The Pathway for Oxygen: Structure and Function in the Mammalian Respiratory System
by Ewald R. Weibel M.D.
Harvard University Press, 1984
Paper: 978-0-674-65790-8
Library of Congress Classification QP121.W395 1984
Dewey Decimal Classification 612.2


It is rare indeed for one book to be both a first-rate classroom text and a major contribution to scholarship. The Pathway for Oxygen is such a book, offering a new approach to respiratory physiology and morphology that quantitatively links the two. Professionalism in science has led to a compartmentalization of biology. Function is the domain of the physiologist, structure that of the morphologist, and they often operate with vastly disparate concepts and procedures. Yet the performance of the respiratory system depends both on structural and on functional properties that cannot be separated.

The first chapter of The Pathway for Oxygen engages the student with the design and function of the vertebrate respiratory organs from a comparative viewpoint. The second chapter adds to that foundation the link between cell energetics and oxygen needs of the whole animal. With Chapter 3 the excitement begins—new ideas, fresh attacks on old problems, and a fuller account of the power of the quantitative approach Dr. Ewald Weibel has pioneered.

The Pathway for Oxygen will be read eagerly by medical students, graduate students, advanced undergraduates in zoology—and by their professors.

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