Biomedicine and the Human Condition

Challenges, Risks, and Rewards

Biomedicine and the Human Condition

How to avoid disease, how to breed successfully, and how to live to a reasonable age are questions that have perplexed humankind throughout history. This book explores our progress in understanding these challenges, and the risks and rewards of devising solutions. A broad range of topics are covered, including reproduction, the development of human progeny from conception to adulthood, staying healthy, ageing, cancer, infection and the burden of our genetic legacy.


"Sargent's tale is rooted in science, but he sees the big picture as well. The story is epic but the language is a marvel of clarity. Knowledge empowers, and if this book were on prescription, it might improve the national health." Tim Radford, The Guardian

"Sargent has done a valuable service to those general readers--and not a few doctors--who wish to learn about the directions of current medical research. While 'biomedicine' may be only part of the story of disease and the human condition, those who want to know what the medical world is up to have got to start somewhere; Sargent's tip of the iceberg is a better place than most." The Lancet, Daivd Weatherall

"The journey is fascinating and written with a general audience in mind." New Scientist

"Biomedicine and the Human Condition is written in a compelling and lucid style that renders it accessible to the layperson, but it should become a valuable work of reference for many who are engaged professionally in medicine." Biochemist, Stephen Pollock

"Michael G. Sargent has written a terrific book for the lay reader who wants to discover how biomedicine has confronted the human challenges of maintaining good health."

'Michael Sargent has done a great service by demonstrating that the rudiments of the essential scientific knowledge can be conveyed in a manner that is both informative and compelling. … his book conveys a humanitarian wisdom that can be placed in the scales to counterbalance the weight of dogmatic convictions. Biomedicine and the Human Condition is written in a compelling and lucid style that renders it accessible to the layperson, but it should also become a valuable work of reference for many who are engaged professionally in medicine. … It can be recommended to all preclinical medical students as a vade mecum and to busy clinicians as an up to the minute survey.' Stephen Pollock, Queen Mary College, University of London

'This is an interesting book for medics, bioscience students and historians of science and medicine at a reasonable price.' Biologist

'… very approachable … full of interesting facts and figures. … The breadth of this text is its strongest asset, and overall it is a worthwhile addition to any biomedical bookshelf.' Journal of Biological Education

'Michael Sargent offers an extremely thorough account of the scientific background to improvements in healthcare that followed achievements in clinical research and drug discovery in the 20th century. … [He] offers food for thought about the evolution of medical research and practice.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

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