We Are Electric
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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Pädagogik
You may be familiar with the idea of our body’s biome – the bacterial fauna that populates our gut and can so profoundly affect our health. In We Are Electric we cross the next frontier of scientific understanding: discover your body’s electrome. Every cell in our bodies – bones, skin, nerves, muscle – has a voltage, like a tiny battery. This bioelectricity is why our brains can send signals to our bodies, why we develop the way we do in the womb, and how our bodies know to heal themselves from injury. When bioelectricity goes awry, illness, deformity and cancer can result. But if we can control or correct this bioelectricity, the implications for our health are remarkable: an undo switch for cancer that could flip malignant cells back into healthy ones; the ability to regenerate cells, organs, even limbs; to slow ageing and so much more. In We Are Electric, award-winning science writer Sally Adee explores the history of bioelectricity: from Galvani’s epic eighteenth-century battle with the inventor of the battery, Alessandro Volta, to the medical charlatans claiming to use electricity to cure pretty much anything, to advances in the field helped along by the unusually massive axons of squid. And finally, she journeys into the future of the discipline, through today’s laboratories where we are starting to see real-world medical applications being developed. The bioelectric revolution starts here.