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Human Body

1 The human mind is so curious, and our bodies are so intricate, that inquisitive men and women have made our own flesh the most densely studied field of all. So when asked to write a tiny book about the human body, I protested that the topic was too large and complex to fit into such a small space. As it turned out, the book had ideas of its own, but is necessarily dense and in places a fairly simple version of what we know. With the combination of cram and scatter used in these pages, you may find that it all fits together better on a second read through. What follows starts with some history of our investigations into the body, then proceeds to examine the microscopic mechanisms that have become the cornerstone of modern biology. The bulk of the book comprises a look at the functions of the major bodily systems, before ending with some examples of integration. If you are unfamiliar with the life sciences, the small print glossary of all italicised terms at the back of the book will be helpful. Being human isnt all about constant awareness of our bodies, indeed some of our best experiences happen when we manage to forget about them altogether. Unique, doomed to death, and your only true possession, your bodys frantic devotion to keeping you alive is roundly ignored most of the time, allowing you to get on with the brilliant business of life. But I hope that these few glimpses of our discoveries about the human body, many of them truly amazing, will leave you with the feeling of gratitude and awe that this enigmatic and unparalleled form deserves. IntroductIon IntroductIon
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