier, The New York Times

Reconsider the fearful parasite!

We zealously battle disease, overdose on antibiotics to kill infections, and frantically scrub away germs--but are we giving our biological neighbors (and sometimes roommates) a bum rap? From the early days of life on earth, disease has evolved alongside us. Zuk shows us that this is not only natural but essential to our health; disease and its fellows are our partners, not our foes. Drawing on the latest research, she explains how it all fits together and in the process teaches us the answers to many fascinating questions: Why do men die younger than women? Why do we--as well as insects, birds, pigs, cows, goats, and even plants--get STDs? And how is our obsession with cleanliness making us sicker?

"What's eating you? . . . The answers are oddly consoling in evolutionary biologist Marlene Zuk's witty 'disease appreciation' course . . . Beguiling." O, The Oprah Magazine


"Witty and erudite . . . Her book may not make you happy about the various pathogens, bacteria and diseases that thrive in our world, but Zuk will give you new appreciation of their complexity and how some of them even help us." The Seattle Times

MARLENE ZUK is a professor of biology at the University of California, Riverside, where she studies parasites and behavior in a variety of animals. She is the author of Sexual Selections: What We Can and Can t Learn about Sex from Animals. She lives in Riverside, California.

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Book Description Harcourt, 2007. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. 1st Edition. Zuk, Marlene. RIDDLED WITH LIFE. NY: Harcourt Books, c2007. First edition. 328pp, references, index. 8vo. New hardcover copy with as new d/j. Bookseller Inventory # 75212

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