Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution

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Profile Books, 2010 - Science - 344 pages
5 Reviews
Winner of the 2010 Royal Society Prize for science booksPowerful new research methods are providing fresh and vivid insights into the makeup of life. Comparing gene sequences, examining the atomic structure of proteins and looking into the geochemistry of rocks have all helped to explain creation and evolution in more detail than ever before. Nick Lane uses the full extent of this new knowledge to describe the ten greatest inventions of life, based on their historical impact, role in living organisms today and relevance to current controversies. DNA, sex, sight and consciousnesses are just four examples.Lane also explains how these findings have come about, and the extent to which they can be relied upon. The result is a gripping and lucid account of the ingenuity of nature, and a book which is essential reading for anyone who has ever questioned the science behind the glories of everyday life.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MarkBeronte - LibraryThing

Where does DNA come from? What is consciousness? How did the eye evolve? Drawing on a treasure trove of new scientific knowledge, Nick Lane expertly reconstructs evolution’s history by describing its ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rondoctor - LibraryThing

Interesting in the way Lane pulls together disparate scientific threads to create a story. He sometimes is rather flippant, casting some doubt on the validity of his linkages and conclusions. However, that is his style and it does liven up the subject matter somewhat. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
The Origin of Life
8
DNA
34
Photosynthesis
60
The Complex Cell
88
Sex
118
Movement
144
Sight
172
Hot Blood
205
Consciousness
232
Death
260
Epilogue
286
List of Illustrations
307
Bibliography
313
Index
327
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About the author (2010)

Nick Lane has published four critically acclaimed books, translated into 20 languages; most recently The Vital Question. He was awarded the 2015 Biochemical Society Award for his outstanding contribution to the molecular life sciences. Life Ascending won the 2010 Royal Society Prize for Science Books.Nick is a biochemist in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College London.'Like his forebears in that same department - Steve Jones, JBS Haldane - he's that rare species, a scientist who can illuminate the bewildering complexities of biology with clear, luminous words' (Observer)'One of the most exciting science writers of our time' (Independent)

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