Siddhartha Mukherjee's The Song of the Cell | A theory of everything
There is very little that Siddhartha Mukherjee leaves out in his enjoyable study of the cell
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There is very little that Siddhartha Mukherjee leaves out in his enjoyable study of the cell

AdvertisementShreevatsa NevatiaShreevatsa NevatiaNew Delhi,ISSUE DATE: Dec 12, 2022 | UPDATED: Dec 2, 2022 15:20 ISTSiddhartha Mukherjee; (Inset) The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human by Siddhartha Mukherjee | Penguin Allen Lane | Rs 799; 576 pages; (Photo: Getty Images)

Siddhartha Mukherjee remembers well the thrill of seeing his first cell. It was a Monday morning in 1993. Mukherjee, then a graduate student at Oxford, was inspecting a kidney-shaped T cell under a microscope. “Like eyes looking back at me,” he writes in his book. “And then, to my astonishment, the T cell moved—deliberately, purposefully, seeking out an infected cell that it might purge and kill. It was alive.” Reading The Song of the Cell, Mukherjee’s wonder, one finds, is often infectious. He tells persuasively, even entertainingly, the story of ‘a life within a life’, the unit that forms part of a whole.

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