Perspectives in Physiology

This fascinating series seeks to place medical science inside a greater historical framework, describing the main pathways of development and highlighting the contributions of prominent investigators.

Titles in this Series


Marine Physiology cover 

Marine Physiology Down East:
The Story of the Mt. Desert Island
Biological Laboratory

Evans, David H.
2015, XIX + 1094 pp.; 118 illus., 117 in color.
ISBN 978-1-4939-2959-7

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

  • An exciting document for former, current and future scientists and friends of the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL)
  • Provides a scientific genealogy of the MDIBL
  • Combines research, administrative and social histories of the MDIBL

This volume offers a comprehensive history of the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL), one of the major marine laboratories in the United States and a leader in using marine organisms to study fundamental physiological concepts. Beginning with its founding as the Harpswell Laboratory of Tufts University in 1898, David H. Evans follows its evolution from a teaching facility to a research center for distinguished renal and epithelial physiologists. He also describes how it became the site of major advances in cytokinesis, regeneration, cardiac and vascular physiology, hepatic physiology, endocrinology and toxicology, as well as studies of the comparative physiology of marine organisms. Fundamental physiological concepts in the context of the discoveries made at the MDIBL are explained and the social and administrative history of this renowned facility is described.


Mechanism of Muscular Contraction

Rall, Jack A.
2014, XIII, 471 p. 179 illus., 34 illus. in color.
ISBN 978-1-4939-2007-5

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

  • Describes the evolution of muscular contraction concepts since the discovery of sliding filaments
  • Includes detailed scientific histories of principal investigators in the field
  • Features information on contraction coupling and the role of calcium in contraction and relaxation

Fundamental discoveries in the 1950s relating to the mechanism of muscle contraction fueled an explosion of knowledge in the latter half of the 20th century. This book traces in depth the evolution of ideas from the 1950s into the 21st century. In a scholarly yet highly readable monograph, the book describes the history on which our current understanding of muscle function is based. This is the most comprehensive study and first book-length treatment of the muscle field in over forty years.

In order to provide perspective into the thinking about an issue at the time of its discovery, often the investigators describe in their own words an important result or conclusion as it appeared in an original paper. Numerous figures from the original papers are included in order to allow the reader to see the data that led to important conclusions. More than a history of experimental facts, the book describes backgrounds of many of the key investigators to allow a deeper insight into their motivations and approach to science. Controversies in the muscle field are discussed along with some missed opportunities and false trails. An amazing variety of experimental techniques have been brought to bear on the investigation of the mechanism of muscular contraction. Background of these various techniques is presented in order to gain a fuller appreciation of their strengths and weaknesses. The book is organized into nine chapters with over 170 illustrations and 1,200 references. The book provides insight into scientific thought and forms a framework for future enquiry into muscle function.

The author, an emeritus professor in the department of physiology and cell biology at Ohio State University, has been a contributor to research in the muscle field for over forty years.

Essays on the History of Respiratory Physiology

West, John B.
2015, XIV, 342 p. 129 illus., 14 illus. in color.
ISBN 978-1-4939-2362-5

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

  • The book is written for scientists but is accessible to interested non-scientists
  • Covers the history of significant people and events over the whole course of respiratory physiology
  • Discusses how historical events such as the Renaissance and Enlightenment shaped respiratory physiology
This book consists of 23 essays about prominent people and events in the history of respiratory physiology. It provides a first-hand chronicle of the advancements made in respiratory physiology starting with Galen and the beginnings of Western physiology. The volume covers many aspects of the evolution of this important area of knowledge: pulmonary circulation, Boyle’s Law, pulmonary capillaries and alveoli, morphology, gas exchange and blood flow, mechanics, control of ventilation, and comparative physiology. The book emphasizes societal and philosophical aspects of the history of science. Although it concentrates on physiology, it also describes how cultural movements, such as The Enlightenment, shaped the researchers discussed.

The Rise of Fetal and Neonatal Physiology: Basic Science to Clinical Care

Longo, Lawrence D.
2013, XXVII, 533 p. 52 illus., 18 illus. in color.
ISBN 978-1-4614-7920-8

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

  • Constitutes a definitive history of an important field of physiology, that which concerns the developing fetus and newborn infant
  • Addresses the contributions of basic scientists and physiologists to clinical problems of prematurity, such as the causes of premature labor, respiratory distress syndrome, retinopathy of prematurity, and thermoregulation
  • Includes contributions from over 40 leading scientists in this field

During the mid- to late-twentieth century, study of the physiology of the developing fetus and newborn infant evolved rapidly to become a major discipline in the biomedical sciences. Initially of interest from a standpoint of function of the placenta and oxygenation of the fetus, the field advanced to explore both normal functional mechanisms as well as pathophysiologic aspects of their regulation. Examples include studying the role and regulation of circulatory vascular anatomic shunts in oxygenation, cardiac function, certain aspects of asphyxia in the fetus and newborn infant, the role of fetal “breathing” movements, cyclic electroencephalographic activity, and analysis of electronic monitoring of fetal heart rate variability and its significance.

