Billy's Halo

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Transworld Publishers Limited, 2007 - Death (Biology) - 362 pages
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"Science is just one way of looking at life. As a neuroscientist working at the forefront of medical research it is Ruth McKernan's way. For a while it was her father Billy's too; science was a language they shared. When Billy succumbed to a mystery illness and slipped from consciousness into coma, Ruth watched his life ebb away with a mixture of love and terror. She struggled for control by using her scientific knowledge to analyse and understand his medical condition. Billy had been a demanding father, the postman's son who became a self-made success but it took his collapse for Ruth to realize just how intense her feelings were for him. Now, she tells the story of her father's last year as a collection of cutting-edge scientific themes memory, consciousness, microbes, stem cells like pearls strung together on the thread of her father's life. The result is an inspired blending of personal emotion, love and grief, with a crystal-clear scientific explanation of the way our brains and bodies work in sickness and in health."

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About the author (2007)

Ruth McKernan is a Vice President of Drug Discovery for a multinational pharmaceutical company and a visiting professor at London's Institute of Psychiatry. She is an internationally recognized neuroscientist whose talent for making complex science interesting, entertaining and understandable earned her the Glaxo/ABSW Science Writers' Award for her articles in the Independent. Ruth lives with her husband and two children near Canterbury in Kent.

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