Back Cover Blurb
- 'Absorbing, ambitious and expansive' Science
- On a swelteringly hot day during the summer of 2017, Philip Ball had a piece of skin from his arm removed and turned into a rudimentary miniature brain. This book is his attempt to grasp the implications: if a skin cell can be reprogrammed to grow into a brain, then any cell in your body can be transformed into any other type of cell.
- Designer babies, gene-editing and animal cloning are already realities, so it's only a matter of unlocking the full potential of the cell to grow organs, limbs, even whole humans. The possibilities are as amazing as they are terrifying. How to Grow a Human examines the stories that frame our understanding of our cells, ourselves, and our concepts of identity and consciousness. It challenges old preconceptions and values - what defines a person and how will that change when we have the power to reshape, rebuild and regrow our bodies?
Amazon Book Description
- A cutting-edge examination of what it means to be human and to have a 'self' in the face of new scientific developments in genetic editing, cloning and neural downloading.
- After seeing his own cells used to grow clumps of new neurons – essentially mini-brains – Philip Ball begins to examine the concepts of identity and consciousness. Delving into humanity's deep evolutionary past to look at how complex creatures like us emerged from single-celled life, he offers a new perspective on how humans think about ourselves.
- In an age when we are increasingly encouraged to regard the 'self' as an abstract sequence of genetic information, or as a pattern of neural activity that might be 'downloaded' to a computer, he return us to the body – to flesh and blood – and anchors a conception of personhood in this unique and ephemeral mortal coil.
- How to Build a Human brings us back to ourselves – but in doing so, it challenges old preconceptions and values. It asks us to rethink how we exist in the world.
William Collins (30 April 2020). Paperback.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2022
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)