The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body (Paperback)

The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body By Frances Ashcroft Cover Image

The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body (Paperback)


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"This is a wonderful book. Frances Ashcroft has a rare gift for making difficult subjects accessible and fascinating." —Bill Bryson, author of The Body: A Guide for Occupants

What happens during a heart attack? Can someone really die of fright? What is death, anyway? How does electroshock treatment affect the brain? What is consciousness? The answers to these questions lie in the electrical signals constantly traveling through our bodies, driving our thoughts, our movements, and even the beating of our hearts.

The history of how scientists discovered the role of electricity in the human body is a colorful one, filled with extraordinary personalities, fierce debates, and brilliant experiments. Moreover, present-day research on electricity and ion channels has created one of the most exciting fields in science, shedding light on conditions ranging from diabetes and allergies to cystic fibrosis, migraines, and male infertility. With inimitable wit and a clear, fresh voice, award-winning researcher Frances Ashcroft weaves together compelling real-life stories with the latest scientific findings, giving us a spectacular account of the body electric.

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. She lives in Oxford, UK.
Product Details ISBN: 9780393346794
ISBN-10: 039334679X
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: September 9th, 2013
Pages: 352
Language: English
A gem that sparkles.
— William Bynum - Wall Street Journal

Ashcroft celebrates 'the body electric.'…Fascinating.
— Nature

An extraordinary fusion of culture and cutting-edge science.
— Nick Smith - Engineering and Technology

The more incredible the process, the more elegant Ashcroft's explanation…Ashcroft's book carries the eponymous spark of life.
— Telegraph

The human body is a symphony of complicated chemical and electrical signals. Let Ashcroft’s book serve as your program guide.
— Tony Miksanek - Booklist (starred review)