The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body (Paperback)
"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.
About the Author
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.
A gem that sparkles.
— William Bynum - Wall Street Journal
Ashcroft celebrates 'the body electric.'…Fascinating.
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.
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)