From Clocks to Chaos
The Rhythms of Life
Leon Glass, Michael C. Mackey
In an important new contribution to the literature of chaos, two distinguished researchers in the field of physiology probe central theoretical questions about physiological rhythms. Topics discussed include: How are rhythms generated? How do they start and stop? What are the effects of perturbation of the rhythms? How are oscillations organized in space? Leon Glass and Michael Mackey address an audience of biological scientists, physicians, physical scientists, and mathematicians, but the work assumes no knowledge of advanced mathematics.
Variation of rhythms outside normal limits, or appearance of new rhythms where none existed previously, are associated with disease. One of the most interesting features of the book is that it makes a start at explaining "dynamical diseases" that are not the result of infection by pathogens but that stem from abnormalities in the timing of essential functions. From Clocks to Chaos provides a firm foundation for understanding dynamic processes in physiology.