The Making of You: A Journey from Cell to Human

the making of you

Katharina Vestre
Wellcome Collection

When starting this book, I did not expect developmental processes to be so fascinating. From pre-conception to post-birth, Katharina Vestre masterfully uses every opportunity to educate the reader and share intriguing details about the path each of us took before birth.

Every step of the way from single cells up to the (still unfinished) newborn baby is accompanied by anecdotes and scientific tidbits. All of these are used as gateways to bring the reader in to contact with the broader scientific context of the processes happening during a pregnancy.

While this book may be rather short, it certainly has a wide scope. Curiosities from the animal kingdom are explored to illustrate concepts essential for human biology and pregnancy. Did you know for instance that mothers and their foetuses can exchange cells which can persist in their bodies for decades?

The author, without question, has a unique talent for science communication. She draws the reader in to her weaving of stories and asides. This leads to a rare combination and a thoroughly enjoyable book. You do not even notice how much you learn and the breadth does not cover for depth: from layperson to Biology PhD, there is something to be learnt by everyone.

Daniel Bojar