The spark of life: Electricity in the human body

Timothy Kuiper
2014 South African Journal of Science  
A captivating read, The Spark of Life presents an inclusive and magnetic account of electricity in the human body. With story-like accounts of the history of electrical discovery and its role players, lucid reviews of school biology, and absorbing descriptions of discoveries at the cutting edge of neuroscience, this book has something in it for everyone. Ashcroft's persuasiveness leaves the reader both convinced of and fascinated by the essential role of electrical signals in our cells -these
more » ... our cells -these are what make us truly alive. The opening pages of the book introduce the reader to its star player: the ion channel. These proteins, found in the membranes of every cell on earth, are the focus of the author's research as a Professor in Physiology at the University of Oxford. In her own words: From the lashing of the sperm's tail to sexual attraction, the beating of our hearts, the craving for yet another chocolate, and the feel of sun on your skin -everything is underpinned by ion channel activity. Each chapter that follows includes reference to the fundamental role of ion channels in just about every aspect of our physiology.
doi:10.1590/sajs.2014/a0071 fatcat:mj2nohpni5fnrbfjrzxi2rlnaa