Inside the quest to unlock the mysteries of development—and find the key to transforming our future.
Each of us began life as a single cell. From this humble origin, we embarked on a risky journey fraught with opportunities for disaster. Yet, amazingly, we reached our destination intact, emerging as dazzlingly complex, exquisitely engineered assemblages of trillions of cells. This metamorphosis constitutes one of nature’s most spectacular yet commonplace magic tricks—and one of its most coveted secrets. In From One Cell, physician and researcher Ben Stanger offers a breathtaking glimpse into what scientists are discovering about how life and the body take shape, and how these revelations stand to revolutionize medicine and the future of human health.
In vivid prose, Stanger leads readers on a gripping odyssey retracing this universal, yet unremembered, rite of passage. Through the eyes of the scientists unraveling development’s riddles in experiments as painstaking as they are inventive, we confront fascinating puzzles: how does the plethora of different tissues that compose our bodies arise from a single source? How do cells know what they are meant to become—skin or bone, blood or muscle—when all carry the same set of genetic instructions? Once a cell starts developing down one path, can it change its mind, or is its destiny irrevocably sealed?
As Stanger shows us, the answers to these questions may at last empower us to solve some of our most persistently confounding medical challenges, from cancer to cognitive decline to degenerative disease. Recognizing tumors as evil doppelgangers of the embryo points the way toward new, more targeted cancer therapies. Learning how cells choose their identities and find their way in space could unlock lifesaving breakthroughs in regenerative medicine. The possibilities are extraordinary.
Popular science at its best, From One Cell celebrates the power and beauty of understanding our collective beginnings.
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Once hosted by UPB, Cafe Ohlone now serves guests outside the Hearst Museum of Anthropology on the Cal campus.
Savor the foods which characterized east bay cuisine for thousands of years, before European contact. Brought to you by Mak'amham.
For information and to place reservations, see their web page at makamham.com/cafeohlone
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