**A NEW YORK TIMES, DAILY TELEGRAPH, ECONOMIST, MAIL ON SUNDAY and GUARDIAN BOOK OF THE YEAR 2022**
‘As big a topic as life itself; I’m not sure a writer could cover it better’ The Times
From the prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies, The Song of the Cell tells the vivid, thrilling and suspenseful story of the fundamental unit of life.
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 alters both biology and medicine forever. It is the fact that complex living organisms are assemblages of tiny, self-contained, self-regulating units. Our organs, our physiology, our selves, are built from these compartments. Hooke christens them ‘cells’.
The discovery of cells announced the birth of a new kind of medicine. A hip fracture, a cardiac arrest, Alzheimer’s, AIDS, lung cancer – all could be re-conceived as the results of cells, or a cellular ecosystem, functioning abnormally. And all could be treated by therapeutic manipulations of cells. This revolution in cell biology is still in progress: it represents one of the most significant advances in science and medicine.
Both panoramic and intimate, this is Siddhartha Mukherjee’s most spectacular book yet.
‘Brilliant … medical magic’ Daily Telegraph
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