'Pump' with Bill Schutt on Monday's Access Utah
In “Pump: A Natural History of the Heart” we join zoologist Bill Schutt on a tour from the origins of circulation, still evident in microorganisms today, to the tiny hardworking pumps of worms, to the golf-cart-size hearts of blue whales. We visit beaches where horseshoe crabs are being harvested for their blood, which has properties that can protect humans from deadly illnesses. We learn that when temperatures plummet, some frog hearts can freeze solid for weeks, resuming their beat only after a spring thaw. And we journey with Schutt through human history, too, as philosophers and scientists hypothesize, often wrongly, about what makes our ticker tick. Schutt traces humanity’s cardiac fascination from the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, who believed that the heart contains the soul, all the way up to modern-day laboratories, where scientists use animal hearts and even plants as the basis for many of today’s cutting-edge therapies.
Bill Schutt is a zoologist and the author of six nonfiction and fiction titles, including the New York Times Editors’ Choice Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History. Emeritus Professor of Biology at Long Island University, Schutt is a longtime research associate at the American Museum of Natural History. His studies on the anatomy and evolution of bats have taken him all over the world.