Books  Animal & General Biology  Microbiology 

The Cell: A Very Short Introduction

Popular Science

Series: Very Short Introduction Series (VSI) Volume: 285

By: Terence Allen and Graham J Cowling

144 pages, 15 b/w illustrations

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Sep 2011 | #192909 | ISBN-13: 9780199578757
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £7.99 $11/€9 approx

About this book

All living things on Earth are composed of cells. A cell is the simplest unit of a self-contained living organism, and the vast majority of life on Earth consists of single-celled microbes, mostly bacteria. These consist of a simple 'prokaryotic' cell, with no nucleus. The bodies of more complex plants and animals consist of billions of 'eukaryotic' cells, of varying kinds, adapted to fill different roles - red blood cells, muscle cells, branched neurons. Each cell is an astonishingly complex chemical factory, the activities of which we have only begun to unravel in the past fifty years or so through modern techniques of microscopy, biochemistry, and molecular biology. In this Very Short Introduction, Terrence Allen and Graham Cowling describe the nature of cells - their basic structure, their varying forms, their division, their differentiation from initially highly flexible stem cells, their signalling, and programmed death. Cells are the basic constituent of life, and understanding cells and how they work is central to all biology and medicine.


Contents

1. Recognising the cell
2. The structure of the cell
3. Cell division, differentiation, and death
4. Special cells for special jobs
5. Stem cells
6. Ethics, politics, and regulation
7. Celluar therapy
8. The future is now


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