Whether it is asthma, food or pollen allergies, type-1 diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, or Crohn’s disease, everyone knows someone who suffers from an allergic or autoimmune disorder. And if it appears that the prevalence of these maladies has increased recently, that’s because it has—to levels never before seen in human history. These days no fewer than one in five—and likely more—Americans suffers from one of these ailments. We seem newly, and bafflingly, vulnerable to immune system malfunction. Why? Science writer Moises Velasquez-Manoff explains the latest thinking about this problem and explores the remarkable new treatments in the works.
In the past 150 years, improved sanitation, water treatment, and the advent of vaccines and antibiotics have saved countless lives, nearly eradicating diseases that had plagued humanity for millennia. But now, a growing body of evidence suggests that the very steps we took to combat infections also eliminated organisms that kept our bodies in balance. The idea that we have systematically cleaned ourselves to illness challenges deeply entrenched notions about the value of societal hygiene and the harmful nature of microbes. Yet scientists investigating the rampant immune dysfunction in the developed world have inevitably arrived at this conclusion. To address this global “epidemic of absence,” they must restore the human ecosystem.
This groundbreaking book explores the promising but controversial “worm therapy”—deliberate infection with parasitic worms—in development to treat autoimmune disease. It explains why farmers’ children so rarely get hay fever, why allergy is less prevalent in former Eastern Bloc countries, and how one cancer-causing bacterium may be good for us. It probes the link between autism and a dysfunctional immune system. It investigates the newly apparent fetal origins of allergic disease—that a mother’s inflammatory response imprints on her unborn child, tipping the scales toward allergy. In the future, preventive treatment—something as simple as a probiotic—will necessarily begin before birth.
An Epidemic of Absence asks what will happen in developing countries, which, as they become more affluent, have already seen an uptick in allergic disease: Will India end up more allergic than Europe? Velasquez-Manoff also details a controversial underground movement that has coalesced around the treatment of immune-mediated disorders with parasites. Against much of his better judgment, he joins these do-it-yourselfers and reports his surprising results.
An Epidemic of Absence considers the critical immune stimuli we inadvertently lost as we modernized, and the modern ills we may be able to correct by restoring them. At stake is nothing less than our health, and that of our loved ones. Researchers, meanwhile, have the good fortune of living through a paradigm shift, one of those occasional moments in the progress of science when a radically new way of thinking emerges, shakes things up, and suggests new avenues of treatment. You’ll discover that you’re not you at all, but a bustling collection of organisms, an ecosystem whose preservation and integrity require the utmost attention and care.
Informing these insights is a new understanding of how Darwinian processes underlie the brain's development and function as well as its evolution. In contrast to much contemporary neuroscience that treats the brain as no more or less than a computer, Deacon provides a new clarity of vision into the mechanism of mind. It injects a renewed sense of adventure into the experience of being human.
While many members of the scientific community have long held that the growing pains of adolescence are primarily psychological, Barbara Strauch highlights the physical nature of the transformation, offering parents and educators a new perspective on erratic teenage behavior. Using plain language, Strauch draws upon the latest scientific discoveries to make the case that the changes the brain goes through during adolescence are as dramatic and crucial as those that take place in the first two years of life, and that teenagers are not entirely responsible for their sullen, rebellious, and moody ways. Featuring interviews with scientists, teenagers, parents, and teachers, The Primal Teen explores common challenges–why teens go from articulate and mature one day to morose and unreachable the next, why they engage in risky behavior–and offers practical strategies to help manage these formative and often difficult years.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Whether it’s in a cockpit at takeoff or the planning of an offensive war, a romantic relationship or a dispute at the office, there are many opportunities to lie and self-deceive—but deceit and self-deception carry the costs of being alienated from reality and can lead to disaster. So why does deception play such a prominent role in our everyday lives? In short, why do we deceive?
