The Song of the Cell

The Song of the Cell

An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human

Summary

The Song of the Cell is the vivid, thrilling and suspenseful story of the fundamental unit of life. It describes how scientists discovered cells, began to understand them, and are now using that knowledge to create new humans. Both panoramic and intimate, it is Siddhartha Mukherjee's most spectacular book yet.

In the late 1600s, a distinguished English polymath, Robert Hooke, and an eccentric Dutch cloth-merchant, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, look down their hand-made microscopes. What they see introduces a radical concept that alters both biology and medicine forever. It is the fact that complex living organisms are assemblages of tiny, self-contained, self-regulating units. Our organs, our physiology, our selves, are built from these compartments. Hooke christens them 'cells'.

The discovery of cells announced the birth of a new kind of medicine. A hip fracture, a cardiac arrest, Alzheimer's, AIDS, lung cancer - all could be re-conceived as the results of cells, or a cellular ecosystem, functioning abnormally. And all could be treated by therapeutic manipulations of cells.
This revolution in cell biology is still in progress: it represents one of the most significant advances in science and medicine.

Rich with stories of scientists, doctors, and the patients whose lives may be saved by their work, The Song of the Cell is the third book in this extraordinary writer's exploration of what it means to be human.

About the author

Siddhartha Mukherjee

Siddhartha Mukherjee is the author of The Gene: An Intimate History, a #1 New York Times bestseller, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction, and The Laws of Medicine. He is the editor of Best Science Writing 2013. Mukherjee is an Associate professor of medicine at Columbia University and a cancer physician and researcher. A Rhodes scholar, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford, and Harvard Medical School. He has published articles in many journals, including Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, Cell, The New York Times and The New Yorker. He lives in New York with his wife and daughters. Visit his website at: SiddharthaMukherjee.com

Mukherjee is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University. A Rhodes Scholar, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford, and Harvard Medical School. His laboratory has identified genes that regulate stem cells, and his team is internationally recognized for its discovery of skeletal stem cells and genetic alterations in blood cancers.

He has published work in Nature, Cell, Neuron, The New England Journal of Medicine, the New York Times and several other magazine and journals. He lives with his family in New York City.
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