A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg
From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”
One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?
Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.
Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?
Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.
Early studies of the human brain used a simple method: wait for misfortune to strike -- strokes, seizures, infectious diseases, horrendous accidents -- and see how victims coped. In many cases their survival was miraculous, if puzzling. Observers were amazed by the transformations that took place when different parts of the brain were destroyed, altering victims' personalities. Parents suddenly couldn't recognize their own children. Pillars of the community became pathological liars. Some people couldn't speak but could still sing.
In The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons, Sam Kean travels through time with stories of neurological curiosities: phantom limbs, Siamese twin brains, viruses that eat patients' memories, blind people who see through their tongues. He weaves these narratives together with prose that makes the pages fly by, to create a story of discovery that reaches back to the 1500s and the high-profile jousting accident that inspired this book's title.* With the lucid, masterful explanations and razor-sharp wit his fans have come to expect, Kean explores the brain's secret passageways and recounts the forgotten tales of the ordinary people whose struggles, resilience, and deep humanity made neuroscience possible.
*"The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons" refers to the case of French king Henri II, who in 1559 was lanced through the skull during a joust, resulting in one of the most significant cases in neuroscience history. For hundreds of years scientists have gained important lessons from traumatic accidents and illnesses, and such misfortunes still represent their greatest resource for discovery.
In Cat Sense, renowned anthrozoologist John Bradshaw takes us further into the mind of the domestic cat than ever before, using cutting-edge scientific research to dispel the myths and explain the true nature of our feline friends. Tracing the cat's evolution from lone predator to domesticated companion, Bradshaw shows that although cats and humans have been living together for at least eight thousand years, cats remain independent, predatory, and wary of contact with their own kind, qualities that often clash with our modern lifestyles. Cats still have three out of four paws firmly planted in the wild, and within only a few generations can easily revert back to the independent way of life that was the exclusive preserve of their predecessors some 10,000 years ago. Cats are astonishingly flexible, and given the right environment they can adapt to a life of domesticity with their owners-but to continue do so, they will increasingly need our help. If we're to live in harmony with our cats, Bradshaw explains, we first need to understand their inherited quirks: understanding their body language, keeping their environments-however small-sufficiently interesting, and becoming more proactive in managing both their natural hunting instincts and their relationships with other cats.
A must-read for any cat lover, Cat Sense offers humane, penetrating insights about the domestic cat that challenge our most basic assumptions and promise to dramatically improve our pets' lives-and ours.
It’s no secret that humans and apes share a host of traits, from the tribal communities we form to our irrepressible curiosity. We have a common ancestor, scientists tell us, so it’s natural that we act alike. But not all of these parallels are so appealing: the chimpanzee, for example, can be as vicious and manipulative as any human.
Yet there’s more to our shared primate heritage than just our violent streak. In Our Inner Ape, Frans de Waal, one of the world’s great primatologists and a renowned expert on social behavior in apes, presents the provocative idea that our noblest qualities—generosity, kindness, altruism—are as much a part of our nature as are our baser instincts. After all, we share them with another primate: the lesser-known bonobo. As genetically similar to man as the chimpanzee, the bonobo has a temperament and a lifestyle vastly different from those of its genetic cousin. Where chimps are aggressive, territorial, and hierarchical, bonobos are gentle, loving, and erotic (sex for bonobos is as much about pleasure and social bonding as it is about reproduction).
While the parallels between chimp brutality and human brutality are easy to see, de Waal suggests that the conciliatory bonobo is just as legitimate a model to study when we explore our primate heritage. He even connects humanity’s desire for fairness and its morality with primate behavior, offering a view of society that contrasts markedly with the caricature people have of Darwinian evolution. It’s plain that our finest qualities run deeper in our DNA than experts have previously thought.
Frans de Waal has spent the last two decades studying our closest primate relations, and his observations of each species in Our Inner Ape encompass the spectrum of human behavior. This is an audacious book, an engrossing discourse that proposes thought-provoking and sometimes shocking connections among chimps, bonobos, and those most paradoxical of apes, human beings.
Her work is both timeless and timely, and spans disciplines, continents, and millennia. It is underscored by an innate environmentalism and driven by Sussman’s relentless curiosity. She begins at “year zero,” and looks back from there, photographing the past in the present. These ancient individuals live on every continent and range from Greenlandic lichens that grow only one centimeter a century, to unique desert shrubs in Africa and South America, a predatory fungus in Oregon, Caribbean brain coral, to an 80,000-year-old colony of aspen in Utah. Sussman journeyed to Antarctica to photograph 5,500-year-old moss; Australia for stromatolites, primeval organisms tied to the oxygenation of the planet and the beginnings of life on Earth; and to Tasmania to capture a 43,600-year-old self-propagating shrub that’s the last individual of its kind. Her portraits reveal the living history of our planet—and what we stand to lose in the future. These ancient survivors have weathered millennia in some of the world’s most extreme environments, yet climate change and human encroachment have put many of them in danger. Two of her subjects have already met with untimely deaths by human hands.
Alongside the photographs, Sussman relays fascinating – and sometimes harrowing – tales of her global adventures tracking down her subjects and shares insights from the scientists who research them. The oldest living things in the world are a record and celebration of the past, a call to action in the present, and a barometer of our future.