In his bold new work, prominent biological theorist Robert Trivers unflinchingly argues that self-deception evolved in the service of deceit—the better to fool others. We do it for biological reasons—in order to help us survive and procreate. From viruses mimicking host behavior to humans misremembering (sometimes intentionally) the details of a quarrel, science has proven that the deceptive one can always outwit the masses. But we undertake this deception at our own peril.
Trivers has written an ambitious investigation into the evolutionary logic of lying and the costs of leaving it unchecked.
Or did we? Portions of the human brain are also devoted to reading. Children learn to read at a very young age and can seamlessly absorb information even more quickly through reading than through hearing. We know that we didn’t evolve to read because reading is only a few thousand years old.
In "Harnessed," cognitive scientist Mark Changizi demonstrates that human speech has been very specifically “designed” to harness the sounds of nature, sounds we’ve evolved over millions of years to readily understand. Long before humans evolved, mammals have learned to interpret the sounds of nature to understand both threats and opportunities. Our speech—regardless of language—is very clearly based on the sounds of nature.
Even more fascinating, Changizi shows that music itself is based on natural sounds. Music—seemingly one of the most human of inventions—is literally built on sounds and patterns of sound that have existed since the beginning of time.
Throughout his distinguished and unconventional career, engineer-turned-molecular-biologist Douglas Axe has been asking the questions that much of the scientific community would rather silence. Now, he presents his conclusions in this brave and pioneering book. Axe argues that the key to understanding our origin is the “design intuition”—the innate belief held by all humans that tasks we would need knowledge to accomplish can only be accomplished by someone who has that knowledge. For the ingenious task of inventing life, this knower can only be God.
Starting with the hallowed halls of academic science, Axe dismantles the widespread belief that Darwin’s theory of evolution is indisputably true, showing instead that a gaping hole has been at its center from the beginning. He then explains in plain English the science that proves our design intuition scientifically valid. Lastly, he uses everyday experience to empower ordinary people to defend their design intuition, giving them the confidence and courage to explain why it has to be true and the vision to imagine what biology will become when people stand up for this truth.
Armed with that confidence, readers will affirm what once seemed obvious to all of us—that living creatures, from single-celled cyanobacteria to orca whales and human beings, are brilliantly conceived, utterly beyond the reach of accident.
Our intuition was right all along.
Over a decade after Jurassic Park, Jack Horner and his colleagues in molecular biology labs are in the process of building the technology to create a real dinosaur.
Based on new research in evolutionary developmental biology on how a few select cells grow to create arms, legs, eyes, and brains that function together, Jack Horner takes the science a step further in a plan to "reverse evolution" and reveals the awesome, even frightening, power being acquired to recreate the prehistoric past. The key is the dinosaur's genetic code that lives on in modern birds- even chickens. From cutting-edge biology labs to field digs underneath the Montana sun, How to Build a Dinosaur explains and enlightens an awesome new science.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Wagner shows how evolution by natural selection preferentially finds and favors robust solutions to the problems organisms face in surviving and reproducing. Such robustness, he argues, also enhances the potential for future evolutionary innovation. Wagner also argues that robustness has less to do with organisms having plenty of spare parts (the redundancy theory that has been popular) and more to do with the reality that mutations can change organisms in ways that do not substantively affect their fitness.
Unparalleled in its field, this book offers the most detailed analysis available of all facets of robustness within organisms. It will appeal not only to biologists but also to engineers interested in the design of robust systems and to social scientists concerned with robustness in human communities and populations.
Each chapter of the book investigates a facet of the physical world, including the drag on small projectiles; the importance of diffusion and convection; the size-dependence of acceleration; the storage, conduction, and dissipation of heat; the relationship among pressure, flow, and choice in biological pumps; and how elongate structures tune their relative twistiness and bendiness. Vogel considers design-determining factors all too commonly ignored, and builds a bridge between the world described by physics books and the reality experienced by all creatures. Glimpses of Creatures in Their Physical Worlds contains a wealth of accessible information related to functional biology, and requires little more than a basic background in secondary-school science and mathematics.
