How We Live and Why We Die (Hardcover)

The Secret Lives of Cells

By Lewis Wolpert

W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393072211, 240pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2009

List Price: 24.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Everything about our existence movement and memory, imagination and reproduction, birth and, ultimately, death is governed by our cells. They are the basis of all life in the universe, from the tiniest bacteria to the most complex animals. In the tradition of the classic Lives of a Cell, but with the benefit of the latest research, internationally acclaimed embryologist Lewis Wolpert demonstrates how human life derives from a single cell and then grows into a body, an incredibly complex society made up of billions of them. When we age, our cells cannot repair the damage they have undergone; when we get ill, it is because cells are so damaged they stop working and die. Wolpert examines the science behind topics that are much discussed but rarely understood stem cell research, cloning, DNA, mutating cancer cells and explains how all life evolved from just one cell. Lively and passionate, this is an accessible guide to understanding the human body and life itself.