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.
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.
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.
The Earth teems with life: in its oceans, forests, skies and cities. Yet there’s a black hole at the heart of biology. We do not know why complex life is the way it is, or, for that matter, how life first began. In The Vital Question, award-winning author and biochemist Nick Lane radically reframes evolutionary history, putting forward a solution to conundrums that have puzzled generations of scientists.
For two and a half billion years, from the very origins of life, single-celled organisms such as bacteria evolved without changing their basic form. Then, on just one occasion in four billion years, they made the jump to complexity. All complex life, from mushrooms to man, shares puzzling features, such as sex, which are unknown in bacteria. How and why did this radical transformation happen?
The answer, Lane argues, lies in energy: all life on Earth lives off a voltage with the strength of a lightning bolt. Building on the pillars of evolutionary theory, Lane’s hypothesis draws on cutting-edge research into the link between energy and cell biology, in order to deliver a compelling account of evolution from the very origins of life to the emergence of multicellular organisms, while offering deep insights into our own lives and deaths.
Both rigorous and enchanting, The Vital Question provides a solution to life’s vital question: why are we as we are, and indeed, why are we here at all?
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 lingering 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 lived together for eight thousand years, cats remain independent, predatory, and wary of contact with their own kind, qualities that often clash with our modern lifestyles. To live in harmony with our cats, Bradshaw explains, we first need to understand their inherited quirks including understanding their body language, and 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.
What would happen if you took a swim outside a deep-sea submarine wearing only a swimsuit? How long could you last if you stood on the surface of the sun? How far could you actually get in digging a hole to China? Paul Doherty, senior staff scientist at San Francisco’s famed Exploratorium Museum, and writer Cody Cassidy explore the real science behind these and other fantastical scenarios, offering insights into physics, astronomy, anatomy, and more along the way.
Is slipping on a banana peel really as hazardous to your health as the cartoons imply? Answer: Yes. Banana peels ooze a gel that turns out to be extremely slippery. Your foot and body weight provide the pressure. The gel provides the humor (and resulting head trauma).
Can you die by shaking someone’s hand? Answer: Yes. That’s because, due to atomic repulsion, you’ve never actually touched another person’s hand. If you could, the results would be as disastrous as a medium-sized hydrogen bomb.
If you were Cookie Monster, just how many cookies could you actually eat in one sitting? Answer: Most stomachs can hold up to sixty cookies, or around four liters. If you eat or drink more than that, you’re approaching the point at which the cookies would break through the lesser curvature of your stomach, and then you’d better call an ambulance to Sesame Street.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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.
This much-anticipated third edition of the Handbook of Bird Biology is an essential and comprehensive resource for everyone interested in learning more about birds, from casual bird watchers to formal students of ornithology. Wherever you study birds your enjoyment will be enhanced by a better understanding of the incredible diversity of avian lifestyles. Arising from the renowned Cornell Lab of Ornithology and authored by a team of experts from around the world, the Handbook covers all aspects of avian diversity, behaviour, ecology, evolution, physiology, and conservation. Using examples drawn from birds found in every corner of the globe, it explores and distills the many scientific discoveries that have made birds one of our best known - and best loved - parts of the natural world.
This edition has been completely revised and is presented with more than 800 full color images. It provides readers with a tool for life-long learning about birds and is suitable for bird watchers and ornithology students, as well as for ecologists, conservationists, and resource managers who work with birds.
The Handbook of Bird Biology is the companion volume to the Cornell Lab’s renowned distance learning course, Ornithology: Comprehensive Bird Biology.
Neurobiology rolls the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of thenervous system into one complex area of study. Neurobiology ForDummies breaks down the specifics of the topic in a fun,easy-to-understand manner. The book is perfect for students in avariety of scientific fields ranging from neuroscience and biologyto pharmacology, health science, and more. With a complete overviewof the molecular and cellular mechanisms of the nervous system,this complete resource makes short work of the ins and outs ofneurobiology so you can understand the details quickly.
Dive into this fascinating guide to an even more fascinatingsubject, which takes a step-by-step approach that naturally buildsan understanding of how the nervous system ties into the veryessence of human beings, and what that means for those working andstudying in the field of neuroscience. The book includes a completeintroduction to the subject of neurobiology.Gives you an overview of the human nervous system, along with adiscussion of how it's similar to that of other animalsDiscusses various neurological disorders, such as strokes,Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and schizophreniaLeads you through a point-by-point approach to describe thescience of perception, including how we think, learn, andremember
Neurobiology For Dummies is your key to mastering thiscomplex topic, and will propel you to a greater understanding thatcan form the basis of your academic and career success.
