Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University
of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor; adviser
for new media, Robert Hogan, MD, San Diego.
This interesting book discusses the effects of temperature in humans,
animals, and plants. The elegant prose engrosses the reader. Although the
information presented is available and, in many respects, widely known among
biologists and ecologists, the book is a useful compilation. It provokes our
curiosity, which makes it well worth studying.
The book has nine sections, an introduction, and an epilogue. Each section
addresses important aspects of life on earth vis-a-vis temperature measured
and expressed as cold or warm according to human body norms. As Blumberg describes,
the human body has a mechanism to maintain a constant core temperature around
37° Celsius for normal function of important biochemical and physicochemical
reactions. This thermoregulatory mechanism attempts to maintain temperature
in extreme external temperatures. Although other species and plants can exist
in colder or warmer environments than can humans, the variations and adaptations
of both animals and plants are well documented, especially in the sections
of chapter 4 "Warming Up to Insects," "Hothouse Flowers," and "Fish Eyes."
Iatridis PG. Temperature. JAMA. 2002;288(18):2340. doi:10.1001/jama.288.18.2340