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The Song of the Cell

By: Siddhartha Mukherjee
Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

From the author of The Emperor of All Maladies, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and The Gene, a number one New York Times best seller, comes his most spectacular book yet, about the fundamental unit of life. Rich with Mukherjee's revelatory and exhilarating 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.

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 sweeps through biology and medicine, touching virtually every aspect of the two sciences and altering both forever. It is the fact that complex living organisms are assemblages of tiny self-contained, self-regulating units. Our organs, our physiology, our selves—hearts, blood, brains—are built from these compartments. Hooke christens them "cells".

The discovery of cells—and the reframing of the human body as a cellular ecosystem—announced the birth of a new kind of medicine based on the therapeutic manipulations of cells. A hip fracture, a cardiac arrest, Alzheimer's dementia, AIDS, pneumonia, lung cancer, kidney failure, arthritis, COVID pneumonia—all could be re-conceived as the results of cells, or systems of cells, functioning abnormally. And all could be perceived as loci of cellular therapies.

In The Song of the Cell, Mukherjee tells the story of how scientists discovered cells, began to understand them and are now using that knowledge to create new humans. He seduces listeners with writing so vivid, lucid and suspenseful that complex science becomes thrilling. Told in six parts, laced with Mukherjee's own experience as a researcher, a doctor and a prolific reader, The Song of the Cell is both panoramic and intimate—a masterpiece.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2022 Siddhartha Mukherjee (P)2022 Penguin Audio

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Not as satisfying

Really loved first 2 books. This book seemed bitty. No clear storyline to follow and so felt like study book chapters. Also a lot of topics are covered and hence I felt each subject seemed superficially glossed over. I have a background in biology and medicine so may be just me, but even with this background i really enjoyed first 2 books and found a lot of learning/thinking material in them..

The very last chapter was the only chapter when felt excited with his insights. Otherwise run of the mill book.

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Enchanting- a remarkable journey through some of the most fascinating science

I had high expectations based on his previous two works and this did not disappoint. Incredible.

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Satisfying and fascinating

I studied cell biology as an undergraduate many years ago. Life has since taken me in a totally different direction. This book provided a satisfying and fascinating overview and update of the field as it is today.

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  • D. B. Williams
  • 09-12-22

Masterful

I am an older doctor who learned a great deal from this audiobook. I greatly admire not only the author’s breadth of knowledge, but the engaging way in which he conveys it. The narrator sounded convincingly as though he had written the book (except for a couple of pronunciations I would have changed - pedant that I am). I unreservedly recommend this book to both the professional and lay audiences.