Drawing examples from creatures of land, air, and water, the book demonstrates the many uses of biological diversity and how physical forces impact biological organisms.
Contributions come from leading voices in the field, including: - Shinya Yamanaka, Recipient of the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, Recipient of the 2012 Millennium Technology Prize, Professor and Director of the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application at Kyoto University, Senior Investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, L.K. Whittier Foundation Investigator in Stem Cell Biology and Professor at the University of California, San Francisco - George Q. Daley, Samuel E. Lux IV Professor of Hematology/Oncology at Harvard Medical School and Director for the Stem Cell Transplantation Program at Boston Children’s Hospital - Irving Weissman, Member of National Academy of Sciences, Virgina & D.K Ludwig Professor for Clinical Investigation in Cancer Research, and Director for Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University of Medicine
Cell Press Reviews: Stem Cells to Model and Treat Disease is part of the Cell Press Reviews series, which features reviews published in Cell Press primary research and Trends reviews journals.Provides timely overviews on a wide range of stem cell applicationsOffers insight from experts on the key opportunities and challenges facing the fieldFeatures reviews on genetic, cellular, and molecular aspects of stem-cell-based applicationsIncludes articles originally published in Cell, Cell Stem Cell, Neuron, Trends in Molecular Medicine, and Trends in Biotechnology
The authors begin with a survey of the fundamental scientific developments that led to our current understanding of the regenerative mind, elucidating the breakthrough neurobiological studies that paved the way for our present understanding of the brain's plasticity and regenerative capabilities. They then discuss the application of these findings to such issues as depression, dyslexia, schizophrenia, and cognitive therapy, incorporating the latest technologies in neuroimaging, optogenetics, and nanotechnology. Their work shows the brain is anything but a static organ, ceasing to grow as human beings become adults. Rather, the brain is dynamic, evolving organically in relation to physical, cultural, historical, and affective stimuli, a plasticity that provides early hope to survivors of trauma and degenerative disorders.
Integrates and synthesizes the biology of the zebrafish under one coverFeatures contributions from the leading researchers in their fieldsReaches a wider audience of researchers and biologists with its broad inclusion of subjects relating to zebrafish physiology
One of the most important revelations about the natural world is that everything is regulated—there are rules that regulate the amount of every molecule in our bodies and rules that govern the numbers of every animal and plant in the wild. And the most surprising revelation about the rules that regulate life at such different scales is that they are remarkably similar—there is a common underlying logic of life. Carroll recounts how our deep knowledge of the rules and logic of the human body has spurred the advent of revolutionary life-saving medicines, and makes the compelling case that it is now time to use the Serengeti Rules to heal our ailing planet.
A bold and inspiring synthesis by one of our most accomplished biologists and gifted storytellers, The Serengeti Rules is the first book to illuminate how life works at vastly different scales. Read it and you will never look at the world the same way again.
"The most wonderfully eye-opening, or imagination-opening book, as amusing as it is instructive."—Mary Warnock, London Observer
"[A] fascinating and often humorous study of a reproductive theory that flourished from the mid-17th century to the mid-18th century."—Nina C. Ayoub, Chronicle of Higher Education
"More than just a good story, The Ovary of Eve is an object lesson about the history of science: Don't trust it. . . . Pinto-Correia says she wants to tell the story of history's losers. In doing so, she makes defeat sound more appealing than victory."—Emily Eakin, Nation.
