The Tangled Tree

The Tangled Tree
Title The Tangled Tree PDF eBook
Author David Quammen
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Pages 480
Release 2019-08-06
Genre Science
ISBN 1476776636

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In this New York Times bestseller and longlist nominee for the National Book Award, “our greatest living chronicler of the natural world” (The New York Times), David Quammen explains how recent discoveries in molecular biology affect our understanding of evolution and life’s history. In the mid-1970s, scientists began using DNA sequences to reexamine the history of all life. Perhaps the most startling discovery to come out of this new field—the study of life’s diversity and relatedness at the molecular level—is horizontal gene transfer (HGT), or the movement of genes across species lines. It turns out that HGT has been widespread and important; we now know that roughly eight percent of the human genome arrived sideways by viral infection—a type of HGT. In The Tangled Tree, “the grandest tale in biology….David Quammen presents the science—and the scientists involved—with patience, candor, and flair” (Nature). We learn about the major players, such as Carl Woese, the most important little-known biologist of the twentieth century; Lynn Margulis, the notorious maverick whose wild ideas about “mosaic” creatures proved to be true; and Tsutomu Wantanabe, who discovered that the scourge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a direct result of horizontal gene transfer, bringing the deep study of genome histories to bear on a global crisis in public health. “David Quammen proves to be an immensely well-informed guide to a complex story” (The Wall Street Journal). In The Tangled Tree, he explains how molecular studies of evolution have brought startling recognitions about the tangled tree of life—including where we humans fit upon it. Thanks to new technologies, we now have the ability to alter even our genetic composition—through sideways insertions, as nature has long been doing. “The Tangled Tree is a source of wonder….Quammen has written a deep and daring intellectual adventure” (The Boston Globe).




The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution (Great Discoveries)

The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution (Great Discoveries)
Title The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution (Great Discoveries) PDF eBook
Author David Quammen
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Pages 304
Release 2007-07-17
Genre Biography & Autobiography
ISBN 0393076342

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"Quammen brilliantly and powerfully re-creates the 19th century naturalist's intellectual and spiritual journey."--Los Angeles Times Book Review Twenty-one years passed between Charles Darwin's epiphany that "natural selection" formed the basis of evolution and the scientist's publication of On the Origin of Species. Why did Darwin delay, and what happened during the course of those two decades? The human drama and scientific basis of these years constitute a fascinating, tangled tale that elucidates the character of a cautious naturalist who initiated an intellectual revolution.




Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic

Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic
Title Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic PDF eBook
Author David Quammen
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Pages 591
Release 2012-10
Genre Medical
ISBN 0393066800

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A masterpiece of science reporting that tracks the animal origins of emerginghuman diseases.




Modern Prometheus

Modern Prometheus
Title Modern Prometheus PDF eBook
Author Jim Kozubek
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Pages 453
Release 2016-10-18
Genre Law
ISBN 1107172160

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This book tells the dramatic story of Crispr and the potential impact of this gene-editing technology.




Life

Life
Title Life PDF eBook
Author Richard Fortey
Publisher Vintage
Pages 566
Release 2011-03-23
Genre Science
ISBN 0307761185

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By one of Britain's most gifted scientists: a magnificently daring and compulsively readable account of life on Earth (from the "big bang" to the advent of man), based entirely on the most original of all sources--the evidence of fossils. With excitement and driving intelligence, Richard Fortey guides us from the barren globe spinning in space, through the very earliest signs of life in the sulphurous hot springs and volcanic vents of the young planet, the appearance of cells, the slow creation of an atmosphere and the evolution of myriad forms of plants and animals that could then be sustained, including the magnificent era of the dinosaurs, and on to the last moment before the debut of Homo sapiens. Ranging across multiple scientific disciplines, explicating in wonderfully clear and refreshing prose their findings and arguments--about the origins of life, the causes of species extinctions and the first appearance of man--Fortey weaves this history out of the most delicate traceries left in rock, stone and earth. He also explains how, on each aspect of nature and life, scientists have reached the understanding we have today, who made the key discoveries, who their opponents were and why certain ideas won. Brimful of wit, fascinating personal experience and high scholarship, this book may well be our best introduction yet to the complex history of life on Earth. A Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection With 32 pages of photographs




Viruses

Viruses
Title Viruses PDF eBook
Author Michael G. Cordingley
Publisher Harvard University Press
Pages 385
Release 2017-06-19
Genre Medical
ISBN 0674972082

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While viruses—the world’s most abundant biological entities—are not technically alive, they invade, replicate, and evolve within living cells. Michael Cordingley goes beyond our familiarity with infections to show how viruses spur evolutionary change in their hosts and shape global ecosystems, from ocean photosynthesis to drug-resistant bacteria.




Some Assembly Required

Some Assembly Required
Title Some Assembly Required PDF eBook
Author Neil Shubin
Publisher Vintage
Pages 289
Release 2020-03-17
Genre Science
ISBN 1101871342

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An exciting and accessible new view of the evolution of human and animal life on Earth. From the author of national bestseller, Your Inner Fish, this extraordinary journey of discovery spans centuries, as explorers and scientists seek to understand the origins of life's immense diversity. “Fossils, DNA, scientists with a penchant for suits of armor—what’s not to love?”—BBC Wildlife Magazine Over billions of years, ancient fish evolved to walk on land, reptiles transformed into birds that fly, and apelike primates evolved into humans that walk on two legs, talk, and write. For more than a century, paleontologists have traveled the globe to find fossils that show how such changes have happened. We have now arrived at a remarkable moment—prehistoric fossils coupled with new DNA technology have given us the tools to answer some of the basic questions of our existence: How do big changes in evolution happen? Is our presence on Earth the product of mere chance? This new science reveals a multibillion-year evolutionary history filled with twists and turns, trial and error, accident and invention. In Some Assembly Required, Neil Shubin takes readers on a journey of discovery spanning centuries, as explorers and scientists seek to understand the origins of life's immense diversity.