A straightforward appraisal of why health myths exist, dispelling many of them, and teaching readers how to navigate the labyrinth of health advice and the science and misinformation behind it.
Hype is Dr. Nina Shapiro's engaging and informative look at the real science behind our most common beliefs and assumptions in the health sphere.
There is a lot of misinformation thrown around these days, especially online. Headlines tell us to do this, not that—all in the name of living longer, better, thinner, younger. Dr. Shapiro wants to distinguish between the falsehoods and the evidence-backed truth. In her work at Harvard and UCLA, with more than twenty years of experience in both clinical and academic medicine, she helps patients make important health decisions every day. She's bringing those lessons to life here with a blend of personal storytelling and science to discuss her dramatic new definition of “a healthy life.”
Hype covers everything from exercise to supplements, alternative medicine to vaccines, and medical testing to media coverage. Shapiro tackles popular misconceptions such as toxic sugar and the importance of drinking eight glasses of water a day. She provides simple solutions anyone can implement, such as drinking 2% milk instead of fat free and using SPF 30 sunscreen instead of SPF 100. This book is as much for single individuals in the prime of their lives as it is for parents with young children and the elderly.
Never has there been a greater need for this reassuring, and scientifically backed reality check.
Bering survived. And in addition to relief, the fading of his suicidal thoughts brought curiosity. Where had they come from? Would they return? Is the suicidal impulse found in other animals? Or is our vulnerability to suicide a uniquely human evolutionary development? In Suicidal, Bering answers all these questions and more, taking us through the science and psychology of suicide, revealing its cognitive secrets and the subtle tricks our minds play on us when we’re easy emotional prey. Scientific studies, personal stories, and remarkable cross-species comparisons come together to help readers critically analyze their own doomsday thoughts while gaining broad insight into a problem that, tragically, will most likely touch all of us at some point in our lives. But while the subject is certainly a heavy one, Bering’s touch is light. Having been through this himself, he knows that sometimes the most effective response to our darkest moments is a gentle humor, one that, while not denying the seriousness of suffering, at the same time acknowledges our complicated, flawed, and yet precious existence.
Authoritative, accessible, personal, profound—there’s never been a book on suicide like this. It will help you understand yourself and your loved ones, and it will change the way you think about this most vexing of human problems.
PHILOSOPHERS, THEOLOGIANS, ARTISTS, AND BOY BANDS HAVE WAXED poetic for centuries about the nature of love. But what does the brain have to say about the way we carry our hearts? In the wake of a divorce, science writer and single mother Kayt Sukel made herself a guinea pig in the labs of some unusual love experts to find out. This Is Your Brain on Sex is her lively and hilarious examination of the big questions about love and sex, previously published in hardcover as Dirty Minds.
Each chapter of this edgy romp through the romantic brain looks at a different aspect of love above the belt. What in your brain makes you love someone—or simply lust after them? Why do good girls like bad boys? Is monogamy practical? How thin is that line between love and hate? After reading this gimlet-eyed look at love, sex, and the brain, you’ll never look at romance the same way again.
So what if we stopped hedging? What if we grounded our efforts to solve environmental problems in hope instead, and let nature make our case for us? That’s what George Monbiot does in Feral, a lyrical, unabashedly romantic vision of how, by inviting nature back into our lives, we can simultaneously cure our “ecological boredom” and begin repairing centuries of environmental damage. Monbiot takes readers on an enchanting journey around the world to explore ecosystems that have been “rewilded”: freed from human intervention and allowed—in some cases for the first time in millennia—to resume their natural ecological processes. We share his awe, and wonder, as he kayaks among dolphins and seabirds off the coast of Wales and wanders the forests of Eastern Europe, where lynx and wolf packs are reclaiming their ancient hunting grounds. Through his eyes, we see environmental success—and begin to envision a future world where humans and nature are no longer separate and antagonistic, but are together part of a single, healing world.
Monbiot’s commitment is fierce, his passion infectious, his writing compelling. Readers willing to leave the confines of civilization and join him on his bewitching journey will emerge changed—and ready to change our world for the better.
The immune system holds the key to human health. In The Beautiful Cure, leading immunologist Daniel M. Davis describes how the scientific quest to understand how the immune system works—and how it is affected by stress, sleep, age, and our state of mind—is now unlocking a revolutionary new approach to medicine and well-being.