"Intelligent Design" is being taught in our schools; educators are being asked to "teach the controversy" behind evolutionary theory. There is no controversy. Dawkins sifts through rich layers of scientific evidence—from living examples of natural selection to clues in the fossil record; from natural clocks that mark the vast epochs wherein evolution ran its course to the intricacies of developing embryos; from plate tectonics to molecular genetics—to make the airtight case that "we find ourselves perched on one tiny twig in the midst of a blossoming and flourishing tree of life and it is no accident, but the direct consequence of evolution by non-random selection." His unjaded passion for the natural world turns what might have been a negative argument, exposing the absurdities of the creationist position, into a positive offering to the reader: nothing less than a master’s vision of life, in all its splendor.
In The Disappearing Spoon, bestselling author Sam Kean unlocked the mysteries of the periodic table. In THE VIOLINIST'S THUMB, he explores the wonders of the magical building block of life: DNA.
There are genes to explain crazy cat ladies, why other people have no fingerprints, and why some people survive nuclear bombs. Genes illuminate everything from JFK's bronze skin (it wasn't a tan) to Einstein's genius. They prove that Neanderthals and humans bred thousands of years more recently than any of us would feel comfortable thinking. They can even allow some people, because of the exceptional flexibility of their thumbs and fingers, to become truly singular violinists.
Kean's vibrant storytelling once again makes science entertaining, explaining human history and whimsy while showing how DNA will influence our species' future.
In her third enthralling book about the brain, Judith Horstman takes us on a lively tour of our most important sex and love organ and the whole smorgasbord of our many kinds of love-from the bonding of parent and child to the passion of erotic love, the affectionate love of companionship, the role of animals in our lives, and the love of God.
Drawing on the latest neuroscience, she explores why and how we are born to love-how we're hardwired to crave the companionship of others, and how very badly things can go without love. Among the findings: parental love makes our brain bigger, sex and orgasm make it healthier, social isolation makes it miserable-and although the craving for romantic love can be described as an addiction, friendship may actually be the most important loving relationship of your life.
Based on recent studies and articles culled from the prestigious Scientific American and Scientific American Mind magazines, The Scientific American Book of Love, Sex, and the Brain offers a fascinating look at how the brain controls our loving relationships, most intimate moments, and our deep and basic need for connection.
The common ancestry of all humanity
The role of genes in sickness and health
Debates over the use of genetic technology
Written in an engaging, narrative manner, this concise introduction is an ideal starting point for anyone who wants to know more about genes, DNA, and the genetic ties that bind us all.
Through his voyage of discovery, international bestselling author Brian Cox explains how the astonishing inventiveness of nature came about and uncovers the milestones in the epic journey from the origin of life to our own lives, with beautiful full-color illustrations throughout. From spectacular fountains of superheated water at the bottom of the Atlantic to the deepest rainforest, Cox seeks out the places where the biggest questions about life may be answered: What is life? Why do we need water? Why does life end?
Physicist and professor Brian Cox uncovers the secrets of life in the most unexpected locations and in the most stunning detail in this beautiful full-color volume.
By showing us the true nature of chance and revealing the psychological illusions that cause us to misjudge the world around us, Mlodinow gives us the tools we need to make more informed decisions. From the classroom to the courtroom and from financial markets to supermarkets, Mlodinow's intriguing and illuminating look at how randomness, chance, and probability affect our daily lives will intrigue, awe, and inspire.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Every now and then a simple yet radical idea shakes the very foundations of knowledge. The startling discovery that the world was not flat challenged and ultimately changed the way people perceived themselves and their relationship with the world. For most humans of the 15th century, the notion of Earth as ball of rock was nonsense. The whole of Western, natural philosophy is undergoing a sea change again, increasingly being forced upon us by the experimental findings of quantum theory, and at the same time, towards doubt and uncertainty in the physical explanations of the universe’s genesis and structure. Biocentrism completes this shift in worldview, turning the planet upside down again with the revolutionary view that life creates the universe instead of the other way around.
In this paradigm, life is not an accidental byproduct of the laws of physics. Biocentrism takes the reader on a seemingly improbable but ultimately inescapable journey through a foreign universe—our own—from the viewpoints of an acclaimed biologist and a leading astronomer. Switching perspective from physics to biology unlocks the cages in which Western science has unwittingly managed to confine itself. Biocentrism will shatter the reader’s ideas of life—time and space, and even death. At the same time it will release us from the dull worldview of life being merely the activity of an admixture of carbon and a few other elements; it suggests the exhilarating possibility that life is fundamentally immortal.
The 21st century is predicted to be the Century of Biology, a shift from the previous century dominated by physics. It seems fitting, then, to begin the century by turning the universe outside-in and unifying the foundations of science with a simple idea discovered by one of the leading life-scientists of our age. Biocentrism awakens in readers a new sense of possibility, and is full of so many shocking new perspectives that the reader will never see reality the same way again.
The Science of Yoga draws on more than a century of painstaking research to present the first impartial evaluation of a practice thousands of years old. It celebrates what’s real and shows what’s illusory, describes what’s uplifting and beneficial and what’s flaky and dangerous—and why. Broad unveils a burgeoning global industry that attracts not only curious scientists but true believers and charismatic hustlers. He shatters myths, lays out unexpected benefits, and offers a compelling vision of how the ancient practice can be improved.