Included in this book are reminisces of several dozen individuals who played a vital role in these developments. Overall, this survey considers a number of aspects of the development of the science of fetal and neonatal physiology, and its role in the greatly improved care of pregnant women and their newborn infants.


A Life of Ernest Starling

Henderson, John
Originally Published by Academic Press 2005
2005, 256 p.
ISBN 978-1-4614-7526-2

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

Ernest Starling (1866-1927) was pre-eminent in the golden age of British Physiology. His name is usually associated with his "Law of the Heart,” but his discovery of secretin (the first hormone whose mode of action was explained) and his work on capillaries were more important contributions. He coined the word 'hormone' one hundred years ago. His analysis of capillary function demonstrated that equal and opposite forces move across the capillary wall--an outward (hydrostatic) force and an inward (osmotic) force derived from plasma proteins.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Prelude • Hearts and Capillaries • 1890-1899 • Secretin, Politics, and the New Institute • Starling's Law and Related Matters • Interlude: The Haldane Commission (1910-13) • The Great War • 1918-1920 • Back to Research • The End of the Trail • A Life Surveyed


Moving Questions: A History of Membrane Transport and Bioenergetics

Robinson, Joseph D
Originally Published by Oxford University Press 1997
1997, 373 p.
ISBN 978-1-4614-7600-9

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

  • Describes half a century of progress in two mainstream areas of biological research: membrane transport and oxidative phosphorylation
  • Written by leading researcher in the field
  • Provides a comprehensive history of membrane transport and bioenergetics

This book describes half a century of progress in two mainstream areas of biological research: membrane transport, initially a focus of physiologists, and oxidative phosphorylation, initially a focus of biochemists. Robinson shows how the development of new explanatory models had unexpectedly merged these inquiries into a new field, bioenergetics. In the late 1930s, explanations for the asymmetric distribution of ions between cells and their environments invoked absolute impermeabilities of the cell's surrounding membranes. But new experiments contradicted that idea and demonstrated that forming the transmembrane distributions required metabolic energy, implying the participation of active transport "pumps." Subsequent studies identified, isolated, and characterized these pumps as enzymes coupling ionic transport to the consumption of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an "energy-rich" molecule serving as a cellular energy store. In the late 1930s oxidative phosphylation, the process of coupling ATP synthesis to oxidative metabolism, was identified. The explanatory model emerging in the next decades, however, did not follow the enzymatic precedents of known metabolic phosphorylations but rather embodied the principle that metabolic oxidations drive active transport pumps to create transmembrane distribution of ions, with these ionic asymmetries then driving ATP synthesis. It was discovered that ATP consumption can form ionic asymmetries; ionic asymmetries can drive ATP formation; and ionic asymmetries-like ATP-can also power other cellular functions.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction • Views in the 1930s • Accounting for Asymmetric Distributions of Na+ and K+ in Muscle • Accounting for Asymmetric Distributions of Na+ and K+ in Red Blood Cells • Ion Gradients and Movements in Excitable Tissues • Epithelial Transport by Frog Skin • Contemporary Events: 1939-1952 • Characterizing the Na+/K+ Pump • Identifying the Na+/K+-ATPase • Contemporary Events: 1953-1965.-Characterizing the Na+/K+-ATPase.-Structure and Relatives of the Na+/K+-ATPase • Alternatives • Using the Transmembrane Cation Gradients: Transporters and Channels • Contemporary Events: 1966-1985 • Oxidative Phosphorylation: Chemical-Coupling Hypothesis • Oxidative Phosphorylation: Chemiosmotic Coupling Hypothesis • Oxidative Phosphorylation: F1, F0F1, and ATP Synthase • Conclusions


Respiratory Physiology

West, John B (Ed.)
Originally Published by Oxford University Press 1996
1996, 448 p.
ISBN 978-1-4614-7520-0

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

  • Some of the chapters are personal accounts of the development of respiratory physiology as observed by the author
  • Covers aspects such as morphology, gas exchange and blood flow, mechanics, control of ventilation, and comparative physiology

Present-day respiratory physiology stems largely from the explosion of ideas which took place during and after World War II. A number of the major players are still active, but the opportunity to prepare a personal history of this branch of medicine will soon be lost. In a sense then, this book offers an exceptional, even unique, opportunity. We are offered a first-hand chronicle of the advancements made in respiratory physiology in the course of this century by one of the principal figures in the field. The volume covers every aspect of the evolution of this important area of knowledge: morphology, gas exchange and blood flow, mechanics, control of ventillation, and comparative physiology. Some of the chapters are personal accounts of the development of respiratory physiology as observed by the author. It is hoped that what is lost in objectivity by this approach is more than made up by the captivating insights provided by the author into the process of scientific research and discovery.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