The body’s ability to fight disease and heal itself is one of the great mysteries and marvels of nature. But in recent years, painstaking research has resulted in major advances in our grasp of this breathtakingly beautiful inner world: a vast and intricate network of specialist cells, regulatory proteins, and dedicated genes that are continually protecting our bodies. Far more powerful than any medicine ever invented, the immune system plays a crucial role in our daily lives. We have found ways to harness these natural defenses to create breakthrough drugs and so-called immunotherapies that help us fight cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and many age-related diseases, and we are starting to understand whether activities such as mindfulness might play a role in enhancing our physical resilience.
Written by a researcher at the forefront of this adventure, The Beautiful Cure tells a dramatic story of scientific detective work and discovery, of puzzles solved and mysteries that linger, of lives sacrificed and saved. With expertise and eloquence, Davis introduces us to this revelatory new understanding of the human body and what it takes to be healthy.
In her third enthralling book about the brain, Judith Horstmantakes us on a lively tour of our most important sex and love organand the whole smorgasbord of our many kinds of love-from thebonding of parent and child to the passion of erotic love, theaffectionate love of companionship, the role of animals in ourlives, and the love of God.
Drawing on the latest neuroscience, she explores why and how weare born to love-how we're hardwired to crave the companionship ofothers, and how very badly things can go without love. Among thefindings: parental love makes our brain bigger, sex and orgasm makeit healthier, social isolation makes it miserable-and although thecraving for romantic love can be described as an addiction,friendship may actually be the most important loving relationshipof your life.
Based on recent studies and articles culled from the prestigiousScientific American and Scientific American Mindmagazines, The Scientific American Book of Love, Sex, andthe Brain offers a fascinating look at how the brain controlsour loving relationships, most intimate moments, and our deep andbasic need for connection.
Ben A. Minteer and Stephen J. Pyne bring together a stunning consortium of voices comprised of renowned scientists, historians, philosophers, environmental writers, activists, policy makers, and land managers to negotiate the incredible challenges that environmentalism faces. Some call for a new, post-preservationist model, one that is far more pragmatic, interventionist, and human-centered. Others push forcefully back, arguing for a more chastened and restrained vision of human action on the earth. Some try to establish a middle ground, while others ruminate more deeply on the meaning and value of wilderness. Some write on species lost, others on species saved, and yet others discuss the enduring practical challenges of managing our land, water, and air.
From spirited optimism to careful prudence to critical skepticism, the resulting range of approaches offers an inspiring contribution to the landscape of modern environmentalism, one driven by serious, sustained engagements with the critical problems we must solve if we—and the wild garden we may now keep—are going to survive the era we have ushered in.
Contributors include: Chelsea K. Batavia, F. Stuart (Terry) Chapin III, Norman L. Christensen, Jamie Rappaport Clark, William Wallace Covington, Erle C. Ellis, Mark Fiege, Dave Foreman, Harry W. Greene, Emma Marris, Michelle Marvier, Bill McKibben, J. R. McNeill, Curt Meine, Ben A. Minteer, Michael Paul Nelson, Bryan Norton, Stephen J. Pyne, Andrew C. Revkin, Holmes Rolston III, Amy Seidl, Jack Ward Thomas, Diane J. Vosick, John A. Vucetich, Hazel Wong, and Donald Worster.
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
In this fascinating scientific tour of household objects, The One Show presenter and all-round Science Bloke Marty Jopson has the answer to all of these, and many more, baffling questions about the chemistry and physics of the everyday stuff we use every day.
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.
Experiments demonstrate that people are more distracted when they overhear a phone conversation—where they can know only one side of the dialogue—than when they overhear two people talking and know both sides. Why does half a conversation make us more curious than a whole conversation?
“Have you ever wondered why we wonder why? Mario Livio has, and he takes you on a fascinating quest to understand the origin and mechanisms of our curiosity. I thoroughly recommend it.” (Adam Riess, Nobel Prize Winner in Physics, 2011). Curiosity is not only at the heart of mystery and suspense novels, it is also essential to other creative endeavors, from painting to sculpture to music. It is the principal driver of basic scientific research. Even so, there is still no definitive scientific consensus about why we humans are so curious, or about the mechanisms in our brain that are responsible for curiosity.
In the ever-fascinating Why? Livio interviewed scientists in several fields to explore the nature of curiosity. He examined the lives of two of history’s most curious geniuses, Leonardo da Vinci and Richard Feynman. He also talked to people with boundless curiosity: a superstar rock guitarist who is also an astrophysicist; an astronaut with degrees in computer science, biology, literature, and medicine. What drives these people to be curious about so many subjects?