It took Charles Darwin more than twenty years to publish this book, in part because he realized that it would ignite a firestorm of controversy. On the Origin of Species first appeared in 1859, and it remains a continuing source of conflict to this day. Even among those who reject its ideas, however, the work's impact is undeniable. In science, philosophy, and theology, this is a book that changed the world.
In addition to its status as the focus of a dramatic turning point in scientific thought, On the Origin of Species stands as a remarkably readable study. Carefully reasoned and well-documented in its arguments, the work offers coherent views of natural selection, adaptation, the struggle for existence, survival of the fittest, and other concepts that form the foundation of modern evolutionary theory. This volume is a reprint of the critically acclaimed first edition.
Why do ravens, generally understood to be solitary creatures, share food between each other during winter? On the surface, there didn’t appear to be any biological or evolutionary imperative behind the raven’s willingness to share. The more Bernd Heinrich observed their habits, the more odd the bird’s behavior became. What started as mere curiosity turned into an impassioned research project, and Ravens In Winter, the first research of its kind, explores the fascinating biological puzzle of the raven’s rather unconventional social habits.
“Bernd Heinrich is no ordinary biologist. He’s the sort who combines formidable scientific rigor with a sense of irony and an unslaked, boyish enthusiasm for his subject, and who even at his current professorial age seems to do a lot of tree climbing in the line of research.” —David Quammen, The New York Times
The Scientific American Day in the Life of Your Brain reveals what’s going on in there while you sleep and dream, how your brain makes memories and forms addictions and why we sometimes make bad decisions. The book also offers intriguing information about your emotional brain, and what’s happening when you’re feeling love, lust, fear and anxiety—and how sex, drugs and rock and roll tickle the same spots.
Based on the latest scientific information, the book explores your brain’s remarkable ability to change, how your brain can make new neurons even into old age and why multitasking may be bad for you.
Your brain is uniquely yours – but research is showing many of its day-to-day cycles are universal. This book gives you a look inside your brain and some insights into why you may feel and act as you do.
The Scientific American Day in the Life of Your Brain is written in the entertaining, informative and easy-to-understand style that fans of Scientific American and Scientific American Mind magazine have come to expect.
From the dawn of our species, every human culture-no matter how isolated-has believed in some form of a spiritual realm. According to author Matthew Alper, this is no mere coincidence but rather due to the fact that humans, as a species, are genetically predisposed to believe in the universal concepts of a god, a soul and an afterlife. This instinct to believe is the result of an evolutionary adaptation-a coping mechanism-that emerged in our species to help us survive our unique and otherwise debilitating awareness of death.
Spiritual seekers and atheists alike will be compelled and transformed by Matthew Alper's classic study of science and religion. The 'God' Part of the Brain has gained critical acclaim from some of the world's leading scientists, secular humanists, and theologians, and is as a must read for anyone who has pondered the question of God's existence, as well as the meaning of our own.
Praise for The "God" Part of the Brain
"This cult classic in many ways parallels Rene Descartes' search for reliable and certain knowledge...Drawing on such disciplines as philosophy, psychology, and biology, Alper argues that belief in a spiritual realm is an evolutionary coping method that developed to help humankind deal with the fear of death...Highly recommended."— Library Journal
"I very much enjoyed the account of your spiritual journey and believe it would make excellent reading for every college student - the resultant residence-hall debates would be the best part of their education. It often occurs to me that if, against all odds, there is a judgmental God and heaven, it will come to pass that when the pearly gates open, those who had the valor to think for themselves will be escorted to the head of the line, garlanded, and given their own personal audience." — Edward O. Wilson, two-time Pulitzer Prize-Winner
"This is an essential book for those in search of a scientific understanding of man's spiritual nature. Matthew Alper navigates the reader through a labyrinth of intriguing questions and then offers undoubtedly clear answers that lead to a better understanding of our objective reality." — Elena Rusyn, MD, PhD; Gray Laboratory; Harvard Medical School
"What a wonderful book you have written. It was not only brilliant and provocative but also revolutionary in its approach to spirituality as an inherited trait."— Arnold Sadwin, MD, former chief of Neuropsychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania
"A lively manifesto...For the discipline's specific application to the matter at hand, I've seen nothing that matches the fury of The 'God' Part of the Brain, which perhaps explains why it's earned something of a cult following." — Salon.com
"All 6 billion plus inhabitants of Earth should be in possession of this book. Alper's tome should be placed in the sacred writings' section of libraries, bookstores, and dwellings throughout the world. Matthew Alper is the new Galileo...Immensely important...Defines in a clear and concise manner what each of us already knew but were afraid to admit and exclaim."— John Scoggins, PhD
"Vibrant ... vivacious. An entertaining and provocative introduction to speculations concerning the neural basis of spirituality."— Free Inquiry Magazine
People are often cast as villains in the story of environmental degradation, seen primarily as a threat to healthy ecosystems and an obstacle to conservation. But humans are inseparable from natural ecosystems. Understanding how people think about, experience, and interact with nature is crucial for promoting environmental sustainability as well as human well-being.
