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Academic & Professional Books  Evolutionary Biology  Human Evolution

Life's Vital Link The Astonishing Role of the Placenta

Popular Science
By: YW Loke(Author)
264 pages, 20 b/w illustrations
Life's Vital Link
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  • Backlist Bargains Life's Vital Link ISBN: 9780199694518 Hardback May 2013 Out of stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
    £9.99 £16.99
  • Life's Vital Link ISBN: 9780199694525 Paperback May 2018 Out of stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
Selected version: £10.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

The development of the placenta was a pivotal event in evolution. Without it, we would still be laying eggs instead of giving birth to live offspring. It represents the critical link between the foetus and the mother, but its character is extraordinary – it is, in effect, a foreign tissue that invades the mother's body. Compared to many other animals, the human placenta represents a particularly aggressive body. But how is it managed and controlled? How did such an organ evolve in the first place? And why is it tolerated by the mother? Y.W. Loke, a highly respected expert in the placenta and its development, explores the nature of the placenta and what it can tell us about evolution, development, and genetics.


1: After the Afterbirth
2: In the Beginning
3: The Principal Players
4: Parental tug-o-war
5: Connecting with Mother
6: Nature's Transplant
7: Essential Products
8: Gateway
9: Journeys End

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Customer Reviews


Professor Y. W. Loke of King's College Cambridge, is a highly respected expert in the placenta and its implantation and development. He has published widely in academic journals.

Popular Science
By: YW Loke(Author)
264 pages, 20 b/w illustrations
Media reviews

"A surprisingly delightful book. Accessible enough for a general readership, Loke's work provides the key to a truly unique world."
Publishers Weekly

"Life's Vital Link is charged with Loke's dedication to the placenta through years of research. His powerful conviction and authority persuades us that this neglected organ deserves more attention. [...] With his rich knowledge and experience, what Loke offers is tough-minded and valuable in understanding and unlocking many puzzles."
New Scientist

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