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.
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 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.
Staying Human in an Engineered Age
Paperback ISBN: 0805075194
The author issues a warning about the dangers and limitations of technology, delving into the latest research in genetic engineering, robotics, and nanotechnology to map a future where humans will be made rather than born.
Discoverer of the Genetic Code
Paperback ISBN: 0061148458
Francis Crick—the quiet genius who led a revolution in biology by discovering, quite literally, the secret of life—will be bracketed with Galileo, Darwin, and Einstein as one of the greatest scientists of all time. In his fascinating biography of the scientific pioneer who uncovered the genetic code—the digital cipher at the heart of heredity that distinguishes living from non-living things—acclaimed bestselling science writer Matt Ridley traces Crick's life from middle-class mediocrity in the English Midlands through a lackluster education and six years designing magnetic mines for the Royal Navy to his leap into biology at the age of thirty-one and its astonishing consequences. In the process, Ridley sheds a brilliant light on the man who forever changed our world and how we understand it.
Life at the Extremes of Our Capacity
Hardcover ISBN: 1501168711
From evolutionary biologist Rowan Hooper, an awe-inspiring look into the extremes of human ability—and what they tell us about our own potential. In 1997, an endurance runner named Yiannis Kouros ran 188 miles in twenty-four hours. Akira Haraguchi, a sixty year-old man in Tokyo, can recite pi to the 100,000th decimal point. John Nunn was accepted to Oxford University at age 15, the youngest undergraduate in 500 years. After a horrific attack by her estranged husband, Carmen Tarleton was left with burns to over eighty percent of her body. One of her surgeons said her injuries “were beyond anything we have ever seen.” After a three-month coma, multiple skin grafts, and successful face transplant, Tarleton is now a motivational speaker. What does it feel like to be exceptional? And what does it take to get there? Why can some people achieve greatness when others can’t, no matter how hard they try? Just how much potential does our species have? Evolutionary biologist Rowan Hooper has the answers. In Superhuman he takes us on a breathtaking tour of the peaks of human achievement that shows us what it feels like to be extraordinary—and what it takes to get there. Drawing on interviews with these “superhumans” and those who have studied them, Hooper assesses the science and genetics of peak potential. His case studies are as inspirational as they are varied, highlighting feats of endurance, strength, intelligence, and memory. Superhuman is a fascinating, eye-opening, and inspiring celebration for anyone who ever felt that they might be able to do something extraordinary in life, for those who simply want to succeed, and for anyone interested in the sublime possibilities of humankind.
Faster, Higher, Stronger
The New Science of Creating Superathletes, and How You Can Train Like Them
Paperback ISBN: 0147516471
The editor of Wired.com reveals how a new generation of athletes, coaches and scientists are changing understandings about the boundaries of human physical achievements, covering such topics as genetics, fatigue and nutrition. 40,000 first printing.
The Agile Gene
How Nature Turns on Nurture
Paperback ISBN: 006000679x
A historical analysis of the nature-versus-nurture debate documents the 2001 discovery that there are fewer genes in a human genome than previously thought and considers the argument that nurture elements are also largely responsible for human behavior. Originally published as Nature Via Nurture. Reprint.