The book first summarizes theory and research on human cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses to nature and goes on to review research on people's experience of nature in wild, managed, and urban settings. Finally, it examines ways to encourage conservation-oriented behavior at both individual and societal levels. Throughout, the authors integrate a wide body of published literature to demonstrate how and why psychology is relevant to promoting a more sustainable relationship between humans and nature.
If the Big Data revolution has a presiding genius, it is MIT’s Alex “Sandy” Pentland. Over years of groundbreaking experiments, he has distilled remarkable discoveries significant enough to become the bedrock of a whole new scientific field: social physics. Humans have more in common with bees than we like to admit: We’re social creatures first and foremost. Our most important habits of action—and most basic notions of common sense—are wired into us through our coordination in social groups. Social physics is about idea flow, the way human social networks spread ideas and transform those ideas into behaviors.
Thanks to the millions of digital bread crumbs people leave behind via smartphones, GPS devices, and the Internet, the amount of new information we have about human activity is truly profound. Until now, sociologists have depended on limited data sets and surveys that tell us how people say they think and behave, rather than what they actually do. As a result, we’ve been stuck with the same stale social structures—classes, markets—and a focus on individual actors, data snapshots, and steady states. Pentland shows that, in fact, humans respond much more powerfully to social incentives that involve rewarding others and strengthening the ties that bind than incentives that involve only their own economic self-interest.
Pentland and his teams have found that they can study patterns of information exchange in a social network without any knowledge of the actual content of the information and predict with stunning accuracy how productive and effective that network is, whether it’s a business or an entire city. We can maximize a group’s collective intelligence to improve performance and use social incentives to create new organizations and guide them through disruptive change in a way that maximizes the good. At every level of interaction, from small groups to large cities, social networks can be tuned to increase exploration and engagement, thus vastly improving idea flow.
Social Physics will change the way we think about how we learn and how our social groups work—and can be made to work better, at every level of society. Pentland leads readers to the edge of the most important revolution in the study of social behavior in a generation, an entirely new way to look at life itself.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Osteologists, archaeologists, anatomists, forensic scientists and paleontologists will all find practical information on accurately identifying, recovering, and analyzing and reporting on human skeletal remains and on making correct deductions from those remains.From the world renowned and bestselling team of osteologist Tim D. White, Michael T. Black and photographer Pieter A. FolkensIncludes hundreds of exceptional photographs in exquisite detail showing the maximum amount of anatomical informationFeatures updated and expanded coverage including forensic damage to bone and updated case study examplesPresents life sized images of skeletal parts for ease of study and reference
Dr. Kenneth Kamler has spent years observing exactly what happens. A vice president of the legendary Explorers Club, he has climbed, dived, sledded, floated, and trekked through some of the most treacherous and remote regions in the world. A consultant for NASA, Yale University, and the National Geographic Society, he has explored undersea caves, crossed the frozen Antarctic wastelands, and stitched a boy's hand back together while kneeling in knee-deep Amazonian mud. He was the only doctor on Everest during the tragic expedition documented in Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air and helped treat its survivors. Kamler has devoted his life to investigating how our bodies respond to "environmental insults"-a nice way of saying the things that can kill us-and watched while some succumbed to them and others, sometimes miraculously, overcome them.
Words like "extreme" and "survival" have lost some of their value from overuse and media hype. By showing us what happens when life itself is at stake, and the body's capacities put to their greatest test, this book reminds us what they truly mean. Divided into six sections-jungle, open sea, desert, underwater, high altitude, and outer space-Surviving the Extremes uses first-hand testimony and documented accounts to illustrate what happens in environments where our instinctive survival strategies must become fully engaged. These stories reveal how infinitely complex are the workings of the human body-and also how heartbreakingly fragile. At the heart of this book is a quest for the source of our will to survive and the haunting question of why some can, and others cannot, summon its awesome and nearly mystical power at their moment of greatest need.
Surgeon, explorer, and masterful storyteller, Kamler takes us to the farthest reaches of the earth as well as into the uncharted territory within the human brain. Surviving the Extremes is a scientific nail-biter no reader will forget.
With The Longevity Seekers, science writer Ted Anton takes readers inside this tale that began with worms and branched out to snare innovative minds from California to Crete, investments from big biotech, and endorsements from TV personalities like Oprah and Dr. Oz. Some of the research was remarkable, such as the discovery of an enzyme in humans that stops cells from aging. And some, like an oft-cited study touting the compound resveratrol, found in red wine—proved highly controversial, igniting a science war over truth, credit, and potential profit. As the pace of discovery accelerated, so too did powerful personal rivalries and public fascination, driven by the hope that a longer, healthier life was right around the corner. Anton has spent years interviewing and working with the scientists at the frontier of longevity science, and this book offers a behind-the-scenes look at the state-of-the-art research and the impact it might have on global public health, society, and even our friends and family.
With spectacular science and an unforgettable cast of characters, The Longevity Seekers has all the elements of a great story and sheds light on discoveriesthat could fundamentally reshape human life.