An astrophysicist who has written about mathematics, biology, and now psychology and neuroscience, Livio has firsthand knowledge of his subject which he explores in a lucid, entertaining way that will captivate anyone who is curious about curiosity.
“[An] irreverent, well-oiled memoir…Bishop-Stall packs his book with humorous and enlightening asides about alcohol.” —The Wall Street Journal
One intrepid reporter's quest to learn everything there is to know about hangovers, trying all of the cures he can find and explaining how (and if) they work, all so rest of us don't have to.
We've all been there. One minute you're fast asleep, and in the next you're tumbling from dreams of deserts and demons, into semi-consciousness, mouth full of sand, head throbbing. You're hungover. Courageous journalist Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall has gone to the front lines of humanity's age-old fight against hangovers to settle once and for all the best way to get rid of the aftereffects of a night of indulgence (short of not drinking in the first place).
Hangovers have plagued human beings for about as long as civilization has existed (and arguably longer), so there has been plenty of time for cures to be concocted. But even in 2018, little is actually known about hangovers, and less still about how to cure them. Cutting through the rumor and the myth, Hungover explores everything from polar bear swims, to saline IV drips, to the age-old hair of the dog, to let us all know which ones actually work. And along the way, Bishop-Stall regales readers with stories from humanity's long and fraught relationship with booze, and shares the advice of everyone from Kingsley Amis to a man in a pub.
This book gathers a diverse team of renowned scientists to capture the excitement of these new discoveries in a collection that is both accessible to students and an important contribution to the future of its field. Marshaling a range of disciplines—from paleobiology to phylogenetics, developmental biology, ecology, and evolutionary biology—the contributors attack particular transformations in the head and neck, trunk, appendages such as fins and limbs, and the whole body, as well as offer synthetic perspectives. Illustrated throughout, Great Transformations in Vertebrate Evolution not only reveals the true origins of whales with legs, fish with elbows, wrists, and necks, and feathered dinosaurs, but also the relevance to our lives today of these extraordinary narratives of change.
This established and popular textbook is the definitive guide tothe study of insects; a group of animals that represent over halfof the planet’s biological diversity.
Features new chapters on the methods and results of studies ofinsect phylogeny and a new review of insect evolution andbiogeography.
Includes expanded sections on species diversity, socialbehaviour, pest management, aquatic entomology, parasitology andmedical entomology.
Successful strategies in insect conservation are also coveredfor the first time, reflecting the increasing threat to naturalecosystems from environmental changes.
Boxes highlighting key themes, suggestions for further readingand illustrations, including specially commissioned drawings andcolour plates, are included throughout.
The artwork from the text is available for instructors eithervia CD-ROM or by visiting www.blackwellpublishing.com/gullan.
Artwork from the book is available to instructors online at www.blackwellpublishing.com/hunter and by request on CD-ROM.
Exploring the natural history of these animals, the Coppingers explain how the village dogs of Vietnam, India, Africa, and Mexico are strikingly similar. These feral dogs, argue the Coppingers, are in fact the truly archetypal dogs, nearly uniform in size and shape and incredibly self-sufficient. Drawing on nearly five decades of research, they show how dogs actually domesticated themselves in order to become such efficient scavengers of human refuse. The Coppingers also examine the behavioral characteristics that enable dogs to live successfully and to reproduce, unconstrained by humans, in environments that we ordinarily do not think of as dog friendly.
Providing a fascinating exploration of what it actually means—genetically and behaviorally—to be a dog, What Is a Dog? will undoubtedly change the way any beagle or bulldog owner will reflect on their four-legged friend.
The nature of the following work will be best understood by a brief account of how it came to be written. During many years I collected notes on the origin or descent of man, without any intention of publishing on the subject, but rather with the determination not to publish, as I thought that I should thus only add to the prejudices against my views. It seemed to me sufficient to indicate, in the first edition of my 'Origin of Species,' that by this work "light would be thrown on the origin of man and his history;" and this implies that man must be included with other organic beings in any general conclusion respecting his manner of appearance on this earth. Now the case wears a wholly different aspect. When a naturalist like Carl Vogt ventures to say in his address as President of the National Institution of Geneva (1869), "personne, en Europe au moins, n'ose plus soutenir la creation indépendante et de toutes pièces, des espèces," it is manifest that at least a large number of naturalists must admit that species are the modified descendants of other species; and this especially holds good with the younger and rising naturalists. The greater number accept the agency of natural selection; though some urge, whether with justice the future must decide, that I have greatly overrated its importance. Of the older and honoured chiefs in natural science, many unfortunately are still opposed to evolution in every form.
