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Your body has trillions of cells, and each one has the complexity and dynamism of a city. Your life, your thoughts, your diseases, and your health are all the function of cells. But what do you really know about what goes on inside you? The last time most people thought about cells in any detail was probably in high school or a college general biology class. But the field of cell biology has advanced incredibly rapidly in recent decades, and a great deal of what we may have learned in high school and college is no longer accurate or particularly relevant.
The Cell: Discovering the Microscopic World That Determines Our Health, Our Consciousness, and Our Future is a fascinating story of the incredible complexity and dynamism inside the cell and of the fantastic advancements in our understanding of this microscopic world. Dr Joshua Z. Rappoport is at the forefront of this field, and he will take you on a journey to discover:
- A deeper understanding of how cells work and the basic nature of life on earth.
- Fascinating histories of some of the key discoveries from the seventeenth century to the last decade and provocative thoughts on the current state of academic research.
- The knowledge required to better understand the new developments that are announced almost weekly in science and health care, such as cancer, cellular therapies, and the potential promise of stem cells.
- The ability to make better decisions about health and to debunk the misinformation that comes in daily via media.
Using the latest scientific research, The Cell illustrates the diversity of cell biology and what it all means for your everyday life.
Part One: What Cells Are and How They Work
Chapter 1 -- A Day the World Changed
Chapter 2 -- A Guided Tour of the Cell
Part Two: The Genetic Code -- How It Works, What It Means, and How Humans Cracked It
Chapter 3 -- The Central Dogma of Molecular Biology
Chapter 4 -- Solving the Mystery of Life: the Road to the Double Helix
Chapter 5 -- Epigenetics: Beyond the Central Dogma
Chapter 6 -- The Monk's Garden: Mendel's Law of Independent Assortment and How It Can Be Broken
Chapter 7 -- The Revolutionary Reaction, or, How to Make DNA in Your Kitchen
Chapter 8 -- Piecing Together the Puzzle: How We Sequence DNA
Chapter 9 -- The Genome and Personalized Medicine: Progress, Promise, and Potential Problems
Chapter 10 -- The Science, Technology, and Ethics of Manipulating the Genome
Chapter 11 -- Science Fiction and Social Fiction: What Is and Is Not in Our Genes
Part Three: The Amazing Technology of Seeing Impossibly Small Things
Chapter 12 -- The Jellyfish That Taught Us How to See
Chapter 13 -- How We See Clearly Inside Living Cells
Chapter 14 -- Light-sheet Microscopy, or, The Light in SPIM Stays Mainly in the Plane
Chapter 15 -- Super-resolution Microscopy: Turning the Lights On One at a Time
Chapter 16 -- What Makes the Glowworm Glow? The Advantages of Luminescent Imaging
Chapter 17 -- More Ways to Take Pretty and Enlightening Pictures
Part Four: Matters of Life and Death
Chapter 18 -- How Cells Die
Chapter 19 -- The Mystery of HIV
Part Five: Cells, Organs and Organ Systems
Chapter 20 -- What Is an Organ and Why Do We Have Them?
Chapter 21 -- The Kidney: Cells in Concert
Chapter 22 -- The Brain: How It Works, How We Learn, and Why It's Hard to Study
Chapter 23 -- The Immune System: How It Defends Us and Sometimes Attacks Us
Part Six: The Profession of Cell Biology -- the Good, the Bad, and the Future
Chapter 24 -- "Judah Is Going to Cure Cancer in Two Years"
Chapter 25 -- Ethics, Ambition, and the Greatest Discovery That Wasn't
Chapter 26 -- The Nano Revolution
Chapter 27 -- Money, Power, Ambition, and the Pursuit of Knowledge: Thoughts on the Current State of Science
References and Further reading
About the author
Dr Joshua Z. Rappoport received a bachelor's degree in Biology from Brown University and then went on to earn a PhD from the Program in Mechanisms of Disease and Therapeutics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Graduate School of Biological Sciences of New York University. Following defence of his thesis, Dr Rappoport went on to perform postdoctoral work at The Rockefeller University in New York City in the Laboratory of Cellular Biophysics. Subsequently, he was recruited as a tenured faculty member in the School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham in England. In 2014 Dr Rappoport has returned to the United States where he is currently the Director of the Center for Advanced Microscopy and Nikon Imaging Center at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and a faculty member in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. Dr Rappoport's scientific perspective aims to develop and apply cutting-edge microscopy to address fundamental questions in cell biology. Dr Rappoport lives in Chicago with his wife Ema, a neuroscientist, and their dog Kris.
"Beautifully written, inspiring philosophical prose presenting a delightful muse on the microscopic world that matters more than we ever before imagined."
– Spencer Shorte, PhD, group leader and director of the Imagopole resource at the Institut Pasteur in Paris
"A bird's-eye view of the amazing edifice upon which life was built, the cell. Joshua Z. Rappoport gives a brilliant account of how it works, how humans discovered it, and the consequences for life on earth."
– Steve Busby, FRS, University of Birmingham UK
"Nicely conveys the historical background behind classical benchmarks in cell biology, and the excitement of recent advances in visualizing the inner workings of our cells."
– Mark Pallen, MD, PhD, author of The Rough Guide to Evolution and professor of Microbial Genomics at Warwick Medical School