Tracing one scientist's journey toward understanding the crucial importance of the microbiome, this revolutionary book will take readers to the forefront of trail-blazing research while revealing the damage that overuse of antibiotics is doing to our health: contributing to the rise of obesity, asthma, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer. In Missing Microbes, Dr. Martin Blaser invites us into the wilds of the human microbiome where for hundreds of thousands of years bacterial and human cells have existed in a peaceful symbiosis that is responsible for the health and equilibrium of our body. Now, this invisible eden is being irrevocably damaged by some of our most revered medical advances—antibiotics—threatening the extinction of our irreplaceable microbes with terrible health consequences. Taking us into both the lab and deep into the fields where these troubling effects can be witnessed firsthand, Blaser not only provides cutting edge evidence for the adverse effects of antibiotics, he tells us what we can do to avoid even more catastrophic health problems in the future.
“Rich in dexterous innuendo, laugh-out-loud humor and illuminating fact. It’s compulsively readable.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review In ?Bonk, ?the best-selling author of Stiff turns her outrageous curiosity and insight on the most alluring scientific subject of all: sex. Can a person think herself to orgasm? Why doesn't Viagra help women-or, for that matter, pandas? Can a dead man get an erection? Is vaginal orgasm a myth? Mary Roach shows us how and why sexual arousal and orgasm-two of the most complex, delightful, and amazing scientific phenomena on earth-can be so hard to achieve and what science is doing to make the bedroom a more satisfying place.
This second edition of the Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants is created to assist the clinician in the initial response to the needs of a child or adult exposed to a poisonous or injurious plant. It lists common plants that might lead to the development of the symptom complex and describes the mechanisms of action of the implicated toxin, additional clinical manifestations, and specific therapeutics for each presentation. It has methodically enhanced the previous edition’s botanical rigor with insights from both pharmacognosy and clinical medicine to make it a truly comprehensive source.
With its thorough references and full-color photos of hundreds of potentially toxic and injurious plants inside the home, anyone who has an interest in plants will find this book useful outside in the garden or out in the wild.
This book will fascinate botanists, horticulturists, and naturalists as well as hikers, gardeners, and all those who simply enjoy the wonders of nature and the great outdoors!
With Foreword by Lewis R. Goldfrank, MD and Introduction by Andrew Weil, MD
The book is divided into three sections covering optical principles in diffraction and image formation, basic modes of light microscopy, and components of modern electronic imaging systems and image processing operations. Each chapter introduces relevant theory, followed by descriptions of instrument alignment and image interpretation. This revision includes new chapters on live cell imaging, measurement of protein dynamics, deconvolution microscopy, and interference microscopy.
PowerPoint slides of the figures as well as other supplementary materials for instructors are available at a companion website:
The aim of this book is to sort the fact from the fiction for the benefit of those involved in training, managing or working with horses, and to provide an up-to-date summary of the state of play in equine exercise physiology. Scientific theories are explained from first principles, with the assumption that the reader has no previous scientific background. The book is designed to save competitors and trainers a lot of time and effort trying to extract information in piecemeal fashion from a host of reference sources. For the first time, everything you need to know about exercising and training horses is here in one text.
Named one of the top books of 2009 by the Times Literary Supplement (London), this controversial and compelling book from Dr. Stephen C. Meyer presents a convincing new case for intelligent design (ID), based on revolutionary discoveries in science and DNA. Along the way, Meyer argues that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution as expounded in The Origin of Species did not, in fact, refute ID. If you enjoyed Francis Collins’s The Language of God, you’ll find much to ponder—about evolution, DNA, and intelligent design—in Signature in the Cell.
This book is written in the same engaging conversational style as the published reference book The Immune Response: Basic and Clinical Principles and conveys the same fascinating appeal of immunology. The authors bring clarity, readability and continuity of voice to an audience that requires only a brief survey of the most fundamental concepts in basic and clinical immunology. Primer to The Immune Response is beautifully illustrated with over 200 superb figures and 36 full-color plates, and further enhanced by the inclusion of 60 tables and 6 Appendices. Included with purchase of the book is website access to a captivating “Immunomovie" that truly brings the immune response to pathogens to life. This new and unique immunology textbook compactly but elegantly covers both basic and clinical principles.Over 200 elegant 2-4 color illustrations36 full-color plates of basic and clinical items of interestTake-home message and “Did You Get It? self-test quiz at the end of each chapter6 Appendices that provide topic enrichment60-minute "Immunomovie" illustrating the immune response to bacterial, viral and parasitic infections
Rapid advances in DNA sequencing technology have led to a major change in the way that prokaryotes are classified. Sequence analysis of highly conserved regions of the bacterial genome, such as the small subunit rRNA gene, now provide us with a universal method of estimating the evolutionary relationships among all organisms. Such gene-based phylogenetic classifications have led to many new discoveries about prokaryotes that were not reflected in the classification used in the first edition of the Manual. We now know that the prokaryotes fall into two broad domains: the Archaea and the Bacteria. Whereas the Archaea were once thought of as the more primitive of the prokaryotic lineages, we now realize that they are more closely related to the eukaryotes than to the Bacteria by this measure. We have come to realize that many taxa based on shared phenotypic features may be quite distinct from one another based on phylogenetic evidence. The Chromatium, a genus of anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria are more closely related to E. coli than to some other lineages of anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria; Mycoplasma and other cell-wall deficient species are members of the Gram-positive clade; the medically important Chlamydia are aligned with the Planctomyces; and the Clostridium, which form a phenotypically coherent group, fall into more than a dozen phylogenetically disparate groups of Gram-positive bacteria. We have also come to realize that prokaryotes represent one of the major sources of biodiversity in nature and play a major role in the functioning of all ecosystems.
