HEALTH & MEDICINE

Breath from Salt: A Deadly Genetic Disease, a New Era in Science, and the Patients and Families Who Changed Medicine Forever

BenBella. Sept. 2020. 400p. ISBN 9781948836371. $28.95. MED
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Trivedi is a freelance writer specializing in health and medicine whose work has appeared in Discover and Scientific American, among others. This work is a well-researched, far-reaching story of how genetic discoveries about cystic fibrosis led the way for treatments. It is also a complicated account, as Trivedi has woven stories of children with cystic fibrosis and their families, doctors, and researchers studying the disease to tell of the quest to understand and treat cystic fibrosis. She also profiles philanthropists and national organizations fundraising for more scientific research. The characters, struggles, and roadblocks all come to life, as the author compassionately writes about children and their families, as well as the people dedicated to raising awareness of cystic fibrosis. Providing a nuanced picture of the complexities of negotiating the funding of research and drug development—e.g., a national disease organization trying to work with small research start-ups as well as big drug companies—Trivedi doesn’t lose sight of the people who worked together to make treatments for some forms of cystic fibrosis possible.
VERDICT An excellent choice for those interested in learning more about medical history, and the process of bringing awareness to chronic illness.

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