Paper $45.00 ISBN: 9780226520513 Published January 2018
Cloth $135.00 ISBN: 9780226520483 Published January 2018
E-book $10.00 to $45.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226520650 Published January 2018 Also Available From

Visions of Cell Biology

Reflections Inspired by Cowdry’s "General Cytology"

Edited by Karl S. Matlin, Jane Maienschein, and Manfred D. Laubichler

Visions of Cell Biology

Edited by Karl S. Matlin, Jane Maienschein, and Manfred D. Laubichler

400 pages | 28 halftones, 28 line drawings, 2 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2018
Paper $45.00 ISBN: 9780226520513 Published January 2018
Cloth $135.00 ISBN: 9780226520483 Published January 2018
E-book $10.00 to $45.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226520650 Published January 2018
Although modern cell biology is often considered to have arisen following World War II in tandem with certain technological and methodological advances—in particular, the electron microscope and cell fractionation—its origins actually date to the 1830s and the development of cytology, the scientific study of cells. By 1924, with the publication of Edmund Vincent Cowdry’s General Cytology, the discipline had stretched beyond the bounds of purely microscopic observation to include the chemical, physical, and genetic analysis of cells. Inspired by Cowdry’s classic, watershed work, this book collects contributions from cell biologists, historians, and philosophers of science to explore the history and current status of cell biology.

Despite extraordinary advances in describing both the structure and function of cells, cell biology tends to be overshadowed by molecular biology, a field that developed contemporaneously. This book remedies that unjust disparity through an investigation of cell biology’s evolution and its role in pushing forward the boundaries of biological understanding. Contributors show that modern concepts of cell organization, mechanistic explanations, epigenetics, molecular thinking, and even computational approaches all can be placed on the continuum of cell studies from cytology to cell biology and beyond. The first book in the series Convening Science: Discovery at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Visions of Cell Biology sheds new light on a century of cellular discovery.
1. Introduction
Karl S. Matlin, Jane Maienschein, and Manfred D. Laubichler

2. Changing Ideas about Cells as Complex Systems
Jane Maienschein

3. In Search of Cell Architecture: General Cytology and Early Twentieth-Century Conceptions of Cell Organization
Andrew Reynolds

4. Methodological Reflections in General Cytology in Historical Perspective
Jutta Schickore

5. Cellular Pathogenesis: Virus Inclusions and Histochemistry
William C. Summers

6. The Age of a Cell: Cell Aging in Cowdry’s Problems of Ageing and Beyond
Lijing Jiang

7. Visualizing the Cell: Pictorial Styles and Their Epistemic Goals in General Cytology
Beatrice Steinert and Kate MacCord

8. Thomas Hunt Morgan and the Role of Chromosomes in Heredity
Garland E. Allen

9. Epigenetics and Beyond
Jan Sapp

10. Heads and Tails: Molecular Imagination and the Lipid Bilayer, 1917–1941
Daniel Liu

11. Pictures and Parts: Representation of Form and the Epistemic Strategy of Cell Biology
Karl S. Matlin

12. Observing the Living Cell: Shinya Inoué and the Reemergence of Light Microscopy
Rudolf Oldenbourg

13. Enriching the Strategies for Creating Mechanistic Explanations in Biology
William Bechtel

14. Updating Cowdry’s Theories: The Role of Models in Contemporary Experimental and Computational Cell Biology
Fridolin Gross

List of Contributors
Review Quotes
Michael J. Caplan, Yale School of Medicine
“Cell biology is a young science with a vibrant history. Unfortunately, the highlights of this history are not well known. This very readable, wonderfully researched, and thought-provoking book provides a rich historical context for the birth of modern cell biology. As it eloquently illuminates, Cowdry’s General Cytology grew out of gatherings at Woods Hole of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century luminaries in the nascent field of cell biology, pioneers who recognized the need to assemble and curate the current state of cellular knowledge. While it seems somewhat paradoxical to suggest that a book about a ninety-year-old book is timely, it is nonetheless quite accurate. It is extremely useful in the midst of today’s breathtakingly fast-paced molecular dissections of myriad cellular processes to take a moment to understand from whence came the paradigms that motivated the field and to appreciate how and why those paradigms have evolved. A delightful synthesis of cell biology and history and philosophy of science, Visions of Cell Biology is clearly much greater than the sum of its parts. It is an outstanding contribution to an important field.”
"Visions of Cell Biology is a rich history of cell biology, and its many intellectual contributions are highly accessible"
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