An eye-opening exploration of blood, the lifegiving substance with the power of taboo, the value of diamonds and the promise of breakthrough science
Blood carries life, yet the sight of it makes people faint. It is a life-saver, and can transmit deadly infections. It is medicine, and a commodity dearer than oil. Each of us has nine to twelve pints of it, yet many don’t know their own blood type. For all its ubiqutousness, menstruation is perhaps the single most demonized biological event. In Nine Pints, Rose George takes us from ancient practices of bloodletting to a cutting-edge trauma ward. She introduces Janet Vaughan, who set up one of the first systems of mass blood-donation during the Blitz, and Arunachalam Muruganantham, known as “Menstrual Man” for his work on developing cheap sanitary pads in developing countries. She probes the lucrative business of plasma system, and looks to the future, as researchers seek to bring synthetic blood to hospitals.
Spanning science and politics, stories and global epidemics, Nine Pints reveals our life's blood in an entirely new light.
Nine Pints was named one of Bill Gates' recommended summer reading titles for 2019.