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ISBN:0231135882
Author: Elliot Valenstein
ISBN13: 978-0231135887
Title: The War of the Soups and the Sparks: The Discovery of Neurotransmitters and the Dispute Over How Nerves Communicate
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ePUB size: 1963 kb
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Language: English
Category: Medicine
Publisher: Columbia University Press; 1 edition (July 15, 2005)
Pages: 256

The War of the Soups and the Sparks: The Discovery of Neurotransmitters and the Dispute Over How Nerves Communicate by Elliot Valenstein



On this site it is impossible to download the book, read the book online or get the contents of a book. The administration of the site is not responsible for the content of the site. The data of catalog based on open source database. All rights are reserved by their owners. Download book The war of the soups and the sparks : the discovery of neurotransmitters and the dispute over how nerves communicate, Elliot S. Valenstein.

The discovery of neurotransmitters revolutionized the way we think about the brain and what it means to be human yet few people know how they were discovered, the scientists involved, or the fierce controversy about whether they even existed. The War of the Soups and the Sparks tells the saga of the dispute between the pharmacologists, who had uncovered the first evidence that nerves communicate  . Other readers will always be interested in your opinion of the books you've read.

Valenstein describes the observations and experiments that led to the discovery of neurotransmitters and sheds light on what determines whether a novel concept will gain acceptance among the scientific community. His work also explains the immense importance of Loewi, Dale, and Cannon's achievements in our understanding of the human brain and the way mental illnesses are conceptualized and treated. Related Biology Books: World Of Animals Book.

When I finished Blaming the Brain, I started to look into the history of the discovery of neurotransmitters, to satisfy my own curiosity. I was soon captivated by what I found to be a fascinating story. When I talked to my friends about what I was uncovering, it became clear that very few knew much, if anything, about this history. I decided to make this history the focus of my next book. Over 14 million journal, magazine, and newspaper articles  .

Like the cracking of the genetic code and the creation of the atomic bomb, the discovery of how the brain's neurons work is one of the fundamental scientific developments of the twentieth century. The discovery of neurotransmitters revolutionized the way we think about the brain and what it means to be human yet few people know how they were discovered, the scientists involved, or the fierce controversy about whether they even existed. The War of the Soups and the Sparks tells the saga of the dispute between the pharmacologists, who had uncovered the first evidence that nerves communicate by releasing chemicals,.

Elliot S. Columbia University Press. If you still getting an error - please contact us and we will fix this error ASAP. More books from author.

Henry Dale and the discovery of acetylcholine. May 2006 · Comptes Rendus Biologies. This paper uses much unpublished archival material to augment an examination of Dale's work, from his discovery of naturally occurring acetylcholine in 1913, through to evidence of its role as a neurotransmitter at autonomic ganglia,. post-ganglionic parasympathetic nerve terminals and the neuromuscular junction. To cite this article: . Tansey, C. R. Biologies 329 (2006).

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By Elliot S Valenstein. New York: Columbia University Press. xviii + 237 p; il. index.