In addition to such fundamental revelations, the widespread application of new methods of classifying prokaryotes has led to an explosive growth in the number of validly published species and higher taxa. Since completion of the first edition of the Manual, the number of published species has more than tripled and has been accompanied by numerous taxonomic realignments that take into consideration newly published findings.
Phylogenetic classification is now broadly accepted as the preferred method of representing taxonomic relationships among prokaryotes and eukaryotes alike. While the evolutionary history of the prokaryotes is far from complete, there is already sufficient data to provide a reasonable view of the major lines of descent of the cultivable species. Although the second edition of the Manual retains it’s unique and highly structured style of presentation of information along genus and species lines, the arrangement of content is along the phylogenetic lines of the small subunit rRNA gene, so that the reader is presented with the information in a more natural, biological perspective. The second edition of the Manual also contains more in-depth ecological information about individual taxa and many new introductory essays.
In the preface to the first edition of Bergey’s Manual of Determinative Bacteriology, published in 1923, one of the stated goals of that work was to "stimulate efforts to perfect the classification of bacteria..." The editors of the first edition regarded the Manual as "a progress report leading to a more satisfactory classification in the future" rather than a definitive classification. Bergey’s Manual Trust continues in this tradition and recognizes that, for the Manual to remain scientifically meaningful and useful to the scientific community, it is time for the new edition.
Overview of the second edition of the Manual
As before, the Manual is subdivided into multiple volumes and each genus occurs as a separate chapter with introductory text provided at higher taxonomic levels. The second edition differs from the first in that clinically relevant species are not grouped together into two volumes. Rather, these taxa appear in their proper phylogenetic place. The text is arranged to follow the lineages defined by the large-scale phylogenetic trees maintained by the Ribosomal Database Project and the ARB Project to which a formalized, hierarchical taxonomy and nomenclature have been applied. As volume 2 goes to press, the taxonomy encompasses 6466 species that are assigned to 26 phyla, 41 classes, 88 orders, 240 families and 1194 genera. Each volume contains a collection of introductory essays on the history and use of the Manual; a detailed discussion of the prokaryotic domains; overviews of the classification, identification, and naming of prokaryotes; prokaryotic ecology and phylogeny; the role of culture collections in microbiology; and intellectual property of prokaryotes. Each volume also includes taxon specific essays and a detailed road map that presents the reader with a broad view of how the entire edition will be arranged, a mapping of phylogenetic groups to the phenotypic groups used in the first edition (Volume 1), or an update of newly published taxa and combinations appearing in print since the preceding volume (Volumes 2-5). The details of each volume in print (Volume 1), in press (Volume 2) or in preparation (Volumes 3-5) follow.
Volume 1 "The Archaea and the Deeply Branching and Phototrophic Bacteria" (2001) David R. Boone and Richard W. Castenholz (Volume Editors), George M. Garrity (Editor-in-Chief) with contributions from 105 colleagues. 742 pages with 320 figures and 95 tables. The volume provides descriptions of 413 species in 165 genera that are assigned to the phyla Crenarchaeota, Euryarchaeota, Aquificae, Thermatogae, Thermodesulfobacteria, "Deinococcus-Thermus", Chrysiogenetes, Chloroflexi, Thermomicrobia, Nitrospira, Deferribacteres, Cyanobacteria, and Chlorobi. In addition, the volume contains an introductory chapter to nonoxygenic, phototropic species of Bacteria belonging to the Proteobacteria and Firmicutes, which will be repeated in more detail in subsequent volumes.
Volume 2 "The Proteobacteria." (2004) Don J. Brenner, Noel R. Krieg, James T. Staley (Volume Editors), and George M. Garrity (Editor-in-Chief) with contributions from 339 colleagues. The volume provides descriptions of more than 2000 species in 538 genera that are assigned to the phylum Proteobacteria. This volume is subdivided into three parts. Part A, The Introductory Essays (332 pgs, 76 figures, 37 tables); Part B, The Gammaproteobacteria (1203 pages, 222 figures, and 300 tables); and Part C The Alpha-, Beta-, Delta-, and Epsilonproteobacteria (1256 pages, 512 figures, and 371 tables).
Volume 3 "The Firmicutes". (2005 anticipated). Paul De Vos, Dorothy Jones, Fred A. Rainey, Karl-Heinz Schleifer, Joseph Tully, (Volume Editors) and George M. Garrity (Editor-in-Chief), with contributions from 120 colleagues. This volume will provide descriptions of more than 1346 species in 235 genera belonging to the phylum Firmicutes. Anticipated length 2100 pages.
Volume 4 "The Actinobacteria". (2006 anticipated) 1141 species in 106 genera. Estimated page length: 878 with 192 tables and 321 figures. Michael Goodfellow, Peter Kaempfer, Peter H.A. Sneath, Stanley T. Williams (Volume Editors) and George M. Garrity (Editor-in-Chief) with contributions from 60 colleagues. This volume will provide descriptions of over 1534 species in 174 genera belonging to the phylum Firmicutes. Anticipated length 2454 pages.
