Studying the cell helps us improve our understanding of the living world, plant and animal physiology, genetics, and biochemistry. This wealth of information has revolutionized the biological and medical sciences, leading to a dramatic reduction in mortalities due to infectious diseases and medical disorders. The war on cancer—launched almost 40 years ago—is finally approaching a stage where all cancers will be curable. Improved treatment and prognosis is now possible for many other disorders, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cystic fibrosis. Improved knowledge of the cell has made it possible for researchers to isolate and culture stem cells, which may be used to treat spinal cord trauma and degenerative neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
The Cell, Revised Edition contains new and revised material throughout, accompanied by many photographs and line drawings, all of which are now in color. Updated chapters in this timely resource now cover the recent controversy over the teaching of creationism in public schools, life on other planets, bacterial populations, and the potential threat of certain pathogenic species, as well as a more detailed discussion of eukaryote structure and function. New chapters have been added on the many cells that make up the human body as well as the crucial role that photosynthesis plays during the formation of the Earth's biosphere.