By Brian B. Hoffman
Inducing highs of pleasure, anger, and terror, adrenaline fuels the extremes of human adventure. a hurry empowers superhuman feats in emergencies. Risk-taking junkies search to copy this sense in risky recreations. And a surge may well actually scare us to dying. Adrenaline brings us in control at the interesting molecule that drives a few of our such a lot powerful experiences.
Adrenaline was once came upon in 1894 and quick made its method out of the lab into clinics worldwide. during this engrossing account, Brian Hoffman examines adrenaline in all its capacities, from a necessary regulator of physiological features to the topic of Nobel Prize–winning breakthroughs. simply because its biochemical pathways are prototypical, adrenaline has had frequent software in hormone learn resulting in the improvement of robust new medications. Hoffman introduces the scientists to whom we owe our realizing, tracing the trails in their discoveries and aspirations and permitting us to understand the an important function adrenaline has performed in pushing glossy drugs forward.
Hoffman additionally investigates the brilliant, every now and then lurid, position adrenaline occupies within the renowned mind's eye, the place bills of its life-giving and deadly houses usually depart the area of truth. recognized because the catalyst of the “fight or flight” reaction, adrenaline has additionally obtained forensic realization as an ideal poison, untraceable within the bloodstream—and rumors persist of its strength to restore the lifeless. actual to the spirit of its subject, Adrenaline is a stimulating trip that finds the reality at the back of adrenaline’s clinical value and enduring renowned attraction.
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Additional resources for Adrenaline
The second line of research involved the thyroid gland, located at the front of the lower neck. Speculation about its function ranged from lubricating the voice box to heating the blood and even beautifying the neck. Progress in understanding the true role of the thyroid came very slowly. In the sixteenth century Paracelsus pointed to the potential clinical signiﬁcance of swelling of the thyroid (goiter) by noting an association between goiters and cretinism. Cretinism is a congenital disorder characterized by stunted growth and mental disability that we now know is caused by low concentrations of thyroid hormone in the blood during infancy.
We now know that glycogen is a starch, a huge molecule with thousands of glucose molecules strung together in chains with many branches. Bernard discovered that glycogen stores in the liver could be broken down to glucose, and that the freed glucose could be secreted into the bloodstream. This discovery represented an exciting, newly revealed interaction between organs: the liver inﬂuences other organs by providing them with glucose, a source of energy. The liver was well known to secrete bile into the gallbladder via a special duct; Bernard termed secretions into ducts external secretions.
Schäfer himself described George Oliver’s initial visit to his laboratory without drama: In the autumn of 1893 there called upon me in my laboratory in University College a gentleman who was personally unknown to me, but with whom I had a common bond of interest—seeing that we both had been pupils of Sharpey, whose chair I at that time had the honour to occupy. I found that my visitor was Dr. George Oliver, already distinguished not only as a specialist in his particular branch of medical practice, and also for his clinical applications of physiological methods.
Adrenaline by Brian B. Hoffman