Volume 5 "The Planctomycetes, Chlamydiae, Spirochetes, Fibrobacters, Bacteroidetes, Fusobacteria, Acidobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, Dictyoglomi, and Gemmatomonadetes " more than 405 species assigned to 114 genera in 10 phyla. Anticipated length: 648 pages Editors and authors under discussion.
This full-color, visually rich guide answers these questions and more. Matthew MacDonald, noted author of Your Brain: The Missing Manual, takes you on a fascinating tour of your body from the outside in, beginning with your skin and progressing to your vital organs. You'll look at the quirks, curiosities, and shortcomings we've all learned to live with, and pick up just enough biology to understand how your body works. You'll learn:
That you shed skin more frequently than snakes doWhy the number of fat cells you have rarely changes, no matter how much you diet or exercise -- they simply get bigger or smallerHow you can measure and control fatThat your hair is made from the same stuff as horses' hoovesThat you use only a small amount of the oxygen you inhaleWhy blood pressure is a more important health measure than heart rate -- with four ways to lower dangerously high blood pressureWhy our bodies crave foods that make us fatHow to use heart rate to shape an optimal workout session -- one that's neither too easy nor too strenuousWhy a tongue with just half a dozen taste buds can identify thousands of flavorsWhy bacteria in your gut outnumbers cells in your body -- and what function they serveWhy we age, and why we can't turn back the clockWhat happens to your body in the minutes after you die
Rather than dumbed-down self-help or dense medical text, Your Body: The Missing Manual is entertaining and packed with information you can use. It's a book that may well change your life.
Reader comments for Your Brain: The Missing Manual, also by author Matthew MacDonald:
"Popular books on the brain are often minefields of attractive but inaccurate information. This one manages to avoid most of the hype and easy faulty generalizations while providing easy to read and digest information about the brain. It has useful tricks without the breathless hype of many popular books."-- Elizabeth Zwicky, The Usenix Magazine
"...a unique guide that should be sought after by any who want to maximize what they can accomplish with their mental abilities and resources."-- James A. Cox, The Midwest Book Review - Wisconsin Bookwatch
"If you can't figure out how to use your brain after reading this guide, you may want to return your brain for another."-- The Sacramento Book Review, Volume 1, Issue 2, Page 19
"It's rare to find a book on any technical subject that is as well written and readable as Your Brain: The Missing Manual. The book covers pretty much anything you may want to know about your brain, from what makes it up, through how it develops to how to mitigate the affects of aging. The book is easy reading, fact packed and highlighted notes and practical applications. So if you want to learn more about your brain, how it works, how to get the best out of it or just want to stave off the ravages of Alzheimers (see chapter ten for details of how learning helps maintain your brain) then I can't recommend this book highly enough."-- Neil Davis, Amazon.co.uk
"MacDonald's writing style is perfect for this kind of guide. It remains educational without becoming overly technical or using unexplained jargon. And even though the book covers a broad scope of topics, MacDonald keeps it well organized and easy to follow. The book captures your attention with fun facts and interesting studies that any person could apply to their own understanding of human ability. It has great descriptions of the brain and its interconnected parts, as well as providing full color pictures and diagrams to offer a better explanation of what the author is talking about."-- Janica Unruh, Blogcritics Magazine
Farmageddon is a fascinating and terrifying investigative journey behind the closed doors of a runaway industry across the world – from the UK, Europe and the USA, to China, Argentina, Peru and Mexico. It is both a wake-up call to change our current food production and eating practices and an attempt to find a way to a better farming future.
Fifty years ago, a young astronomer named Frank Drake first pointed a radio telescope at nearby stars in the hope of picking up a signal from an alien civilization. Thus began one of the boldest scientific projects in history, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). After a half-century of scanning the skies, however, astronomers have little to report but an eerie silence—eerie because many scientists are convinced that the universe is teeming with life. Physicist and astrobiologist Paul Davies has been closely involved with SETI for three decades and chairs the SETI Post-Detection Taskgroup, charged with deciding what to do if we’re suddenly confronted with evidence of alien intelligence. He believes the search so far has fallen into an anthropocentric trap—assuming that an alien species will look, think, and behave much like us. In this provocative book Davies refocuses the search, challenging existing ideas of what form an alien intelligence might take, how it might try to communicate with us, and how we should respond if it does.
Possessing no supernatural powers, Batman is the most realistic of all the superheroes. His feats are achieved through rigorous training and mental discipline, and with the aid of fantastic gadgets. Drawing on his training as a neuroscientist, kinesiologist, and martial artist, E. Paul Zehr explores the question: Could a mortal ever become Batman?
Zehr discusses the physical training necessary to maintain bad-guy-fighting readiness while relating the science underlying this process, from strength conditioning to the cognitive changes a person would endure in undertaking such a regimen. In probing what a real-life Batman could achieve, Zehr considers the level of punishment a consummately fit and trained person could handle, how hard and fast such a person could punch and kick, and the number of adversaries that individual could dispatch. He also tells us what it would be like to fight while wearing a batsuit and the amount of food we'd need to consume each day to maintain vigilance as Gotham City's guardian.
A fun foray of escapism grounded in sound science, Becoming Batman provides the background for attaining the realizable—though extreme—level of human performance that would allow you to be a superhero.
