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September 2002

Delve deeper into hot topics featured in NGM’s September issue with help from Resources. Click on a link, pick up a periodical, browse through a book, and explore!
The Book Guy
Grey TabMore Book Guy
State of the PlanetGeographicaWho Knew?
Clean to a Fault
Who Knew?

Down and Dirty

Why are allergies becoming so common? Some scientists theorize that our lives aren’t dirty enough. Hygiene, says one researcher, is the major health change of the past 200 years, making unsanitary crowded environments and the associated bacteria, viruses, and parasites—for the most part—things of the past. That may explain some compelling findings: Respiratory allergies appear to be less prevalent in poor societies than in rich ones. People raised on farms have lower allergy rates than those who grew up in cities. And children who attended day care have lower rates of allergies. So, maybe Pigpen has the right idea.

Web Links

Rough Draft
Writer Joel Achenbach’s column is gaining a cult following. It takes a sometimes humorous, sometimes eye-squinting, but always intelligent look at today’s headliners, personal interests, and the little life-annoyances we all live with.

America’s River

Take a look at Joel’s recent piece for the Washington Post on “America’s River,” the Potomac, and its remarkable history.

washingtonpost.com: Science
More science news from Joel’s other home, the Washington Post.

American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology
Find a wealth of information on allergies and asthma from fact sheets to pollen counts to clinical trials.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Read about the latest research on allergies and asthma, and get background information and statistics from fact sheets and brochures.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
Check out this patient organization that seeks to improve the quality of life for people with allergies and asthma through education, research, and advocacy.

Free World Map

Busse, William, and Robert Lemanske. “Advances in Immunology: Asthma,” New England Journal of Medicine (February 1, 2001), 350-62. Available online at content.nejm.org/content/vol344/issue5/index.shtml.

Martinez, Fernando. “The Coming-of-Age of the Hygiene Hypothesis,” Respiratory Research (April 2, 2001), 129-32. Available online at respiratory-research.com/content/2/3/129.

McCarthy, Susan. “Bring On the Germs,” Salon (May 3, 2000). Available online at www.salon.com/health/feature/2000/05/03/germ_warfare/print.html.

Yazdanbakhsh, Maria, Peter Kremsner, and Ronald van Ree. “Allergy, Parasites, and the Hygiene Hypothesis,” Science (April 19, 2002), 490-4.

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