The Atom: A Visual Tour (The MIT Press)

An accessible and engaging guide to the atom, the smallest, most fundamental constituent of matter.

Until now, popular science has relegated the atom to a supporting role in defining the different chemical elements of the periodic table. In this book, Jack Challoner places the atom at center stage. The Atom investigates the quest to identify the smallest, most fundamental constituents of matter―and how that quest helps us to understand what everything is made of and how it all works. Challoner covers a wide range of topics―including the development of scientific thinking about atoms and the basic structure of atoms; how atomic interactions account for the familiar properties of everyday materials; the power of the atomic nucleus; and what the mysterious quantum realm of subatomic particles can tell us about the very nature of reality.

Illustrated in color throughout, The Atom offers clear answers to questions we have all pondered, as well as some we have never even dreamed of. It describes the amazing discoveries scientists have made about the fundamental building blocks of matter―from quarks to nuclear fission to the “God particle”―and explains them accessibly and concisely. The Atom is the engaging and straightforward introduction to the topic that we didn’t get in school.

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The Future of Brain Repair: A Realist’s Guide to Stem Cell Therapy (The MIT Press)

A scientist assesses the potential of stem cell therapies for treating such brain disorders as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

Stem cell therapies are the subject of enormous hype, endowed by the media with almost magical qualities and imagined by the public to bring about miracle cures. Stem cells have the potential to generate new cells of different types, and have been shown to do so in certain cases. Could stem cell transplants repair the damaged brain? In this book, neurobiologist Jack Price assesses the potential of stem cell therapies to treat such brain disorders as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injuries.

Certainly brain disorders are in need of effective treatments. These disorders don’t just kill, they disable, and conventional drug therapies have not had much success in treating them. Price explains that repairing the human brain is difficult, largely because of its structural, functional, and developmental complexity. He examines the self-repairing capacity of blood and gut cells―and the lack of such capacity in the brain; describes the limitations of early brain stem cell therapies for neurodegenerative disorders; and discusses current clinical trials that may lead to the first licensed stem cell therapies for stroke, Parkinson’s and macular degeneration. And he describes the real promise of pluripotential stem cells, which can make all the cell types that constitute the body.

New technologies, Price reports, challenge the very notion of cell transplantation, instead seeking to convince the brain itself to manufacture the new cells it needs. Could this be the true future of brain repair?

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Introduction to Tissue Engineering: Applications and Challenges (IEEE Press Series on Biomedical Engineering)

A comprehensive reference and teaching aid on tissue engineering—covering everything from the basics of regenerative medicine to more advanced and forward thinking topics such as the artificial liver, bladder, and trachea

Regenerative medicine/tissue engineering is the process of replacing or regenerating human cells, tissues, or organs to restore or establish normal function. It is an incredibly progressive field of medicine that may, in the near future, help with the shortage of life-saving organs available through donation for transplantation.

Introduction to Tissue Engineering: Applications and Challenges makes tissue engineering more accessible to undergraduate and graduate students alike. It provides a systematic and logical eight-step process for tissue fabrication. Specific chapters have been dedicated to provide in-depth principles for many of the supporting and enabling technologies during the tissue fabrication process and include biomaterial development and synthesis, bioreactor design, and tissue vascularization. The tissue fabrication process is further illustrated with specific examples for liver, bladder, and trachea. Section-coverage includes an overall introduction of tissue engineering; enabling and supporting technologies; clinical applications; and case studies and future challenges.

Introduction to Tissue Engineering:

  • Presents medical applications of stem cells in tissue engineering
  • Deals with the effects of chemical stimulation (growth factors and hormones)
  • Covers current disease pathologies and treatment options (pacemakers, prosthesis)
  • Explains bioengineering, design and fabrication, and critical challenges during tissue fabrication
  • Offers PowerPoint slides for instructors
  • Features case studies and a section on future directions and challenges

As pioneering individuals look ahead to the possibility of generating entire organ systems, students may turn to this text for a comprehensive understanding and preparation for the future of regenerative medicine.

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