The Structural Basis of Lung Function • Transfer of Gas by Diffusion and Chemical Reaction in Pulmonary Capillaries • Blood Gas Transport and Analysis • Lung Liquid and Solute Exchange • Pulmonary Blood Flow and Gas Exchange • Mechanics of Lung and Chest Wall • Lung Surface Tension and Surfactant: The Early Years • Modern History of Respiratory Muscle Physiology • Rhythm Generation • The History of Chemoreception • Airway and Pulmonary Afferents and Reflexes: A Historical Survey • A Brief History of Comparative Respiratory Physiology: Some Ideas and Their Proponents


Membrane Transport

Tosteson, Daniel C. (Ed.)
Originally Published by Oxford University Press 1989
1989, 420 p.
ISBN 978-1-4614-7516-3

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

  • Focuses on collection of research in membrane transport
  • Includes the history of the development of the current picture of membrane transport physiology
  • Written by leaders in the field

This is a fascinating collection of personal accounts which is a "must read" for anyone interested in membrane transport or the history of the development of the current picture of membrane transport physiology. This delightful book could serve variously as a history for investigators and historians or as a textbook for advanced students. No biology or medical library should be without it.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction: Membrane Transport in Physiology • Biological Membranes as Selective Barriers to Diffusion of Molecules • Membranes, Molecules, Nerves, and People • Transport Pathways: Water Movement Across Cell Membranes • Sodium-Potassium Pump • From Frog Lung to Calcium Pump • Anion Exchanges and Band 3 Protein • The Unfinished Story of Secondary Active Transport • Electrodiffusion in Membranes • Reflections on Selectivity • Propagation of Electrical Impulses • Membrane Transport in Excitation-Contraction Coupling • From Cell Theory to Cell Connectivity: Experiments in Cell-to-Cell Communication • Epithelial Transport: Frog Skin as a Model System • Flow and Diffusion Through Biological Membranes


Endocrinology

McCann, S.M. (Ed.)
Originally Published by Oxford University Press 1988
1988, 484 p.
ISBN 978-1-4614-7436-4

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

  • Describes the principal ideas and developments in endocrinology from the time of Aristotle through the most recent discoveries
  • Gives an excellent overview of the evolution of this exciting area in physiology and the people involved in its growth
  • Includes chapters on vasopressin, pituitary target glands, peripheral hormones, and pancreative hormones

This volume describes the principal ideas and developments in endocrinology from the time of Aristotle through the most recent discoveries. Over the years, the field has involved an intertwining of information gained though clinical medicine with physiology, biochemistry, and genetics to discover a host of hormones, unravel their structure, and determine their function and mechanism of action. The books begins with a discussion of vasopressin, then examines the development of concepts in the control of pituitary hormones and their target glands. Other topics include the various pituitary hormones under neuronal control, pituitary target glands, peripheral hormones, the pancreatic hormones, hormone receptors, and comparative endocrinology. The book gives an excellent picture of the evolution of this exciting area of physiology and the people involved in its growth.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Vasopressin and Regulation of Water Homeostasis and Cardiovascular Function • Anterior Pituitary Neural Control Concepts • Saga of the Discovery of Hypothalamic Releasing and Inhibiting Hormones • Gonadotropins • Pituitary-Adrenal System • Prolactin • Defining Thyroid Hormone: Its Nature and Control • Endocrine Function of the Ovary • Pineal Gland • Parathyroid Hormone and Calcitonin • A View of the History of Biology From an Islet of Langerhans • Mechanism of Hormone Action • Receptors: Birth, Eclipse, and Rediscovery • Atrial Natriuretic Factor: A Hormone From the Heart • Comparative Endocrinology


Renal Physiology

Gottschalk, Carl W; Berliner, Robert W; Giebisch, Gerhard H (Eds.)
Originally Published by Oxford University Press 1987
1988, 520 p.
ISBN 978-1-4614-7545-3

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

  • Each chapter written by a well-known physiologist
  • Offered a unique inside perspective on the historical record of the discipline
  • Focuses on all aspects of renal physiology

Each chapter in this authoritative volume is written by a well-known physiologist who has contributed to our current understanding of renal function. Together the authors offer a unique, inside perspective on the historical record of the discipline, from its roots in the ancient world to the most recent findings of modern times. Among the many topics discussed are renal blood flow and the dynamics of glomerular filtration; the clearance concept in renal physiology; micropuncture and microperfusion; transport of electrolytes across renal tubules; and diuretics and renal drug development.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Evolution of Renal Physiology From Earliest Times to William Bowman • Renal Blood Flow and Dynamics of Glomerular Filtration: Evolution of a Concept from Carl Ludwig to the Present Day • Clearance Concept in Renal Physiology • Micropuncture and Microperfusion • From Renal Tissue Slices to Membrane Vesicles • Transport of Electrolytes Across Renal Tubules • Control of Sodium Excretion • Formation of Concentrated Urine • Control of Vasopressin Release • Urea Excretion • Acidification of Urine • Tubular Transport of Organic Anions and Cations • Diuretics and Renal Drug Development • Comparative Renal Physiology


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