"A sparkling history of preformation as it once affected every facet of European culture."—Robert Taylor, Boston Globe
Please note that print volumes do not include full colour.Includes well-illustrated and thoroughly explained examples and anecdotesPresents both popular and little-known instances of teeth’s importance in historyWritten in an engaging tone appropriate for academics and the wider public
The book is full of step-by-step "how to" methods with sample results, interpretations, and pitfalls. There is a unique set of appendices that include gene catalogs, mtDNA maps, and reagents for probing respiratory chain function. Finally, there are applications of state-of-the art microarray and gene chip technologies.Isolation of mitochondria from commonly used cells and tissuesAssays for mitochondrial activities, including respiration, ATP production, permeability, protein import, and interactions with the cytoskeletonBiochemical and optical methods for studying protein-protein interactions in mitochondriaApproaches to studying mitochondrial replication, transcription, and translationTransmitochondrial technologiesMethods in microassay data analysis
Like the rest of the series, it contains photographs of the entire brain arranged in companion plates that include two parts: a large, high resolution black and white photograph and a "ghost image" of the photograph with unabbreviated labels. It is a user-friendly survey of the complex structural processes that occur during human CNS development. This volume can be purchased as part of the complete five volume set.
Changes in the cellular machinery are described for multiple tissues and organs in terms of signaling pathways, gene expression, and protein abundance. Adaptations to acute exercise as well as exposure to regular exercise are also discussed and considered.Includes a comprehensive summary of the evidence accumulated thus far on the molecular and cellular regulation of the various adaptations taking place in response to exerciseContains contributions from leading authorities Informs and updates on all the latest developments in the field of exercise biology and exercise genomics
New to This Edition:
* Updated and expanded text to accompany diagrams
* More than 200 new labelled scanning electron micrographs showing individual tissues in great detail
* Reviews of recent molecular research
* Discusses the roles of genes such as Hox genes, BMPs, and sonic hedgehog during early development
* New sections on genetical anomalies, techniques, and the poultry industry
Connective Tissue: Histophysiology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology brings together crucial knowledge of mammalian connective tissue (including human) and its components, both cellular and noncellular, in one authoritative reference. The breadth and depth of information has fundamental scientific significance as well as applied relevance in clinical medicine. The first half of the book covers the structure, classification, biochemical aspects, histogenesis, and cellular elements of connective tissue. It presents data from the macro- to nanolevel organization of the extracellular matrix—its structural and functional aspects—and addresses metabolic functions and the biochemistry and molecular biology of connective tissue ageing.
The second half of the book reviews current data on the biochemistry and molecular biology of skeletal connective tissue, including bone and cartilage metabolism and regulation. It presents an in-depth analysis of data on the molecular mechanisms of connective tissue ontogenesis, from embryonic development through ageing. It also reports novel findings on bone marrow stroma and describes electron microscopy results of the nanostructure of bone mineral, mineralized cartilage, and teeth compared with coral and seashells. Comprising both classic and modern data on the histopathology, biochemistry, and molecular biology of connective tissue, this book provides a unique resource for clinicians and researchers alike.
The amino acid sequence of the homeodomain, as well as the presence of other conserved protein domains, has allowed the classification of homeodomain-containing proteins (homeoproteins) into over thirty separate families (e.g. Hox, Dlx, Msx, Otx, Hmx, Cdx etc.). In many cases a single gene has been shown to fully direct the morphogenesis and development of a complex tissue, organ or even an entire body segment. Yet how this "master" regulatory ability of homeoproteins functions at the molecular level to a large degree still remains a mystery, in part owing to our limited understanding of the nature of both homeoprotein transcriptional cofactors and even more elusively, the downstream targets of homeoprotein function.
In the reviews presented here it is limited primarily to what has been learned in vertebrate systems, principally focusing on the mouse, owing to the strengths of the technical approaches currently existing in murine developmental genetics that are not yet available to the same degree in other vertebrate species. Despite this mammalian predilection, a common thread to each of these reviews is the underlying importance of what has been learned about homeoprotein function in other animal species, particularly arthropods like Drosophila.
The book is divided into two sections. The first section is a background to lemurs and their ecology and it includes chapters on origins of lemurs, history of ecological studies on lemurs in Madagascar, theories relating to the evolution of lemur traits, and ecology of the recently extinct (sub-fossil) lemurs. Section two is comprised of chapters focusing on the ecology and adaptations of many species of extant lemurs to the diverse habitats found on Madagascar, and in some cases, adaptations to extreme climatic variability and natural disasters.
