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"What are you doing?" put to a man moving earth, where answers range from "I'm digging a hole" to "I'm building a cathedral." The present editors and authors are building the cathedral, for "environment" is taken to include a time period of approximately 3 billion years, and "physiology" is considered to include evolution during that period. Much, much material is inserted and correlated with present knowledge of physics and chemistry. Nearly half the book concerns itself with adaptations that came about through natural selections prior to written history, which actually enfolds all but a small fraction of our earth's existence. A second portion with respect to time takes up the periodic adaptations to changes that come about primarily because of movements of the solar system. The third emphasis on time, which is the shortest, is involved with rapid responses to change in the immediate environment. One obtains the impression that physiology and life itself are actually part of the environment, and that all functions change together. The thesis is also presented that behavior and physiology are not separate disciplines, but that behavior is a physiological response to stimulation from the environment. Each chapter gives basic information on some field of development as related to the environment, and in some the details are remarkably succinct. Obviously the field is so large that this book is not a compendium in that respect. However, such examples as the counter-current activity of the kidney and the change of circulation of the mammal at birth are especially well treated. The osmotic regulation of animals is explained for several species. Relation of size to locomotion is considered. The types of gas exchange are well presented. The above are generally treated from a genetic point of view. Adaptations chiefly due to movements in the solar system include reactions observed at high altitude and in cold climates. The last section deals with sensory physiology related to obtaining food and avoiding predators (or becoming predators); bouyancy is described in a separate chapter; color changes and the teleologie reasons therefore are taken up; and methods of temperature regulation are outlined. This is no joke book. It is written as a text and is full of meat. The Russian physiologist B. Bykov has said that physiology is the study of organisms in their interactions with the environment, and Dr. Bligh states that the purpose of this book is to amplify Bykov's statement. That purpose has been accomplished. Robert W. Virtue 727 Birch Street Denver, Colorado 80220 The Mammalian Fetus: Comparative Biology and Methodology. Edited by E. S. E. Hafez. Springfield, 111.: Charles C Thomas, 1976. Pp. 368. $29.75. This book represents a few of the strengths and virtually all of the weaknesses of trying to construct a significant medical text from a short symposium. This particular symposium was held in December 1973 in honor of the contributions of Dr. Charles Stewart Mott in whose memory the Center for Human Growth and Development at Wayne State University had been named. 1 60 Book Reviews Of the 17 papers divided into four sections, less than half are worth the time and effort to read. Several of the papers, however, are outstanding reviews and could stand on their own. This first chapter is the best. Entitled "Control of the Fetal Circulation," it reviews most ofwhat is known about this subject. Since the authors, Rudolph and Heymann, did much of the original research, the review is certainly authoritative . Much of the information is available piecemeal from other sources, but this is a clearly written and clearly illustrated summary of their work. Chapter 2 examines the role of abnormal hemoglobin synthesis in intrauterine death. After a brief review of fetal red cell production first in the yolk sac, then in liver and spleen, and ultimately the bone marrow, the authors hypothesize a key role of hemoglobin synthesis in first trimester abortions. Their argument, however , seems entirely hypothetical and based on circumstantial evidence. They feel that since epsilon globin molecules normally disappear reciprocally with the appearance of gamma chains at the end of the first trimester, failure to initiate gamma globin production would leave the fetus without the ability to produce...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 160-162
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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