In consequence of the views now adopted by most naturalists, and which will ultimately, as in every other case, be followed by others who are not scientific, I have been led to put together my notes, so as to see how far the general conclusions arrived at in my former works were applicable to man. This seemed all the more desirable, as I had never deliberately applied these views to a species taken singly. When we confine our attention to any one form, we are deprived of the weighty arguments derived from the nature of the affinities which connect together whole groups of organisms—their geographical distribution in past and present times, and their geological succession. The homological structure, embryological development, and rudimentary organs of a species remain to be considered, whether it be man or any other animal, to which our attention may be directed; but these great classes of facts afford, as it appears to me, ample and conclusive evidence in favour of the principle of gradual evolution. The strong support derived from the other arguments should, however, always be kept before the mind.
In this second edition, the author includes greatly expanded treatments of families of lycophytes, ferns, gymnosperms, and flowering plants (all with full-color plates), a new chapter on species concepts and the role of systematics in conservation biology, and a new appendix summarizing basic statistical and morphometric techniques used in plant systematics studies. An explanation of maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference algorithms is included in methods of phylogenetic inference, and chapters on morphology and plant nomenclature have been augmented with new material.
The second edition of Plant Systematics has been expanded to include:
* Fifteen fern families, 9 gymnosperm families, and an increase of angiosperm family treatments from 100 to 129. Each family description includes a plate of full color photographs, illustrating exemplars of the group along with dissected and labeled material to show diagnostic features.
* A new chapter on species concepts and the role and impact of plant systematics in conservation biology.
* A new appendix on statistical and morphometric techniques in plant systematics.
* In addition, the second edition contains more detailed explanations of maximum likelihood and Bayesian phylogeny inference methods, an expanded coverage and glossary of morphological terms, and an updated chapter on botanical nomenclature.
What makes us the way we are? Some say it’s the genes we inherit at conception. Others are sure it’s the environment we experience in childhood. But could it be that many of our individual characteristics—our health, our intelligence, our temperaments—are influenced by the conditions we encountered before birth?
That’s the claim of an exciting and provocative field known as fetal origins. Over the past twenty years, scientists have been developing a radically new understanding of our very earliest experiences and how they exert lasting effects on us from infancy well into adulthood. Their research offers a bold new view of pregnancy as a crucial staging ground for our health, ability, and well-being throughout life.
Author and journalist Annie Murphy Paul ventures into the laboratories of fetal researchers, interviews experts from around the world, and delves into the rich history of ideas about how we’re shaped before birth. She discovers dramatic stories: how individuals gestated during the Nazi siege of Holland in World War II are still feeling its consequences decades later; how pregnant women who experienced the 9/11 attacks passed their trauma on to their offspring in the womb; how a lab accident led to the discovery of a common household chemical that can harm the developing fetus; how the study of a century-old flu pandemic reveals the high personal and societal costs of poor prenatal experience.
Origins also brings to light astonishing scientific findings: how a single exposure to an environmental toxin may produce damage that is passed on to multiple generations; how conditions as varied as diabetes, heart disease, and mental illness may get their start in utero; why the womb is medicine’s latest target for the promotion of lifelong health, from preventing cancer to reducing obesity. The fetus is not an inert being, but an active and dynamic creature, responding and adapting as it readies itself for life in the particular world it will enter. The pregnant woman is not merely a source of potential harm to her fetus, as she is so often reminded, but a source of influence on her future child that is far more powerful and positive than we ever knew. And pregnancy is not a nine-month wait for the big event of birth, but a momentous period unto itself, a cradle of individual strength and wellness and a crucible of public health and social equality.
With the intimacy of a personal memoir and the sweep of a scientific revolution, Origins presents a stunning new vision of our beginnings that will change the way you think about yourself, your children, and human nature itself.
Scientific developments radically change and enlighten our understanding of the world -- whether it's advances in technology and medical research or the latest revelations of neuroscience, psychology, physics, economics, anthropology, climatology, or genetics. And yet amid the flood of information today, it's often difficult to recognize the truly revolutionary ideas that will have lasting impact. In the spirit of identifying the most significant new theories and discoveries, John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org ("The world's smartest website" -- The Guardian), asked 198 of the finest minds What do you consider the most interesting recent scientific news? What makes it important?
Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond on the best way to understand complex problems * author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics Carlo Rovelli on the mystery of black holes * Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker on the quantification of human progress * TED Talks curator Chris J. Anderson on the growth of the global brain * Harvard cosmologist Lisa Randall on the true measure of breakthrough discoveries * Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek on why the twenty-first century will be shaped by our mastery of the laws of matter * philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein on the underestimation of female genius * music legend Peter Gabriel on tearing down the barriers between imagination and reality * Princeton physicist Freeman Dyson on the surprising ability of small (and cheap) upstarts to compete with billion-dollar projects. Plus Nobel laureate John C. Mather, Sun Microsystems cofounder Bill Joy, Wired founding editor Kevin Kelly, psychologist Alison Gopnik, Genome author Matt Ridley, Harvard geneticist George Church, Why Does the World Exist? author Jim Holt, anthropologist Helen Fisher, and more.
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
That’s the question that animates Jessica Pierce’s powerful Run, Spot, Run. A lover of pets herself (including, over the years, dogs, cats, fish, rats, hermit crabs, and more), Pierce understands the joys that pets bring us. But she also refuses to deny the ambiguous ethics at the heart of the relationship, and through a mix of personal stories, philosophical reflections, and scientifically informed analyses of animal behavior and natural history, she puts pet-keeping to the test. Is it ethical to keep pets at all? Are some species more suited to the relationship than others? Are there species one should never attempt to own? And are there ways that we can improve our pets’ lives, so that we can be confident that we are giving them as much as they give us?
Deeply empathetic, yet rigorous and unflinching in her thinking, Pierce has written a book that is sure to help any pet owner, unsettling assumptions but also giving them the knowledge to build deeper, better relationships with the animals with whom they’ve chosen to share their lives.
LIFE AND LETTERS OF CHARLES DARWIN.
CHAPTER 1.I. — THE DARWIN FAMILY.
CHAPTER 1.II. — AUTOBIOGRAPHY.
CHAPTER 1.III. — REMINISCENCES OF MY FATHER'S EVERYDAY LIFE.
CHAPTER 1.IV. — CAMBRIDGE LIFE.
CHAPTER 1.V. — THE APPOINTMENT TO THE 'BEAGLE.'
CHAPTER 1.VI. — THE VOYAGE.
CHAPTER 1.VII. — LONDON AND CAMBRIDGE.
CHAPTER 1.VIII. — RELIGION.
CHAPTER 1.IX. — LIFE AT DOWN.
CHAPTER 1.X. — THE GROWTH OF THE 'ORIGIN OF SPECIES.'
Chapter I. "On the kind of intermediateness necessary, and the number
Chapter II. "The gradual appearance and disappearance of organic
Chapter III. "Geographical Distribution." Corresponds to Chapters XI.
Chapter IV. "Affinities and Classification of Organic beings."
Chapter V. "Unity of Type," Morphology, Embryology.
Chapter VI. Rudimentary Organs.
These three chapters correspond to Chapter XII. of the 'Origin.'
Chapter VII. Recapitulation and Conclusion. The final sentence of the
CHAPTER 1.XI. — THE GROWTH OF THE 'ORIGIN OF SPECIES.'
CHAPTER 1.XII. — THE UNFINISHED BOOK.
MAY 1856 TO JUNE 1858.
CHAPTER 1. XIII. — THE WRITING OF THE 'ORIGIN OF SPECIES.'
JUNE 18, 1858, TO NOVEMBER, 1859.
CHAPTER 1.XIV. — BY PROFESSOR HUXLEY.
ON THE RECEPTION OF THE 'ORIGIN OF SPECIES.'
CHAPTER 2.I. — THE PUBLICATION OF THE 'ORIGIN OF SPECIES.'
OCTOBER 3, 1859, TO DECEMBER 31, 1859.
CHAPTER 2.II. — THE 'ORIGIN OF SPECIES' (continued).
CHAPTER 2.III. — SPREAD OF EVOLUTION.
CHAPTER 2.IV. — THE SPREAD OF EVOLUTION.
'VARIATION OF ANIMALS AND PLANTS'
CHAPTER 2.V. — THE PUBLICATION OF THE 'VARIATION OF ANIMALS AND PLANTS UNDER DOMESTICATION.'
JANUARY 1867, TO JUNE 1868.
CHAPTER 2.VI. — WORK ON 'MAN.'
CHAPTER 2.VII. — PUBLICATION OF THE 'DESCENT OF MAN.'
WORK ON 'EXPRESSION.'
