Children's Literature - Della A. YannuzziHow are living things created? What do cells look like? What are some of the amazing things they can do? Author Cohen explores the topic of cells in this forty-eight page picture book. Cells are the building blocks of life, and they are everywhere. Cells are so small that they can only be seen through a microscope. And, all cells come from other cells that grow and divide. The human body is made up of about seventy-five trillion cells. Every month, skin cells are completely replaced. There are different types of cells. A T cell's job is to protect the body. They go after unhealthy cells and destroy them. Stem cells are unique because they can be turned into any cell in your body. Scientists can create new blood vessels from adult bone marrow stem cells. They are also working on creating artificial life from protein molecules. Scientists have also confirmed that anti-aging and ribosome protein production are linked to healthy diets. This soft-covered book is filled with sidebars and detailed full color photographs. It is a good resource book for both young readers and teachers. Part of the "Let's Relate to Genetics" series. Reviewer: Della A. Yannuzzi
School Library JournalGr 6-8–Problems mar this series. Background science, current research, and future possibilities are presented in large type and with numerous photos and occasional diagrams and sidebars. Controversial topics include questions for consideration–for example, an “In the Lab” sidebar in Cells explaining one of the roles of brain cells asks, “Can Playing Violent Video Games Make You Violent?” Kids will appreciate Genetic Engineering’s humorous introduction and use of analogies. Unfortunately, the lightheartedness isn’t continued in the other books; as topics become more challenging, the writing gets denser. Also, in an effort to simplify meiosis, important information and terminology are absent, muddying the description that repeats in Cells, Animal Cells, and Plant Cells. Occasionally, topics and photos are out of order, and the closing “Notebook” experiments are often more like kitchen fun than science.
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