Recommended: Adrenaline

Books and recommendations from Scientific American
Adrenaline, Brian B. Hoffman, fight-or-flight

Harvard University Press

by Brian B. Hoffman
Harvard University Press, 2013 ($24.95)
The first hormone ever discovered, adrenaline is associated with terror, stress and excitement and is behind animals' fight-or-flight response. Hoffman, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, explores the cultural significance of adrenaline and its history. The stories include those of a murderous nurse who used the untraceable hormone to induce fatal heart attacks in her patients, industrial chemists' race to purify adrenaline for drug use and the myth of the chemical's power to raise the dead.

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