CHAPTER 2.VIII. — MISCELLANEA
CHAPTER 2.IX. — MISCELLANEA (continued)
CHAPTER 2.X. — FERTILISATION OF FLOWERS.
CHAPTER 2.XI. — THE 'EFFECTS OF CROSS- AND SELF-FERTILISATION
IN THE VEGETABLE KINGDOM.'
CHAPTER 2.XII. — 'DIFFERENT FORMS OF FLOWERS ON PLANTS OF THE SAME SPECIES.'
CHAPTER 2.XIII. — CLIMBING AND INSECTIVOROUS PLANTS.
CHAPTER 2.XIV. — THE 'POWER OF MOVEMENT IN PLANTS.'
CHAPTER 2.XV. — MISCELLANEOUS BOTANICAL LETTERS.
CHAPTER 2.XVI. — CONCLUSION.
What is shared by spawning Pacific salmon, towering trees, and suicidal bacteria? In his lucid and concise exploration of how and why things die, Tyler Volk explains the intriguing ways creatures-including ourselves-use death to actually enhance life. Death is not simply the end of the living, though even in that aspect the Grim Reaper has long been essential to natural selection. Indeed, the exquisite schemes and styles of death that have emerged from evolution have been essential to the great story from life's beginnings in tiny bacteria nearly four thousand million years ago to ancient human rituals surrounding death and continuing to the existential concerns of human culture and consciousness today. Volk weaves together autobiography, biology, Earth history, and results of fascinating studies that show how thoughts of our own mortality affect our everyday lives, to prove how an understanding of what some have called the ultimate taboo can enrich the celebration of life.
. . . and SEX
In Sex, Dorion Sagan takes a delightful, irreverent, and informative romp through the science, philosophy, and literature of humanity's most obsessive subject. Have you ever wondered what the anatomy and promiscuous behaviors of chimpanzees and the sexual bullying of gorillas tell us about ourselves? Why we lost our hair? What amoebas have to do with desire? Linking evolutionary biology to salacious readings of the lives and thoughts of such notables as the Marquis de Sade and Simone de Beauvoir, and discussing works as varied as The Story of O and Silence of the Lambs, Sex touches on a potpourri of interrelated topics ranging from animal genitalia to sperm competition, the difference between nakedness and nudity, jealousy's status as an aphrodisiac and the origins of language, Casanova and music, ovulation and clothes, mother-in-law jokes and alpha females, love and loneliness. A brief, wonderfully entertaining, highly literate foray into the origins and evolution of sex.
Two books in one cover, Death & Sex unravel and answer some of life's most fundamental questions.
Internationally renowned veterinarian Dr. Nicholas Dodman breaks new ground with the practice of One Medicine, the profound recognition that humans’ and other animals’ minds and emotions work in similar ways.
Racehorses with Tourette’s Syndrome, spinning dogs with epilepsy, cats with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, feather-plucking parrots with anxiety, and a diffident Bull Terrier with autism—these astonishing cases were all helped by One Medicine. Traditional treatments did not cure the behaviors because they treated the symptoms as disorders of the body, rather than problems of the mind. “This book itself is powerful medicine,” writes Sy Montgomery, author of The Soul of an Octopus. “Compelling…Dodman injects empathy into a world where sympathy previously reigned,” praised Publishers Weekly.
“With much charm and compassion” (Susan Richards, author of Chosen by a Horse), Pets on the Couch raises our understanding of our pets’ complex interior lives and mental abilities, leading to a greater appreciation of them and the bonds we share.