Like the cracking of the genetic code and the creation of the atomic bomb, the discovery of how the brain's neurons work is one of the fundamental scientific developments of the twentieth century. The discovery of neurotransmitters revolutionized the way we think about the brain and what it means to be human yet few people know how they were discovered, the scientists involved, or the fierce controversy about whether they even existed. The War of the Soups and the Sparks tells the saga of the dispute between the pharmacologists, who had uncovered the first evidence that nerves communicate by releasing chemicals, and the neurophysiologists, experts on the nervous system, who dismissed the evidence and remained committed to electrical explanations.The protagonists of this story are Otto Loewi and Henry Dale, who received Nobel Prizes for their work, and Walter Cannon, who would have shared the prize with them if he had not been persuaded to adopt a controversial theory (how that happened is an important part of this history). Valenstein sets his story of scientific discovery against the backdrop of two world wars and examines the fascinating lives of several scientists whose work was affected by the social and political events of their time. He recounts such stories as Loewi's arrest by Nazi storm troopers and Dale's efforts at helping key scientists escape Germany. The War of the Soups and the Sparks reveals how science and scientists work. Valenstein describes the observations and experiments that led to the discovery of neurotransmitters and sheds light on what determines whether a novel concept will gain acceptance among the scientific community. His work also explains the immense importance of Loewi, Dale, and Cannon's achievements in our understanding of the human brain and the way mental illnesses are conceptualized and treated.
Reviews: 7
Virtual
Occasionally, it is mentally refreshing to read less detailed or technical accounts of scientific topics, thereby reinvigorating one’s capacity for focusing on and assimilating more in-depth treatments. Pursuing a more relaxed or encompassing view of a given topic, moreover, frequently affords vital context or perspectives that render scientific details more plausible or comprehensible, if not more tangibly awesome. Valenstein’s book serves well on all these counts, and does so in a very readable and insightful manner. The personal sketches, diverse challenges, occasional missteps, and remarkable accomplishments of the principal contributors in the earlier 20th century to neural communication science enhance the book’s appeal and readability. And in turn, they engender a deeper appreciation for the magnitude of their aggregate achievements.

As natural science in general proceeds, its progress depends increasingly upon sophisticated instrumentation to detect/observe salient phenomena and upon novel techniques to discriminate/identify properties or substances of interest. Accordingly, advances or increased certitude in science often rely crucially on such technologies and instrumental innovations, which are not necessarily scientific knowledge per se. This circumstance strongly applies to the brain science accomplishments recounted in this book, largely because of the exceedingly fine-grain scale of the neural elements, processes, and events underlying nervous system communication. Example innovations recounted in this book include: nerve cell staining, microelectrodes, neurotransmitter fluorescence, and the electron microscope.

Another timeless lesson, which is implicit in the book’s title, is the essential role of dissensus in the advancement of science. In the earlier decades of the 20th century, the overwhelming preponderance of scientific consensus emphatically opted for “the Sparks” position (electrical signal propagation across synapses). Simultaneously, a small cadre of prescient scientists mounted the highly motivated “Soups” advocacy (chemical synaptic communication). Basically, the entire book traces the unfolding scientific results that over an extended time span led, somewhat begrudgingly, to the ultimate establishment of “the Soups” theory of synaptic signal transmission. The pivotal scientific insights, moreover, were wholly dependent on certain instances of the aforementioned instrumental knowledge to produce the empirical knowledge that overwhelmed the speculative basis on which “the Sparks” faction had largely relied. Their rationale was not implausible (slowness of chemical transmission relative to the speed of conceivable electrical passage); but their position was presumptively adopted in the absence of supportive observations.

In a real sense, this “War” was waged between academe’s physiology establishment and the upstart pharmacology pioneers. Scientific knowledge aspects aside, the perhaps more notable consequence of the victory by “the Soups” proponents was the institutionalization of pharmacology as a full-fledged academic discipline. Making this war a bit less one-sided was the role of some commercial drug interests, especially in Great Britain. But to its credit, one (Wellcome Laboratories, with tenures by four eventual Nobel laureates (p. 188)), sponsored considerable non-commercial research that was vital to the eventual outcome of the subject war. Nobel laureate Henry Dale served both as a principal neural communication investigator and a research director at Wellcome for many years. Arguably, his contributions in behalf of “the Soups” cause were the most crucial of all in attaining the overall successful research trajectory described in this book.

Indirectly, a general lesson imparted in this book is that doing science is very, very difficult. Like other humans, every scientist makes occasional mistakes, albeit not necessarily blameworthy ones. What makes science so potentially crushing to its practitioners, however, is that an appreciable investment in time, resources, and reputation may be expended before re reveal a dead end to a once-plausible investigation. Fortunately for science at large, such dead ends are usually not total losses, because some knowledge is typically obtained. But for some individuals, such dead ends can be a major setback to a career – like missing out on a Nobel Prize (e.g., Walter Cannon on p. 114). Fortunately, certain others have been constructively forthright in recanting their advocacy of an ultimately untenable position (e.g., John Eccles on p. 129, who nonetheless did attain a Nobel Award). Ironically, Eccles’ own experimentation prompted his belated acknowledgment of chemical transmission – essentially marking the victory for “The Soups” theorists!

