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Cells, Gels and the Engines of Life 1st Edition
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More About the Author
The University of Washington Faculty chose Pollack, in 2008, to receive their highest annual distinction: the Faculty Lecturer Award. He was the 2012 recipient of the coveted Prigogine Medal for thermodynamics of dissipative systems. He has received an honorary doctorate from Ural State University in Ekaterinburg, Russia, and was more recently named an Honorary Professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Foreign Member of the Srpska Academy. Pollack is a Founding Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and a Fellow of both the American Heart Association and the Biomedical Engineering Society. He recently received an NIH Director's Transformative R01 Award for his work on water, and maintains an active laboratory in Seattle.
Pollack's interests have ranged broadly, from biological motion and cell biology to the interaction of biological surfaces with aqueous solutions. His 1990 book, Muscles and Molecules: Uncovering the Principles of Biological Motion, won an "Excellence Award" from the Society for Technical Communication; two subsequent books: Cells, Gels and the Engines of Life, and The Fourth Phase of Water, both won that Society's "Distinguished Award."
Pollack is recognized worldwide as a dynamic speaker and a scientist willing to challenge any long-held dogma that does not fit the facts
Top Customer Reviews
The book describes how cytoplasmic gels manifest collective phase transitions such as polymerization of actin proteins with accompanying ordering of cell water and exclusion of large cations. According to Pollack, these collective phase transitions can explain not only ionic fluxes, but also voltage gradients, propagating action potentials, mitosis, muscle contraction and cell movement. Ion channels and pumps are not mythical, but overstated. Pollack traces the roots of (in his view) the "membrane-centric" misconceptions and his proposed revolution is believable. Our cells are not bags of liquid governed by membrane activities, but protein matrix-based gels covered by a thin semi-permeable membrane "skin". The cytoplasm is intrinsically reactive and able to maintain cell homeostasis and functions.Read more ›
Reading it - peremptorily, admittedly - I decided not to learn more about biology...
Recently I found out that Dr. Pollack got the highest reward from his fellow Faculty for his research. By the way, it still is very relevant to our research. We do plan to pursue it.
It's true I should have gone deeper into this - but one simply cannot do everything.
The way Amazon manages these reviews is flawed ("the highest and the lowest"). Perhaps there should be a warning that there is a significant probability that some reviews may not be done in good faith.
The flawed review:
"Dr. Pollack is an embarrassment to his field and his University. This book is a collection of old results (from as far back as 50 years ago) that puzzled the world's scientists at the time they were first published. There has been much progress in the intervening decades that Dr. Pollack would do well to read and understand. All of the ancient science upon which..."
Robert F Holub
CARES, Clarkson University
Challenging even many of the basic tenets of cellular biology-- from even the existance of selective ion channels in the fluid mosaic model of the cell wall to blowing the lid off of what every student is taught in school about the way muscle cells contract--Pollack writes a book that has been and will continue to be challenging, because it challenges the premises of the life-long work of many scientists.
While I'm sure that some of his critiques of the beliefs of the faith of cellular biology today will prove to be wrong, Pollack is not afraid of the challenge or the community backlash against him. I applaud the work. I recommend it as required reading for just about everybody: the writing style makes it accessible for even high school students, but it is not too plebian to challenge even a professor or researcher in the area.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
much of it seems for specialists, but still a great learning experiencePublished 3 months ago by S Hudson
I learned about this book and Dr. Pollack's more recent book "The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor" (2013; see my separate review) through health educator,... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Roderic L. Olsen
This is a very casual book dealing with a very serious and important issue. Control of water state is behind everything the nervous system does, and that is my favorite subject on... Read morePublished on December 23, 2013 by Jonathan D. Lettvin
This is an exciting book revisiting old models of cells and proposing new ways of looking at structure, permeability, water, etc. Read morePublished on November 14, 2013 by Catre
Pollack's theory, backed by a whole host of experiments, is totally fascinating. He very respectfully points out the gaping holes in current theories about cells and how biological... Read morePublished on September 21, 2013 by Scottie
Gerald Pollack is a genius, and a man of integrity. I studied old school cell biology and chemistry that failed to adequately explain the reason why cellular functions occured. Read morePublished on March 5, 2013 by Gokhals
Definitely must read for anyone who wants to study cellular biology.
If you want to know why there is more potassium than sodium inside the cell and not another way around or... Read more
The most engaging science books tackle the narratives that scientists believe and on which they base study designs and interpretations. Read morePublished on January 2, 2012 by Konrad Graf
I think that this is interesting book both for students and professionals getting a knowledge in cell biology. Read morePublished on February 18, 2009 by Ildar Salakhutdinov