The Secret Language of Cells: What Biological Conversations Tell Us About the Brain-Body Connection, the Future of Medicine, and Life Itself

Jon Lieff. BenBella, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-948836-04-3
Lieff, a medical doctor and first-time author, eavesdrops on the myriad “conversations” that occur between body and brain in this cutting-edge overview of how cells and microbes communicate. Showing that cellular communication (or miscommunication) has a profound effect on mental and physical health, as well as on medical treatments such as immunotherapy, Lieff gives no-nonsense descriptions of how the human body’s specialized cells, along with 80 billion neurons, nanotubes (“string-like tunnels” that link cells together), membranes, and cilia (cellular “hairlike appendages”) perform the physical exchanges and electrochemical signaling needed for cells to “keep up chatter.” Reviewing recent discoveries, he explains how mitochondria respond to the changing energy demands of neurons, how neutrophils (white blood cell “first responders”) message for backups and oversee other cells while fighting infection, and how immune, brain, and gut cells engage in decision-making when coming into contact with viruses and microbes, and how this sometimes leads—as in the case of the virus that causes Covid-19—to them being outsmarted. Lieff’s overview of cellular communication will fascinate those interested in new frontiers of neuroscience. Agent: Jeanne Fredericks, Jeanne Fredericks Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 06/26/2020
Release date: 09/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-7213-6580-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-7213-6581-4
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