In the context of his protracted espousal of “The Sparks” position, Eccles’ view on scientific disputes (as engendered through argumentation with Henry Dale) underscores the importance of dissensus as a driver of scientific advancement/refinement: “I learned (from Dale) there is the value of scientific disputation – that it provides a great incentive to perfect one’s experimental work and also to examine it more critically” (p. 124). In contrast, regarding the real threat and grave impediment to science, Dale asserted that “I see danger if the name of science...should become a battle cry in a campaign on behalf of any political system” (p. 144).

In all, the subject book is an excellent and most enlightening read. Furthermore, the diverse personal sketches of the major investigators furnish a revealing view of how world-class science is typically done. Alas, the recounted victory of “the Soups” proponents has prompted a follow-on quest: that of penetrating the deeper complexities of neural communication, especially with respect to the intricacies of synaptic interactions. To explore problematic medical practice matters associated with these chemically based interactions, one might wish to read Valenstein’s substantive yet rather dated book “Blaming the Brain”.
Kirimath
Exceptionally written history concerning one of the important biological questions of all time. It is well written and comprehended easily by non-science specialists. Many characters in science, and this is no exception. Doesn't get bogged down in minutia, but also explains the concepts thoroughly. Buy it! Also consider: Nerve Endings: The Discovery of the Synapse, by Richard Rapport. This one deals with Golgi and Cajal in particular, and might act as a good lead-in to this book, or a good further read. Get them both!
Yojin
This is a great book. Elliot Valenstein gives a blow-by-blow account of the major issue for neuroscience in the 20th century - what is the mechanism of transmission from one to the next cell? Is it electrical, it surely must be - it's so fast - or is it chemical? We know the answer now - it's the latter. But it's still mighty surprising and Elliot takes us back to the time when for many serious scientists - particularly John Eccles - it was inconceivable. From its origins in the work of Cajal and Golgi on the concept of the neuron and its synaptic interactions around 1900 Valenstein traces the story of the mechanism through the theories of the action of the autonomic system of JN Langley and TR Elliot, the inspired experiment of Otto Loewi and the systematic pharmacological work of Henry Dale, and the illuminating debates with John Eccles to the critical point where Eccles having mastered the technique of intracellular recording through a micropipette convinced himself that chemical transmission was a reality. From that point led by Eccles himself with many collaborators research on the central nervous system took off. It's a great story, full of personal and scientific interest and Elliot Valenstein tells it well.
Burking
Valenstein's War of the Soups and the Sparks is a terrific combination of the science and the human story of the revolution in neuroscience that led us to an understanding of the role of chemical neurotransmission. I used it as a text and a discussion-starter in a graduate course in neuroscience and it succeeded admirably. Not only did it provide basic information on the basics of catecholaminergic and cholinergic transmitters but it provided historical background and considerable insight into scientific ethics, the historical context in which we work as neuroscientists, and the human story behind scientific progress.
Elizabeth
This book starts out slowly but is ultimately a satisfying account of one of the most important discoveries in neuroscience.
Cktiell
good
shustrik
This book was reviewed in Nature a few years back and the topic sounded interesting so I bought it. The book tells the story of how the question of whether neurons (the cells in your brain and nerves) communicate with each other via electrical impulses or instead use chemical transmitters was answered. It is a very smooth reading with interesting characters and interesting science. I think in order to fully appreciate the story you need some basic biomedical background, but not much. I am no pharmacologist and I still found the book very entertaining, so much so, that I couldn't put it down and finished it over a couple of days at the beach. I know now what the electrophysiology folks are part of the pharmacology department and not vice versa!
A lucidly written historical account. Great mix of science and characters. Worth a read even for scientists in the field.