The Lives of A Cell

The Lives of A Cell

Notes of A Biology Watcher

Book - 1978
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Elegant, suggestive, and clarifying, Lewis Thomas's profoundly humane vision explores the world around us and examines the complex interdependence of all things. Extending beyond the usual limitations of biological science and into a vast and wondrous world of hidden relationships, this provocative book explores in personal, poetic essays to topics such as computers, germs, language, music, death, insects, and medicine. Lewis Thomas writes, "Once you have become permanently startled, as I am, by the realization that we are a social species, you tend to keep an eye out for the pieces of evidence that this is, by and large, good for us."
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 1978, ©1974
ISBN: 9780140047431
Branch Call Number: 574.01 Th
Description: 153 pages ; 20 cm


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This collection of essays, which Thomas published in The New England Journal of Medicine, won the National Book Award. It is stimulating, enjoyable reading.

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Jul 04, 2014

A set of very short vignettes. Common themes unite many but any one could be read as a standalone. A great way to spend a few spare minutes that will often stick with you afterwards.

These essays are one of those rare examples when a science writer attempts a literary style...and actually pulls it off.

Oct 21, 2012

Another wonderful set of essays. Fun and thought provoking. Great.

libraryfamily_1 Jul 31, 2012

A thoroughly enjoyable read for non-science readers. It is about much more than cells: language, the lives of social animals and the wonder of the human brain.


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Jul 05, 2014

"It is a distortion, with something profoundly disloyal about it, to picture the human being as a teetering, fallible contraption, always needing watching and patching, always on the verge of flapping to pieces; this is the doctrine that people hear most often, and most eloquently, on all our information media. We ought to be developing a much better system for general education about human health, with more curricular time for acknowledgement, and even some celebration, of the absolute marvel of good health that is the real lot of most of us, most of the time."

John_David Apr 17, 2013

The great thing about human language is it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand.


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libraryfamily_1 Jul 31, 2012

libraryfamily_1 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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