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Human Physiology


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Publication Date

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Human Physiology: A Very Short Introduction


Jamie A. Davies

May 2021

Very Short Introductions

This book explores the field of human physiology, considering the interplay of physiological mechanisms and principles and how they come together to result in human life being sustained. It also discusses how physiological experiments are undertaken, and covers the medical applications of new discoveries.

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Smell: A Very Short Introduction


Matthew Cobb

May 2020

Very Short Introductions

Matthew Cobb explores the sense of smell - its complex evolutionary history, and its many functions in a wide variety of animals, including humans. He describes the latest scientific research into this remarkable faculty, involving the brain as much as the nose, and reveals surprising insights into animal and human life.

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Synaesthesia: A Very Short Introduction


Julia Simner

June 2019

Very Short Introductions

Synaethesia is a neurological condition that gives rise to a 'merging of the senses': those with the condition might experience certain numbers as a specific colour, or certain words as a taste. Simner describes synaesthesia's many forms, discusses its links with artistic creativity and lateral thinking, and delves into the underlying neuroscience.

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Life's Vital Link: The astonishing role of the placenta


Y. W. Loke

May 2018

How does the foetus - a foreign body - survive inside the mother? The placenta is the extraordinary organ that allows this to happen; but this remarkable feat of evolution is only just being fully appreciated by science. Y.W. Loke explores the fascinating nature of the placenta and what it can tell us about evolution, development, and genetics.

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The Immune System: A Very Short Introduction


Paul Klenerman

November 2017

Very Short Introductions

The immune system is essential to human health. When it fails to work correctly the consequences can be severe, from serious infections to over-exaggerated immune responses. This book considers how the immune system evolved and the components involved; the medical breakthroughs in our understanding of it; and the major health threats our immune systems face.

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Sex, Lies, and Brain Scans: How fMRI reveals what really goes on in our minds


Barbara J. Sahakian, Julia Gottwald

January 2017

The potential of fMRI is extraordinary. It allows us to observe brain activity in real time, build an understanding of thoughts and motivations, and discern unconscious biases. In a limited but real way we can now 'read minds'. Barbara Sahakian and Julia Gottwald explain the science, and consider the ethical implications of using these techniques.

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Ageing: A Very Short Introduction


Nancy A. Pachana

November 2016

Very Short Introductions

Ageing entails lifelong dynamic changes in biological, psychological, and social functioning. While such changes in later adulthood were somewhat neglected by scientists in the past, recent decades have seen a marked increase in research in this area. Nancy A. Pachana examines the impact of rising numbers of older people worldwide.

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Blood: A Very Short Introduction


Chris Cooper

September 2016

Very Short Introductions

Blood is a vital component of the bodies of most multicellular animals. Chris Cooper discusses blood's critical role in both biology and in human society, ranging from its place in religious rituals to its uses in modern medicine.

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