Millennia ago, when we first began puzzling over the mysteries of the human body, one organ stood out as vital. The heart was warm, central, and it moved as it pumped blood. The ancient Egyptians treated it with reverence, carefully preserving it separately from the body so that it could be used to weigh the good and bad deeds of its owner. Aristotle believed that it was the seat of consciousness. Over the centuries, science has dispelled the myths, but our fascination with the heart has endured.
Vertebrate zoologist and author Bill Schutt traces the evolution of hearts and circulatory systems in the animal kingdom, as well as our understanding of the anatomy, physiology and symbolic significance of human hearts throughout history. As he does, Schutt looks at how scientists hypothesized wrongly and rightly about what is arguably our most important organ, ultimately developed the technologies that have helped us study the heart, and now in the most cutting-edge labs, are creating the tools that will help us regenerate it.
Schutt is the author of Pump: A Natural History of the Heart.
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