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We Are Electric: Inside the 200-Year Hunt…
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We Are Electric: Inside the 200-Year Hunt for Our Body's Bioelectric Code, and What the Future Holds (edição 2023)

por Ms. Sally Adee (Autor)

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Science journalist Sally Adee breaks open the field of bioelectricity--the electric currents that run through our bodies and every living thing--its misunderstood history, and why new discoveries will lead to new ways around antibiotic resistance, cleared arteries, and new ways to combat cancer.
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Título:We Are Electric: Inside the 200-Year Hunt for Our Body's Bioelectric Code, and What the Future Holds
Autores:Ms. Sally Adee (Autor)
Informação:Hachette Books (2023), 352 pages
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We Are Electric: Inside the 200-Year Hunt for Our Body's Bioelectric Code, and What the Future Holds por Ms. Sally Adee

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The author argues the case for the existence of an "electrome", a systen similar to the genetic code, that programs and defines fetal development, neural function, immunity and cancer formation. The "electrome", if understood completely, would define an individual and, when manipulated, could change the approach to cancer therapy and wound healing. The first chapter is about the early experiments and debate between Volta and Galvani over the existence of electrical impulses generated by living tissue. Volta, who invented the electric battery, argued that Galvani's famous frog leg twitches were due to the contact of dissimilar metals in a salt solution, not due to electricity resident in the frog. Quackery soon followed, with Elisha Perkins developing his "tractors" of different metals to be drawn across areas of pain or ailments. In modern times, it has become clear there is a "wound current" and manipulation of this current may help regeneration, but attempts like the "oscillating field stimulator" implanted in frog spinal cords have not worked in mammals and research subjects. Further studies have shown that cancer cells respond differently to electric fields, and that this property may be a help in detection of cancer. In an excellent final chapter the author raises questions about the fate of volunteers with implanted electric devices that fail clinical trials. She also senses a emotional bias against research involving electrical field phenomena in biology. This is a fair-minded review that introduces a vast, complicated subject to readers. ( )
  neurodrew | Jul 31, 2023 |
There's lots and lots for us to see
There's lots and lots for us to do
She is electric, can I be electric too?
She's Electric
- Oasis

I was completely fascinated by this book, from its deep history of Galvani and Volta and Aldini, right up to the research being done in the past couple of years.

There's something I find abhorrently compelling about the idea of finding ways to modify or boost or improve on the biological design of the human body and inner workings. The idea of running minor electric currents through the brain to overclock it, or electrifying wounds to stimulate either healing or growth, or subtly altering the electrical patterns of cancer cells so they lose radio contact with their peers and die off...

It's terrifying to think about because, knowing this world, and how business and society works, while there's so much good that can be accomplished—from getting spinal injury patients walking again, regrowing lost body parts, and generally improving life—there's a whole of other, less savory ways to use these advances.

Regardless, Sally Adee does a wonderful, and well-balanced job of giving us both a history and a look forward at bioelectrics. ( )
1 vote TobinElliott | Jul 3, 2023 |
'We are Electric' is all about the history and present state of bio-electricity, which is one of the growing fields of science.

Adee describes why cells in animals, plants, and other life forms were considered as purely chemical structures for most of the 200 year history of modern biology.

Now, with better equipment, scientists are reviewing old theories and developing new ones that help explain how electrical activity underlies much of what happens in all biological structures, and are finding uses for that knowledge in medicine and other fields.

Adee discusses people, laboratories, and terms such as the electrome, ions, the bioelectric code, and the whole field of bioelectricity in great detail, but also in summary form. I read the book for general information, but also dipped into stories and descriptive paragraphs to get a feel for this exciting area of current day science. ( )
  mykl-s | Apr 23, 2023 |
Sally Adee is a science and technology journalist with a long history of "how human minds and bodies intersect with the machines we create". In 2012 she wrote a feature story on bioelectricity technology that Yuval Noah Harari cites in his excellent book Homo Deus. So she's been interested in the topic of bioelectricity for quite some time.

In this new book Adee takes us through the history and science of bioelectricity and discusses what the future may hold. It's a well-done popular science book on a fascinating topic. Especially fascinating is how much our understanding of the topic has advanced in the last few decades. We may now be poised on the brink of some significant breakthroughs.

What exactly is bioelectricity? It's the flow of charged particles through our bodies. Unlike electricity outside our bodies which involve the flow of electrons, bioelectricity involves the flow of ions. Bioelectricity does things like send signals from our nerves to our brains, allow our muscles to contract, and more.

You're probably familiar with an EEG - the line representing the heartbeat as a wave. You may have had one yourself at your doctor's office or seen one on a medical TV show. An EEG is actually a recording of the electrical pulses of the heart. "Brain waves" are also measures of the electrical impulses produced in your brain. In short, a lot of what our bodies do is accomplished through bioelectricity.

If you've been following my book reviews for a while you know I'm a big fan of history and science. Adee does a great job with the history, showing how our understanding of bioelectricity has advanced in fits and starts. But where she really shines is in her exploration of what may come next. The capability to use electricity to control or even reverse cancer is just one area of current (no pun intended) research.

RATING: Four Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I read an advanced copy of the book courtesy of Netgalley and Hachette Books. Publication Day is February 28, 2023, but you can preorder now. ( )
  stevesbookstuff | Jan 9, 2023 |
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Science journalist Sally Adee breaks open the field of bioelectricity--the electric currents that run through our bodies and every living thing--its misunderstood history, and why new discoveries will lead to new ways around antibiotic resistance, cleared arteries, and new ways to combat cancer.

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