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Life's Vital Link: The astonishing role of the placenta Hardcover – 23 May 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 1 edition (23 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199694516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199694518
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 2.8 x 14.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 737,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

A surprisingly delightful book. Accessible enough for a general readership, Loke's work provides the key to a truly unique world. (Publishers Weekly)

About the Author

Professor Y. W. Loke of King's College Cambridge, is a highly respected expert in the placenta and its implantation and development. He has published widely in academic journals.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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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By RJP the Book Boy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Life's Vital Link by Y.W Loke

What is this book about ?

This is a hardback book that looks into the role and development of the Placenta. The book looks at the evolution, the immune system and general marvel that the Placenta is.

Target audience.

Although quite technical in places this book is quite accessible and readable by anyone with an interest in this quite amazing and mainly overlook organ.

Language and structure.

This book has been very well thought out and extremely well written to make it fairly easy to understand. I am a biologist and found it to be an excellent read both enjoyable and very informative. The author does a superb job at explaining some very complex chemical interactions and making the processes logical.
This is the first general book by Y.W Loke (he has written many scientific papers previously) and it is excellent and informative from page one until the end. He use of language is very good leading the reader comfortably down the complex pathways and evolution that makes the placenta work.
There are some illustration and diagrams to support the text along with a further reading glossary.

Overall.

Y.W Loke has done an excellent job explaining the complexities of the Placenta, how it works and the evolutionary problems faced in its development. He has made this a fascinating and informative journey for the reader. I hope he writes more books and I will certainly be looking out for work by him to link to my lectures.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As you go through this understandable and well laid out book you find out that the placenta has very short `life', the placenta arises at conception and terminates upon the baby's birth. However while it is around it seems to be able to multitask at the highest of level for foetal betterment and development. The placenta deserves to be considered among the most complex and important parts of the human body.
The author Mr Y. W. Loke uses a facts based process to convey how amazing the placenta is, as well as giving glimpses to what research is telling us about this organ, and how future research promises some very positive results for medicine.

So what does the placenta do?

1. Nutrition - by supplying nourishment and oxygen

2. Excretion - removing carbon dioxide, urea etc.

3. Immunity - transfer of antibodies from mother to child

4. Endocrine function - secretion progesterone and estrogen as well as hormonal control

5. Cloaking from immune system of mother - Defends against the mother's immune system, which may consider the foetus a foreign body and `attack' it?

6. Other functions - influences maternal behaviour in a way that welfares the foetus, plus the placenta also provides a reservoir of blood for the foetus for emergency like hypertension.

The author gives a very convincing argument, in a very readable fashion that the placenta has much more to offer in tallying these enthralling functions. By deciphering placental growth patterns may shed light on the causation of cancer; there is the future possibility doctors will have the `tool' fix the all too real problems of tissue rejection in organ transplant patients.
Forgive the repetition here, but this reachable enough for a universal readership. The author has produced a key work unique world, highly recommended.
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