The Secret Body

The Secret Body

How the New Science of the Human Body Is Changing the Way We Live


Brought to you by Penguin.

Welcome to a revolution in the science of human health. Imagine...

- Knowing years in advance whether you are likely to get certain cancers
- Having a bespoke understanding of your individual genes, organs and cells
- Following a diet and health regime tailored to your microbiome
- Continuous monitoring of your body's workings and well-being
- Taking drugs that improve your cognition and help to acquire new skills
- Manipulating the genes of your unborn children to eliminate disease or even enhance their capabilities

Traversing six key frontiers of human biology, Daniel Davis shows how these radical possibilities have been made real - thanks to the ingenious, decades-long work of scientists whose breakthrough discoveries are transforming our understanding of how the body works, what it is capable of and how we might manipulate it.

By bringing together the latest understanding of the immune system, the brain, the microbiome, the interaction of cells and the development of the foetus, including developments such as optogenetics, super-resolution microscopy, the Human Cell Atlas and Systems Biology, we arrive at a vision of the human body of dizzying complexity, wonder and possibility.

Written by an award-winning scientist at the forefront of this adventure, The Secret Body is a gripping drama of discovery and a landmark account of the dawning revolution in human health that reveals a hitherto invisible universe within each of us.

'A perfect blend of cutting-edge science and compelling storytelling. Daniel Davis has a rare knack for making complex science comprehensible and thrilling' BILL BRYSON

'A beautifully rendered picture of the startling new discoveries in human biology which are radically altering our understanding of how we function and what our future holds' BRIAN COX

'An extraordinary journey that reveals the magnificence, intricacy and beauty of the human body, fundamentally changing the way we see ourselves. Masterful' ALICE ROBERTS

'What we now know about the human body would seem magical to people just a hundred years ago. Davis takes us on a grand voyage that often reads like a detective story to see how we reached our current state of understanding, along the way interweaving the accounts of amazing discoveries with the very human stories of the many scientists who made them possible' VENKI RAMAKRISHNAN

© Daniel M Davis 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021


  • A brilliant deep-dive into the latest discoveries of human health. An inspiration!
    Tim Spector, No.1 bestselling author of Spoon-Fed

About the author

Daniel M Davis

Daniel M. Davis is Head of Life Sciences and Professor of Immunology at Imperial College London. His previous books include The Beautiful Cure: The New Science of Human Health, which was shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize 2018, and The Secret Body: How the New Science of the Human Body Is Changing the Way We Live, which was described variously as 'an inspiration' by Tim Spector, 'beautifully rendered' by Brian Cox and 'masterful' by Alice Roberts. Davis's research, using super-resolution microscopy to study immune cell biology, was listed in Discover magazine as one of the Top 100 breakthroughs of the year. He has published over 150 academic research papers, including articles in Nature, Science, New Scientist and Scientific American.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more