How We Live & Why We Die

The Secret Lives of Cells

Lewis Wolpert (Author, University College, London)

Overview | Editions | Formats

Biologist Lewis Wolpert eloquently narrates the basics of human life through the lens of its smallest component—the cell.

Everything about our existence—movement and memory, imagination and reproduction, birth and, ultimately, death—is governed by our cells. They are the basis of all life in the universe, from the tiniest bacteria to the most complex animals. In the tradition of the classic Lives of a Cell, but with the benefit of the latest research, internationally acclaimed embryologist Lewis Wolpert demonstrates how human life derives from a single cell and then grows into a body, an incredibly complex society made up of billions of them. When we age, our cells cannot repair the damage they have undergone; when we get ill, it is because cells are so damaged they stop working and die. Wolpert examines the science behind topics that are much discussed but rarely understood—stem cell research, cloning, DNA, mutating cancer cells—and explains how all life evolved from just one cell. Lively and passionate, this is an accessible guide to understanding the human body and life itself.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • October 2009
  • ISBN 978-0-393-07221-1
  • 5.9 × 8.7 in / 256 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide, excluding Canada, the British Commonwealth and the European Union.

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverHow We Live & Why We Die: The Secret Lives of Cells


Also by Lewis Wolpert All

  1. Book CoverSix Impossible Things Before Breakfast: The Evolutionary Origins of Belief