Gr 7 Up—Latta provides a glimpse into the not-too-distant future of medical technology. Although the author makes it clear that biomedical engineering is not a new field, previous developments, such as the use of prosthetic toes by the ancient Egyptians, are nothing compared with what today's scientists are working toward, from gene splicing and organ generation to the development of technology to help the blind see. Latta describes new strands of bioengineering, including neuroengineering and microbial science, and, through knowledgeable interviews, reveals insights from those working in these fields. This full-color book features many pictures and diagrams to further demonstrate the significance of this science. VERDICT This compelling work of nonfiction about the science of improving the human condition would make an excellent addition to a career readiness or biology classroom library.—Kevin McGuire, Woodland Hills School District, PA
A primer on biomedical engineering.
Veteran science author Latta (Zoom in on Mining Robots, 2018, etc.) here spotlights the fascinating convergence of medicine, engineering, and scientific discovery, offering provocative glimpses into the burgeoning fields of tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, neuroscience, microbiology, genetic engineering, and synthetic biology. Inspiring problem-solving-minded teens to explore these STEM disciplines by describing projects so cutting edge they seem like science fiction, Latta also includes brief profiles and photos of diverse researchers that enable readers to imagine themselves pursuing similar careers. Says Dr. Gilda Barabino, "I think there's a little bit of an engineer in everybody. It's curiosity! Everybody wants to know how things work." Areas of potential breakthrough covered include brain-computer interfaces that may one day allow people with paralysis or limited mobility to move their limbs or control a robot helper; editing the human genome to treat chronic diseases like sickle cell disease by removing and replacing damaged DNA; optogenetics, which hopes to combine gene therapy with light to reduce pain and cure blindness; and growing bespoke body parts like bone, skin, arteries, and more in the lab, seeded by one's own cells and partially crafted by 3-D bioprinters. Full-color diagrams and photos combined with informative text boxes and a lively, conversational style make this an appealing choice.
Hot and heady: an enticing calling card for researchers of tomorrow. (glossary, source notes, bibliography, further information, index, photo credits) (Nonfiction. 13-18)