Cells, Gels and the Engines of Life
This book describes how cells work. It challenges the current wisdom of cell function, and presents a new, simpler approach to fundamental processes such as movement, transport, division, and communication, based on sound physical principles. The book is profusely illustrated with many color figures. It is written for the non-expert in an accessible, often humorous style.
Univ. of Washington, Seattle. Challenges the current wisdom of how cells work. Emphasizes the gel-like nature of the cell, and builds on this feature to explore underlying mechanisms of communication, transport, contraction, division, and other essential cell functions. For those with little biology background. Hardcover, softcover also available.
About the Author(s)
Dr. Gerald Pollack is a world leader in the area of muscle contraction and cell motility. He is currently Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington. His previous book, "Muscles and Molecules: Uncovering the Principles of Biological Motion" was recipient of an "Excellence Award" from the Society for Technical Communiction.
Changed My View of Science, March 15, 2004
During my senior year of bioengineering at ASU, one of my instructors recommended that I read this book. I went on Amazon and purchased a copy. Tragically, I let it sit on my shelf for almost six months without reading it. About a year ago, I picked it up and read it, expecting it to be a labor-intensive read. It was not. Instead, in very simple terms and using simple yet convincing examples, Pollack managed to challenge everything I ever learned in school in two days (It only took two days because I found myself reading this book every chance I got; I coult not put it down).
Challenging even many of the basic tenets of cellular biology– from even the existance of selective ion channels in the fluid mosaic model of the cell wall to blowing the lid off of what every student is taught in school about the way muscle cells contract–Pollack writes a book that has been and will continue to be challenging, because it challenges the premises of the life-long work of many scientists.
While I’m sure that some of his critiques of the beliefs of the faith of cellular biology today will prove to be wrong, Pollack is not afraid of the challenge or the community backlash against him. I applaud the work. I recommend it as required reading for just about everybody: the writing style makes it accessible for even high school students, but it is not too plebian to challenge even a professor or researcher in the area.