The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body


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The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body - Frances M. Ashcroft - Google книги

The answers to these q. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. Frances Ashcroft. Publisher: W. This specific ISBN edition is currently not available.

View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title A lively exploration of the surprising role that electricity plays in our bodies.

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About the Author : Frances Ashcroft is an award-winning scientist, a professor of physiology at the University of Oxford, a Fellow of both Trinity College Oxford and the Royal Society, and an internationally best-selling author. Buy New Learn more about this copy. Other Popular Editions of the Same Title.

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The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body

Seller Rating:. Published by W. Mediaoutlet Springfield, VA, U. Published by WW Norton Publishers. New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1.

Electric current in your finger tips -- how to do it??

Qwestbooks Philadelphia, PA, U. Book Depository hard to find London, United Kingdom. It is understandable, given human ignorance and the propensity to superstition, to see the therapy that Ashcroft's work makes possible as a miracle. But, as she says, "this no miracle: it is merely science.

It is knowledge of exactly how ion channels regulate the electrical activity of the pancreatic beta-cells, and thereby insulin secretion. We may be more than electrified clay, but if we want to understand what we are as physical beings and if we want to understand how to intervene in nature's calm and indifferent debilitations of our bodies, then we must study the basic processes that electrify our cells and organs.

This includes our wonderful brain. Those who think in terms of miracles are likely to think in terms of souls when they think of consciousness, but Ashcroft is a firm materialist. Consciousness is a function of the brain, though we don't know exactly how.


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There is no soul or mind that exists independently of the body. And if you want to increase our understanding of Alzheimer's, cystic fibrosis, Parkinson's, and dozens of other diseases; if you want to increase our understanding of how our various senses or memory works, and how we feel pleasure and pain; if you want to increase our understanding of how poisons or drugs work on our bodies, then you must study how basic electrical processes function in our bodies.

Appeals to independent minds or souls will not help us better understand who we are. Ashcroft's story is fascinating account of the history of electricity in and out of the body, of scientific research and discovery involving sodium pumps and potassium channels, of triumphs and failures.

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Having recently had open heart surgery, I was especially interested in her chapter on the heart. The complexity of how this single muscle works is mind boggling. The technological development over the past century of such devices as the EKG machine ECG in Britain is shocking: from a two-ton device to the portable machine I witnessed being used on me several times before and after my operation. She also discusses the development and use of defibrillators and pacemakers, including the story of how Earl Bakken came up with the first battery operated pacemaker by modifying a transistorized metronome that he'd read about in Popular Electronics magazine.

Ashcroft obviously loves her subject matter and her enthusiasm carried over to this reader.


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If I were a student about to take my first course in physiology, I couldn't think of a better book to read first than The Spark of Life.

The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body
The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body
The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body
The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body
The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body
The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body
The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body
The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body
The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body

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