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Children's LiteratureFor hundreds of years, scientists have experimented on themselves, curious about how the human body works and what it can stand. The ten biographies in this intriguing collection portray men and women who swallowed inedible substances, exposed themselves to diseases, subjected themselves to intense heat and pressure, gas, radiation, and isolation, and injected probes into their hearts. The scientists described include Lazzaro Spallanzani, William Morton and Horace Wells, Marie and Pierre Curie, John Scott Haldane and Jack Haldane, John Paul Stapp, and Stefania Follini and others, working from the 1700s to nearly the present. Each chapter begins with a black-and-white portrait of the scientist(s) and ends with a section entitled "Now We Know." This highlights current understandings in the field of the self-experimenter, whether it be how the digestive system works, how much pressure the human body can stand, what happens to biological clocks when you are without outside time clues, or how diseases like yellow fever are transmitted and treated. Sidebars explain unfamiliar vocabulary and introduce others who worked in the field. The end matter includes an extensive bibliography for each subject, quotation sources, acknowledgements, credits for the black-and-white photographs that also illustrate each chapter, and a substantial index. In spite of the intriguing subject matter and proliferation of gory detail, the appearance of this book—with its black-and-white format, small type, and considerable heft—is serious. It may require some selling on the part of adults. This would be excellent supplementary reading for high school biology classes. 2005, Henry Holt and Company, Ages 12up.