Bryn Mawr College Scientist Who Discovered Y-Chromosome Featured in Bill Bryson’s New Book

Bill Bryson. Image via Bill Bryson Facebook page.

Bill Bryson, the famous American-British travel writer and humorist, has a new book out with several local connections, including a Bryn Mawr scientist, writes Tom Avril for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Body: A Guide for Occupants was released last week and offers a fresh look at everything from heart and lungs to pills, to dieting. The book has the author’s wit on full display, but also his sense of wonder as he discusses such oddities as the function of armpit hair.

“The body is a universe of wonder, and the things I was coming across really surprised me,“ said Bryson. “I couldn’t resist relating them to my audience“.

One of those facts, he said, is that everybody gets cancer several times a week.

“But your immune system deals with it before your cells turn into anything like a tumor, which I thought was fabulous,” he said. “How could you not want to put that in a book?”

The book also has several Greater Philadelphia-related mentions. These include Nettie Stevens, the Bryn Mawr college scientist who discovered the Y-chromosome, and the Jefferson Hospital physician who developed the first heart-lung machine.

Read more about Bill Bryson at The Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.