• The Secret Language of Cells

  • What Biological Conversations Tell Us About the Brain-Body Connection, the Future of Medicine, and Life Itself
  • By: Jon Lieff MD
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (59 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Your cells are talking about you.

Right now, both your inner and outer worlds are abuzz with chatter among living cells of every possible kind - from those in your body and brain to those in the environment around you. From electrical alerts to chemical codes, the greatest secret of modern biology, hiding in plain sight, is that all of life’s activity boils down to one thing: conversation.

While cells are commonly considered the building block of living things, it is actually the communication between cells that brings us to life, controlling our bodies and brains, determining whether we are healthy or sick, and directly influencing how we think, feel, and behave.

In The Secret Language of Cells, doctor and neuroscientist Jon Lieff lets us listen in on these conversations, and reveals their significance for everything from mental health to cancer. He explains the surprising science of how very different cells - bacteria and brain cells, blood cells and viruses - all speak the same language. This overarching principle has been long overlooked because scientific journals use impenetrable jargon that makes it hard to be understood across disciplines, much less by the general public.

Lieff presents a fascinating and accessible look into cellular communication science - a groundbreaking and comprehensive exploration of this biological phenomenon. In these pages, discover the intriguing lives of cells as they ask questions, get answers, give feedback, gather information, call for each other, and make complex decisions. During infections, immune T-cells tell brain cells that we should “feel sick” and lie down. Cancer cells warn their community about immune and microbe attacks. Gut cells talk with microbes to determine which are friends and which are enemies, and microbes talk with each other and with much more complicated human cells in ways that determine which medicines work and which will fail.

With applications for immunity, chronic pain, weight loss, depression, cancer treatment, and virtually every aspect of health and biology, cellular communication is revolutionizing our understanding not just of disease, but of life itself. The Secret Language of Cells is required listening for anyone interested in following the conversation.

©2020 Jon Lieff. Published by arrangement with BenBella Books. (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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top notch!

I'm a huge biology nerd and this will definitely be a book I'll reread. this stands alone in its accessibility to deeply technical subjects and I almost wish it were more technical- but then you may as well be reading straight from journal articles and or university press titles (make it happen, audible!)

"what else does it do?" is a running theme of the book regardless of whatever molecular marvel is on deck theres a notion that we have barely scratched the surface of the myriad functions of biological molecular machines. I hope the next installment includes zinc fingers!

I'll be diving down rabbit holes of astrocytes and vesicles for a long time to come.
added bonus: his website has great book recommendations arranged by topic

12 people found this helpful

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Intriguing.

I love science that gives you new insight. This one was loaded.

I had no idea how versatile and seemingly intelligent our cells are. The myriad complexities of the various types of cells gives one new respect for what an amazingly complex thing our bodies are. And not just ours but the microbiome within and without. when something is this complex and detailed, it bears listening to again and again. I was dazzled with new insight. There was so much I wasn't aware of. It's definitely worth listening to more than once.

2 people found this helpful

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Biology Lesson Plus

This is everything biology class tells us plus more. Excellent understanding of how cells work. I majored in Bio 40 years ago so it is my favorite subject hence the bias. I was absolutely engrossed in this book and its content. Author and reader put me back in a familiar zone and held my interest all the way through. This one might even get a second read.

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This is so enlightening.

The Information in these pages is so cutting edge and important I had to but the hard cover as well.

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Absolutely mind-blowing insights

Wonderful discussion on a level never before imagined. A real key go understanding biology and life itself. Thank you!!

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Disappointed

The book covers a broad range of topics but none in the depth they deserve.

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Slipstream narration, all signal, no noise.

Chemicals enter through the Neural pore via microbes. Platelets and everything else communicate and create just about anything we need.

New great science for the info audicted.

Good 'go back' chapters, info subject hubs.

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Hard to follow

An interesting story but really does not map well to audio. The molecular biology also seems dumbed down to the point it is hard to keep track of the players. Again, something that may be better in print format.

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  • Cyclops
  • 02-04-22

I couldn't listen to it

I found this to be poorly written. It comes across as nothing more than a list of facts with no explanation of the deeper principles. The vocabulary was so repetitie that I couldn't listen to it. It was lke listening to a child say the same thing over and over again.

Refund requested.