Comprised of four concise and comprehensive chapters, the book presents stepwise procedures for sectioning of plant material, histo-chemical staining techniques, and the anatomy of forty well-known and medicinally important plants, including Arjuna, Ashoka, Ashwagandha, Cinchona, Cinnamon, Ginger, Kurchi, Rauwolfia, Turmeric, Tulsi, and Vasaka. The book is also supplemented with color photographs and hand-drawn microscopic images.
Written by authorities in the field, Indian Herbal Drug Microscopy is a valuable guide for herbal drug microscopy of Indian medicinal plants.
We visit a conference of the Caloric Restriction Society, whose members—inspired by certain laboratory findings involving mice—live their lives in a state just above starvation. (“It’s only the first five years that are uncomfortable,” says one.) We meet the new wave of pharmacists who are reviving the erstwhile art of “compounding”—using mortar and pestle to mix extravagantly profitable potions for aging boomers seeking to recapture flagging sexual vitality. Here, too, are the theorists and researchers who are seeking to understand the cellular-level causes of senescence and aging and others who say, Why bother with that? Instead, we should just learn how to repair and replace organs and tissue that break down, like a vintage automobile collector who keeps a century-old Model T shining and running like new.
Eternity Soup is a simmering brew of testosterone patches, human growth hormone (so promising and so potentially dangerous), theories that view aging as a curable disease, laboratory-grown replacement organs (“I want to build a kidney,” says one proponent. “It is such a stup-eed organ!”), and bountiful other troubling, hilarious, and invigorating ingredients. Critser finds plenty of chicanery and credulousness in the antiaging realm but also a surprising degree of optimism, even among some formerly sober skeptics, that we may indeed be on the cusp of something big. And that elicits its own new set of concerns: How will our society cope with a projected new cohort of a million healthy centenarian Americans? How will they liberate themselves from the age segregation that shunts them off to “God’s Waiting Rooms” in the sunbelt? Where will they find joy and meaning to match the inevitable loss that comes with longevity? Eternity Soup is an illuminating, wry, and provocative consideration of a long-dreamed-about world that may now be becoming a reality.
From the Hardcover edition.
Since 1997 scientists of different disciplines have held an annual "Evolutionary Biology Meeting" at Marseille (France) in order to discuss their research developments, exchange ideas and start collaborations. Consisting of the most representative talks of the 11th meeting, this book provides an up-to-date overview of evolutionary concepts and how these concepts can be applied to a better understanding of various biological aspects. It is divided into the following four parts: Modelization of Evolution - Concepts in Evolutionary Biology - Knowledge - Applied Evolutionary Biology.
This book is an invaluable source of information not only for evolutionary biologists, but also for biologists in general.
Building Babies features multi- and trans-disciplinary research approaches to primate developmental trajectories and is particularly useful for researchers and instructors in anthropology, animal behavior, psychology, and evolutionary biology. This book also serves as a supplement to upper-level undergraduate courses or graduate seminars on primate life history and development. In these contexts, the book provides exposure to a wide range of methodological and theoretical perspectives on developmental trajectories and models how researchers might productively integrate such approaches into their own work.
This volume describes the myriad ways in which fish have approached problems of reproduction — it is an amply illustrated comparative study of the microscopic structure of the female genital systems of fish. The timing of its appearance is auspicious in that it coincides with the decline of the golden age of descriptive morphology. It is a compilation of thousands of micrographs — mostly electron micrographs — from classic works in the field and should prove valuable to investigators studying fish in areas such as ecology, physiology, and reproductive biology who may view histology as essential in their work but have little background in this area. It includes chapters on the origin of genital systems, the structure of ovarian follicles, mechanisms of ovulation, the cortical reaction, oviducts, oviparity, and amazing examples of viviparity.