The coverage of the text includes the relationship of culture to various health related concepts, such as pain, pharmacology, stress, and epidemiology. The book also discusses the doctor-patient relation, the various sectors of health care, and the scope of medical anthropology.
The text will be of great use to professionals in health related fields. Researchers and practitioners of anthropology, sociology, and psychology will also benefit from this book.
Pregnancy is an adventure.
Lots of books tell you the basics—“the baby is the size of [insert fruit here].” But pregnant science writer Jena Pincott began to wonder just how a baby might tinker with her body—and vice versa—and chased down answers to the questions she wouldn’t ask her doctor, such as:
• Does stress sharpen your baby’s mind—or dull it?
• Can you predict your baby’s temperament?
• Why are babies born in the darker months of the year more likely to grow up to be novelty-loving risk takers?
• Are bossy, dominant women more likely to have boys?
• How can the cells left behind by your baby affect you years later?
This is a different kind of pregnancy book—thoughtful, fun, and filled with information you won’t find anywhere else.
This major new edition features many topics not covered in the original, including graphical models, random forests, ensemble methods, least angle regression & path algorithms for the lasso, non-negative matrix factorization, and spectral clustering. There is also a chapter on methods for ``wide'' data (p bigger than n), including multiple testing and false discovery rates.
Trevor Hastie, Robert Tibshirani, and Jerome Friedman are professors of statistics at Stanford University. They are prominent researchers in this area: Hastie and Tibshirani developed generalized additive models and wrote a popular book of that title. Hastie co-developed much of the statistical modeling software and environment in R/S-PLUS and invented principal curves and surfaces. Tibshirani proposed the lasso and is co-author of the very successful An Introduction to the Bootstrap. Friedman is the co-inventor of many data-mining tools including CART, MARS, projection pursuit and gradient boosting.
IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE parasites are masters of chemical warfare and camouflage, able to cloak themselves with their hosts' own molecules.
IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE parasites steer the course of evolution, where the majority of species are parasites.
WELCOME TO EARTH.
For centuries, parasites have lived in nightmares, horror stories, and in the darkest shadows of science. Yet these creatures are among the world's most successful and sophisticated organisms. In Parasite Rex, Carl Zimmer deftly balances the scientific and the disgusting as he takes readers on a fantastic voyage. Traveling from the steamy jungles of Costa Rica to the fetid parasite haven of southern Sudan, Zimmer graphically brings to life how parasites can change DNA, rewire the brain, make men more distrustful and women more outgoing, and turn hosts into the living dead.
This thorough, gracefully written book brings parasites out into the open and uncovers what they can teach us about the most fundamental survival tactics in the universe.
In April 1982, ethnobotanist Wade Davis arrived in Haiti to investigate two documented cases of zombis—people who had reappeared in Haitian society years after they had been officially declared dead and had been buried. Drawn into a netherworld of rituals and celebrations, Davis penetrated the vodoun mystique deeply enough to place zombification in its proper context within vodoun culture. In the course of his investigation, Davis came to realize that the story of vodoun is the history of Haiti—from the African origins of its people to the successful Haitian independence movement, down to the present day, where vodoun culture is, in effect, the government of Haiti’s countryside.
The Serpent and the Rainbow combines anthropological investigation with a remarkable personal adventure to illuminate and finally explain a phenomenon that has long fascinated Americans.
Synchrony is a science in its infancy, and Strogatz is a pioneer in this new frontier in which mathematicians and physicists attempt to pinpoint just how spontaneous order emerges from chaos. From underground caves in Texas where a French scientist spent six months alone tracking his sleep-wake cycle, to the home of a Dutch physicist who in 1665 discovered two of his pendulum clocks swinging in perfect time, this fascinating book spans disciplines, continents, and centuries. Engagingly written for readers of books such as Chaos and The Elegant Universe, Sync is a tour-de-force of nonfiction writing.
In 1941, Professor Richard Evan Schultes took a leave from Harvard and disappeared into the Amazon, where he spent the next twelve years mapping uncharted rivers and living among dozens of Indian tribes. In the 1970s, he sent two prize students, Tim Plowman and Wade Davis, to follow in his footsteps and unveil the botanical secrets of coca, the notorious source of cocaine, a sacred plant known to the Inca as the Divine Leaf of Immortality.
A stunning account of adventure and discovery, betrayal and destruction, One River is a story of two generations of explorers drawn together by the transcendent knowledge of Indian peoples, the visionary realms of the shaman, and the extraordinary plants that sustain all life in a forest that once stood immense and inviolable.
Until recently, we had thought our microbes hardly mattered, but science is revealing a different story, one in which microbes run our bodies and becoming a healthy human is impossible without them.
In this riveting, shocking, and beautifully written book, biologist Alanna Collen draws on the latest scientific research to show how our personal colony of microbes influences our weight, our immune system, our mental health, and even our choice of partner. She argues that so many of our modern diseases—obesity, autism, mental illness, digestive disorders, allergies, autoimmunity afflictions, and even cancer—have their root in our failure to cherish our most fundamental and enduring relationship: that with our personal colony of microbes.
Many of the questions about modern diseases left unanswered by the Human Genome Project are illuminated by this new science. And the good news is that unlike our human cells, we can change our microbes for the better. Collen's book is a revelatory and indispensable guide. It is science writing at its most relevant: life—and your body—will never seem the same again.