Cooperation requires conversation. Human beings speak to one another. Sounds, scents, and postures allow animals to make their point. While individual cells canâ€™t talk, hiss, growl, or bare their teeth, they nevertheless communicate regularly. Their language is based not on words or gestures, but on chemistry â€"using molecules where we would use words, constructing sentences from chains of proteins. The cells that make up the bodies of muticellular organisms inform, wheedle, command, exhort, reassure, nurture, criticize, and instruct each other to direct every physiological function, report every newsworthy event, record every memory, heal every wound. And each of those chemical conversations represents an opportunity for scientists and physicians. The molecular biologists who worked for over a decade to sequence the human genome have sometimes referred to that sequence as the â€œbook of life.â€ To our cells, that â€œbookâ€ is no more than a dictionaryâ€"only living cells can converse, forming the network that allows our 60 trillion cells to function as a single organism. For nearly a century, researchers have been straining to hear the whispered conversations among cells, hoping to master the basics of their language. They know that if we can decipher and translate this cellular chatter, we have the potential for sending signals of our own that could repair wounds, reduce cholesterol, control insulin levels, or even block the reproduction of cancer cells. The possibilities are as endless as they are intriguing. The Language of Life is a fantastic story of discovery, blending the vision of science with the poetry of life itself.
Type: BOOK - Published: 2005-04-15 - Publisher: National Academies Press
Cooperation requires conversation. Human beings speak to one another. Sounds, scents, and postures allow animals to make their point. While individual cells canâ€™t talk, hiss, growl, or bare their teeth, they nevertheless communicate regularly. Their language is based not on words or gestures, but on chemistry â€"using molecules where we
Type: BOOK - Published: 2010-12-09 - Publisher: Profile Books
We are in the midst of a medical revolution: in just a few years, we will be able to have our complete DNA sequenced at an affordable cost. Analysing the content of our genomes will allow a powerful estimate of our future risks of illness - from cystic fibrosis and
Type: BOOK - Published: 2013-08-01 - Publisher: Cambridge University Press
We share the experience of others through the stories they tell of the crucial events in their lives. This book provides a rich range of narratives that grip the reader's attention together with an analysis of how it is done. While remaining true to the facts, narrators use linguistic devices