When I heard about 10 to Try, I decided to challenge myself by reading a genre I have a love/hate relationship with: mystery. Why do I love some mysteries but can't get into others? How many flavors of mystery are there? Each month I'll read a mystery in one of the 10 to Try categories, and this month it's STEM.
I found a STEM book with a mystery twist by searching for the keywords "science" and "mystery." Then, I scrolled through the results until something caught my eye: Red Madness. I think diseases are fascinating, and I had never heard of one called pellagra. Sufferers had red rashes on their faces and hands and eventually died of severe brain damage. Doctors thought it might be caused by eating moldy corn, but they didn't really know the real reason. And while they tried to solve the mystery, using criminals and dogs in medical experiments, tens of thousands of Americans died from pellagra in the early 1900s.
Resisting the urge to Google the answer while I was reading was difficult, but I'm glad I didn't because it got exciting as the research doctor closed in on the solution. The result is something that most of us know little to nothing about and take for granted every day. But after reading Red Madness I'm looking at food differently.
Here are more medical mysteries to keep you guessing:
Descendants in a single family suddenly begin suffering from insomnia until they die of exhaustion. What could be the cause?
In 1875, a third of all deaths were the result of Tuberculosis. Follow German doctor Robert Koch as he tries to find the cause of the disease, and inspires the creation of Sherlock Holmes in the process.
Revisit some of world history's most famous deaths armed with modern medical knowledge.