BIONIC PARTS FOR PEOPLE: The Real Story of Artificial Organs and Replacement Parts by Gloria Skurzynski

BIONIC PARTS FOR PEOPLE: The Real Story of Artificial Organs and Replacement Parts

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Nolen's Spare Parts for the Human Body was published in 1971 and Skurzynski's catchier title doesn't represent any significant update in attitude or overall coverage. She devotes her first five chapters to five different organs--kidney, eye, ear, heart, and limbs--with simple explanations of how the natural ones work, followed by surveys of artificial aids. Some of the aids axe as un-bionic as Seeing Eye dogs. Most however are devices--heart pacemakers, laser canes for the blind, cochlear implants--and despite the basic anatomy, this is generally more gadget-oriented than Nolen's book, without his attention to related issues. Skurzynski relies more on extrinsic interest (the chapter on artificial limbs cites Ted Kennedy, Jr., and the Knight of the Iron Hand), sometimes with her own artificial devices: ""If you were to think of yourself as an industrial corporation, your brain would be the manager and your heart the labor leader."" There is also a chapter on ""bionic"" materials and a rundown of other artificial parts, including blood, still mostly experimental if that. Skurzynski ends (lamely) with biographical sketches of doctors involved in some of the advances. Overall her approach as well as her title indicate that this is aimed at the TV generation--so okay; she gives them enough to keep the conversation going during commercials of the Six Million Dollar Man.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1978
Publisher: Four Winds