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Life's Vital Link: The Astonishing Role of the Placenta 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 000-0199694516
ISBN-10: 0199694516
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Despite being one of the body's most short-lived organs—arising at conception and dying at the birth of the baby—the placenta deserves to be considered among the most complex and important parts of the human body, argues Loke (Human Implantation, co-author) in this surprisingly delightful book. During its lifetime, the placenta fills many roles: it anchors the developing fetus in the womb; serves as its lungs, kidneys, and digestive tract; transfers waste products from the uterus to the mother; and produces hormones that manipulate maternal behavior in a way that benefits the fetus. Loke, an emeritus professor of reproductive immunology at the University of Cambridge, argues that the placenta has much more to offer in addition to these fascinating functions. Understanding placental growth patterns may shed light on the etiology of cancer; it could also help doctors combat the problem of tissue rejection in organ transplant patients. The placenta is even powerful enough to overcome the effects of time, in a way—post-menopausal women can bring a previously fertilized egg to term thanks to the placenta's ability to control endocrine levels. Accessible enough for a general readership, Loke's work provides the key to a truly unique world. 20 b&w illus. & glossary. (Aug.)

Review


"This fine book brings attention to an often-overlooked and discarded body organ, the placenta. Difficult terms are defined, acronyms are spelled out, and the author reviews and summaries. Popular and/or controversial topics [are] briefly discussed. Very helpful illustrative figures, a glossary, and chapter endnotes support the text." -E.R. Paterson, emeritus, SUNY College at Cortland, CHOICE


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (July 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199694516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199694518
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.1 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #379,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lady Fancifull on October 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Professor Y.W. Loke has produced a deeply fascinating, clearly explained, yet not in any way insulting-in-its-simplicity, erudite, beautifully expressed book about the mysterious placenta

Mysterious because so many oppositional questions about it still remain unanswered. In fact, opposition appears to be the name of the placenta's game. As Loke points out, even biologists have expressed themselves unsure about the origins of the placenta - produced by mother, or baby? (Baby)

And what exactly is it? Loke traces the evolutionary development of reproduction, from water living animals such as fish and amphibians who produce eggs in water, to the need for hard shelled eggs on land, into mammalian development - and some odd mix and match half way there of some other species. He also shows that there is wide variation in the types of placentas in mammals, from those which are not closely embedded in the uterus (horses) to those like humans (and mice and armadillos amongst others) where the placenta embeds deep into the womb lining, and the mother's body needs to maintain a fine balance to avoid the over-invasive embedding of a gone-feral placenta!

This aspect gives rise to some interesting points of study and perhaps extending understanding about the behaviour of other type of cells which can take over and go feral - cancer cells. In fact, he shows how there is really a blurred line between the behaviour of a particular layer of cells at the placenta border, and cancer cells. This goes further, even suggesting a rationale for the development of cancer cells. The process of embedding and vascularisation, so necessary for the development of mammalian life, having more deadly effects when these cellular programmes occur outside the uterine environment of a pregnant woman.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For a book that is of this caliber...you can't beat the price.. VALUABLE information here. Very medical model mode and a bit pretentious yet extremely informative!!!
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By M. Delin on April 26, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Highly recommended if you work in OB or just want to learn more about the amzing placenta.
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By barbara on May 23, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Out standing book, an awesome amount of information
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