Mapping Human History
Genes, Race, and Our Common Origins
Paperback ISBN: 0618352104
A history of human existence as culled from the latest genetics research seeks to unveil some of the mysteries surrounding human origin, migration, and language development and discusses human differences and what those variations mean in today's world. Reprint.
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
A Search for Who We Are
Paperback ISBN: 0345384725
"Dazzling...A feast. Absorbing and elegantly written, it tells of theorigins of life on earth, describes its variety and charaacter, and culminates in a discussion of human nature and teh complex traces ofhumankind's evolutionary past...It is an amazing story masterfully told." FINANCIAL TIMES (LONDON) World renowned scientist Carl Sagan and acclaimed author Ann Druyan have written a ROOTS for the human species, a lucid and riveting account of how humans got to be the way we are. It shows with humor and drama that many of our key traits--self-awareness, technology, family ties, submission to authority, hatred for those a little different from ourselves, reason, and ethics--are rooted in the deep past, and illuminated by our kinship with other animals. Astonishing in its scope, brilliant in its insights, and an absolutely compelling read, SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS is a triumph of popular science.
Life at the Speed of Light
From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life
Paperback ISBN: 0143125907
The author of A Life Decoded explains how his team's achievement with sequencing the human genome has launched an important age of biological research, revealing a growing potential for enabling humans to adapt and evolve for long-term survival and environmental improvement.
The God Gene
How Faith Is Hardwired Into Our Genes
Paperback ISBN: 0385720319
A noted geneticist and author of The Science of Desire offers a provocative argument that humans are genetically predisposed toward religious faith, explaining why spiritual belief provides an evolutionary advantage and revealing, through an analysis of the DNA makeup of people of various ages and backgrounds, how to identify a so-called God gene. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.
It Ain't Necessarily So
The Dream of the Human Genome and Other Illusions
Paperback ISBN: 0940322951
Is our nature—as individuals, as a species—determined by our evolution and encoded in our genes? If we unravel the protein sequences of our DNA, will we gain the power to cure all of our physiological and psychological afflictions and even to solve the problems of our society? Today biologists—especially geneticists—are proposing answers to questions that have long been asked by philosophy or faith or the social sciences. Their work carries the weight of scientific authority and attracts widespread public attention, but it is often based on what the renowned evolutionary biologist Richard Lewontin identifies as a highly reductive misconception: "the pervasive error that confuses the genetic state of an organism with its total physical and psychic nature as a human being." In these nine essays covering the history of modern biology from Darwin to Dolly the sheep, all of which were originally published in The New York Review of Books, Lewontin combines sharp criticisms of overreaching scientific claims with lucid expositions of the exact state of current scientific knowledge—not only what we do know, but what we don't and maybe won't anytime soon. Among the subjects he discusses are heredity and natural selection, evolutionary psychology and altruism, nineteenth-century naturalist novels, sex surveys, cloning, and the Human Genome Project. In each case he casts an ever-vigilant and deflationary eye on the temptation to look to biology for explanations of everything we want to know about our physical, mental, and social lives. These essays—several of them updated with epilogues that take account of scientific developments since they were first written—are an indispensable guide to the most controversial issues in the life sciences today. The second edition of this collection includes new essays on genetically modified food and the completion of the Human Genome Project. It is an indispensable guide to the most controversial issues in the life sciences today.
The Race to Decipher the Secrets of the Ribosome
Hardcover ISBN: 0465093361
The co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009 discusses the medical and scientific importance of the ribosome, a molecular machine that actually forces DNA into action, turning genetic code into functioning proteins that create life. 20,000 first printing.
Redesigning the Future of Humanity - One Gene at a Time
Paperback ISBN: 0143108344
An eye-opening, mind-bending exploration of how mankind is reshaping its genetic future, based on the viral TED Talk series “Will Our Kids Be a Different Species?” and “The Next Species of Human.” Are you willing to engineer the DNA of your unborn children and grand-children to be healthier? Better looking? More intelligent? Why are rates of autism, asthma, and allergies exploding at an unprecedented pace? Why are humans living longer and having far fewer kids? Futurist Juan Enriquez and scientist Steve Gullans conduct a sweeping tour of how humans are changing the course of evolution for all species—sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. For example: • What if life forms are limited only by the bounds of our imagination? Are designer babies and pets, de-extinction, even entirely newspecies fair game? • As humans, animals, and plants become ever more resistant to disease and aging, what will become the leading causes of death? • Man-machine interfaces may allow humans to live much longer. What will happen when we transfer parts of our “selves” into clones, into stored cells and machines? Though these harbingers of change are deeply unsettling, the authors argue we are also in an epoch of tremendous opportunity. Future humans, perhaps a more diverse, resilient, gentler, and intelligent species, may become better caretakers of the planet—but only if we make the right choices now. Intelligent, provocative, and optimistic, Evolving Ourselves is the ultimate guide to the next phase of life on Earth. Chosen by Nature magazine as a Fall 2016 season highlight.
The Violinist's Thumb
And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, As Written by Our Genetic Code
Paperback ISBN: 0316182338
An exploration of human DNA and the stories it can tell describes how genes can explain why JFK's skin was bronze, Einstein was a genius, and why people with exceptional thumb flexibility can become world-class violinists.
The Tangled Tree
A Radical New History of Life
Hardcover ISBN: 1476776628
Nonpareil science writer David Quammen explains how recent discoveries in molecular biology can change our understanding of evolution and life’s history, with powerful implications for human health and even our own human nature. The Tangled Tree features an eight-page insert with black and white art throughout. 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. For instance, we now know that roughly eight percent of the human genome arrived not through traditional inheritance from directly ancestral forms, but sideways by viral infection—a type of HGT. In The Tangled Tree David Quammen, “one of that rare breed of science journalists who blends exploration with a talent for synthesis and storytelling” (Nature), chronicles these discoveries through the lives of the researchers who made them—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. “Quammen is no ordinary writer. He is simply astonishing, one of that rare class of writer gifted with verve, ingenuity, humor, guts, and great heart” (Elle). Now, 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 such as CRISPR, 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 brilliant guide to our transformed understanding of evolution, of life’s history, and of our own human nature.