The content of this new edition has been completely updated to include current information on all aspects of basic and clinical immunology. The superbly drawn figures are now in full color, complemented by full color plates throughout the book. The text is further enhanced by the inclusion of numerous tables, special topic boxes and brief notes that provide interesting insights. At the end of each chapter, a self-test quiz allows students to monitor their mastery of major concepts, while a set of conceptual questions prompts them to extrapolate further and extend their critical thinking. Moreover, as part of the Academic Cell line of textbooks, Primer to The Immune Response, 2nd Edition contains research passages that shine a spotlight on current experimental work reported in Cell Press articles. These articles also form the basis of case studies that are found in the associated online study guide and are designed to reinforce clinical connections.Complete yet concise coverage of the basic and clinical principles of immunologyEngaging conversational writing style that is to the point and very readableOver 200 clear, elegant color illustrationsComprehensive glossary and list of abbreviations
A number of ethical issues related to stem cells that spark debates are discussed, including risky treatments, cloning and embryonic stem cells. The author breaks new ground in a number of ways such as by suggesting reforms to the FDA, providing a new theory of aging based on stem cells, and including a revolutionary Stem Cell Patient Bill of Rights. More generally, the book is your guide to where the stem cell field will be in the near future as well as a thoughtful perspective on how stem cell therapies will ultimately change your life and our world.Contents:Meet Your Stem CellsThe Types of Stem Cells and Their Clinical PotentialStem Cell Treatments: Applications and ObstaclesStem Cell Models: Past, Present, and FutureAll in the Family: An Insider's Tale of Two Stem Cells and a Black SheepAging: The Stem Cell ConnectionLaw and Order Stem CellsStem Cells for Profit: An Ethical SpectrumPatient Bill of Rights and Guide to Stem Cell TreatmentsAre We There Yet? How Stem Cells Might Work to Treat Specific DiseasesStem Cell Cosmetics: More Than Skin Deep?Stem Cell Tests for HumanityGetting Your Stem Cell Geek OnConclusion: The Future of Stem Cells
Readership: A wide range of readers: patients, scientists, biotech and big pharma people, students, investors, lawyers, employees of funding agencies such as the National Institute for Health (NIH) and the California stem cell agency, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and researchers.
Keywords:Stem Cells;Stem Cell Treatments;Adult Stem Cells;Embryonic Stem Cells;Ips Cells;Stem Cell Tourism;Aging;Cancer;Medicine;Regenerative Medicine;Anti-AgingKey Features:Novel insider' guide to stem cells giving people an exciting look into the world of stem cells and stem cell researchTackles practical issues related to stem cell treatments including cosmetics and sports medicine, areas of intense interest to the publicWritten by a stem cell scientist and cancer survivor who can see health-related issues from both perspectives as patient and professorReviews:
“This is an opinionated but extremely knowledgeable introduction to the potentials and pitfalls of research in and applications of stem cells. The science is current, accessible, and well presented, but the best aspect of the book is its focus on ethical considerations associated with stem cell research. This is a fascinating book on important scientific, medical and consumer issues.”CHOICE
Unlike the patterns we create in technology, architecture, and art, natural patterns are formed spontaneously from the forces that act in the physical world. Very often the same types of pattern and form – spirals, stripes, branches, and fractals, say—recur in places that seem to have nothing in common, as when the markings of a zebra mimic the ripples in windblown sand. That’s because, as Patterns in Nature shows, at the most basic level these patterns can often be described using the same mathematical and physical principles: there is a surprising underlying unity in the kaleidoscope of the natural world. Richly illustrated with 250 color photographs and anchored by accessible and insightful chapters by esteemed science writer Philip Ball, Patterns in Nature reveals the organization at work in vast and ancient forests, powerful rivers, massing clouds, and coastlines carved out by the sea.
By exploring similarities such as those between a snail shell and the swirling stars of a galaxy, or the branches of a tree and those of a river network, this spectacular visual tour conveys the wonder, beauty, and richness of natural pattern formation.
Views of Nature, or Ansichten der Natur, was Humboldt’s best-known and most influential work—and his personal favorite. While the essays that comprise it are themselves remarkable as innovative, early pieces of nature writing—they were cited by Thoreau as a model for his own work—the book’s extensive endnotes incorporate some of Humboldt’s most beautiful prose and mature thinking on vegetation structure, its origins in climate patterns, and its implications for the arts. Written for both a literary and a scientific audience, Views of Nature was translated into English (twice), Spanish, and French in the nineteenth century, and it was read widely in Europe and the Americas. But in contrast to many of Humboldt’s more technical works, Views of Nature has been unavailable in English for more than one hundred years. Largely neglected in the United States during the twentieth century, Humboldt’s contributions to the humanities and the sciences are now undergoing a revival to which this new translation will be a critical contribution.
The papers span nearly nine decades of ecological research, from 1887 on, and are organized in six sections: foundational papers, theoretical advances, synthetic statements, methodological developments, field studies, and ecological experiments. Selections range from Connell's elegant account of experiments with barnacles to Watt's encyclopedic natural history, from a visionary exposition by Grinnell of the concept of niche to a seminal essay by Hutchinson on diversity.
Six original essays by contemporary ecologists and a historian of ecology place the selections in context and discuss their continued relevance to current research. This combination of classic papers and fresh commentaries makes Foundations of Ecology both a convenient reference to papers often cited today and an essential guide to the intellectual and conceptual roots of the field.
Published with the Ecological Society of America.
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