Since the dawn of the human race, germs have been making us sick. Whether the ailment is a cold, the flu, diabetes, obesity or certain cancers, the likely cause is germs. Our ancient enemies have four families - bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa - and many names: Ebola, E. coli, salmonella, norovirus, gonorrhea. . . Human beings are engaged in a "war on germs," in which we develop ever-more sophisticated weapons and defensive strategies. But it is a war we can never win. Our best plan for staying as healthy is to choose our battles carefully, and try to co-exist with germs as best we can.
The Germ Code is a wise, witty and wonderfully readable guide to our relationship with these infinitesimal but infinitely powerful creatures. Microbiologist Jason Tetro takes us outside the lab and shows the enormous influence of germs upon humanity's past, present and future. He unlocks the mysteries of "the germ code" to reveal how these organisms have exploited our every activity and colonized every corner of the earth. From his own research and personal experience, Tetro relates how the most recent flu pandemic happened, how others may have been averted and how more may come about if we aren't careful. He also explains that not every germ is our foe, and offers advice on harnessing the power of good germs to stay healthy and make our planet a better place.
The Germ Code is a fascinating journey through an unseen world, an essential manual to living in harmony with germs and a life-enhancing (as well as life-saving!) good read.
About the author
JASON TETRO is a microbiologist who has spent the last 25 years learning about the effect germs have on our lives. He is currently Coordinator for the Emerging Pathogen Research Centre (EPRC) and the Centre for Research on Environmental Microbiology (CREM), both housed at the University of Ottawa. In 2007, he ventured out of the lab and into the TV studio for a Q&A news segment on CTV Ottawa as "The Germ Guy." He has since broadcast and written for a wide range of media, including the Toronto Star, Scientific American, The Huffington Post Canada , the CBC, and his own "Germ Guy" blog. In 2011 he was awarded an honorary PhD in Social Media from Social Media University Global in recognition of his work to improve hand hygiene through social media using the hashtag #handhygiene, which has now been adopted by the World Health Organization. The author lives in Ottawa.
“A refreshing and unique perspective on a complicated, hidden world. Whereas most accounts of germs dwell on the grisly details of the infections they cause, Jason Tetro reminds us that the reality is far more nuanced, and that in many respects our lives and theirs are entwined in a delicately balanced dance. The Germ Code is a highly readable and enjoyable overview of that relationship.”
—Dr Peter Hotez, Dean, National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine.
“With The Germ Code, first-time author Jason Tetro has delivered an important book that brings the world of microorganisms entertainingly to life. Tetro has a breezy style and relishes the interesting tale. . . . There are more than enough absorbing stories to keep the reader hooked.”