Richard Dawkins' brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of the study of social biology, and have forced thousands to rethink their beliefs about life.
"A wonderful book, wonderfully narrated"
The key to living a happier, healthier life is inside us. Our gut is almost as important to us as our brain or our heart, yet we know very little about how it works. In Gut, Giulia Enders shows that rather than the utilitarian and - let's be honest - somewhat embarrassing body part we imagine it to be, it is one of the most complex, important, and even miraculous parts of our anatomy.
"Brilliant and so interesting!"
Why do you lose arguments with people who know MUCH LESS than you? Why can you recognise that woman, from that thing...but can't remember her name? And why, after your last break-up, did you find yourself in the foetal position on the sofa for days, moving only to wipe the snot and tears haphazardly from your face? Here's why: the idiot brain. For something supposedly so brilliant and evolutionarily advanced, the human brain is pretty messy, fallible and disorganised.
Since Darwin's day, we've been told that sexual monogamy comes naturally to our species. Mainstream science - as well as religious and cultural institutions - has maintained that men and women evolved in families in which a man's possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman's fertility and fidelity. But this narrative is collapsing....
"Thought provoking and controversial"
The Blind Watchmaker, knowledgably narrated by author Richard Dawkins, is as prescient and timely a book as ever. The watchmaker belongs to the 18th-century theologian William Paley, who argued that just as a watch is too complicated and functional to have sprung into existence by accident, so too must all living things, with their far greater complexity, be purposefully designed. Charles Darwin's brilliant discovery challenged the creationist arguments; but only Richard Dawkins could have written this elegant riposte.
"Read the Selfish Gene instead"
What is it like to try to heal the body when the mind is under attack? In this gripping and illuminating audiobook, Dr Allan Ropper reveals the extraordinary stories behind some of the life-altering afflictions that he and his staff are confronted with at the Neurology Unit of Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital.Neurologists diagnose and treat serious illnesses of the brain by combining the hard science of medical knowledge with the art of intuitive reasoning.
Seventy years ago, Erwin Schrdinger posed a simple, yet profound, question: What is life?. How could the very existence of such extraordinary chemical systems be understood? This problem has puzzled biologists and physical scientists both before, and ever since. Living things are hugely complex and have unique properties, such as self-maintenance and apparently purposeful behaviour which we do not see in inert matter. So how does chemistry give rise to biology?
"not that surprising"
Written by award-winning science writer John Emsley, this informative and highly enjoyable book explains the what, the why and the wherefore of the elements. Arranged alphabetically, from Actinium to Zirconium, it is a complete guide to all the elements that are currently known, with more extensive coverage of those we encounter in our everyday life. The entry on each element reveals where it came from, what role it may have in the human body, the foods that contain it, how it was discovered, its role in human health, the uses and misuses to which it is put, and its environmental role.
"very intresting, found out loads"
The Brain: A Very Short Introduction provides a non-technical introduction to the main issues and findings in current brain research, and gives a sense of how neuroscience addresses questions about the relationship between the brain and the mind. It includes chapters on brain processes, perception, memory, motor control and the causes of "altered mental states".
The burgeoning new science of epigenetics offers a cornucopia of insights - some comforting, some frightening. For example, the male fetus may be especially vulnerable to certain common chemicals in our environment, in ways that damage not only his own sperm but also the sperm of his sons. And it's epigenetics that causes identical twins to vary widely in their susceptibility to dementia and cancer. But here's the good news: unlike mutations, epigenetic effects are reversible. Indeed, epigenetic engineering is the future of medicine.
Edward O. Wilson has distilled sixty years of teaching into a book for students, young and old. Reflecting on his coming-of-age in the South as a Boy Scout and a lover of ants and butterflies, Wilson threads these twenty-one letters, each richly illustrated, with autobiographical anecdotes that illuminate his career - both his successes and his failures - and his motivations for becoming a biologist.
"For those is science, this is a must!"
The author of Gutbliss and one of today's preeminent gastroenterologists distils the latest research on the microbiome into a practical program for boosting overall health. The microbiome - the collective name for the trillions of bacteria that live in our gut - is today's hottest medical topic.
"Intriguing detail and excellent take home tips"
The topic of stem cells has been very high profile in the media in recent years. There is much public interest in stem cells but also much confusion and misinformation, with some companies already offering "stem cell products" and bogus "stem cell therapies". In this Very Short Introduction, Jonathan Slack introduces stem cells; what they are, what scientists do with them, what stem cell therapies are available today, and how they might be used in future. Despite important advances, clinical applications of stem cells are still in their infancy. Most real stem cell therapy today is some form of bone marrow transplantation.
We have a lifetime's association with our bodies, but for many of us they remain uncharted territory. In Adventures in Human Being, Gavin Francis leads the listener on a journey through health and illness, offering insights on everything from the ribbed surface of the brain to the secret workings of the heart and the womb; from the pulse of life at the wrist to the unique engineering of the foot.
The fascinating science behind the eventual end to everything - from the individual to all existence. Although we may try to keep it tucked at the back of our minds, most of us are aware of our own mortality. But few among us know what science, with the help of insights yielded from groundbreaking new research, has to say about death on a larger scale. Enter astronomer Chris Impey, who chronicles the death of the whole shebang.
The subject of reconciling our evolutionary past with our sense of right and wrong is undergoing a resurgent wave of interest. The timely Introduction to Evolutionary Ethics offers the first general introductory text to this area, presenting students with three different areas of ongoing research related to evolution and morality: cognitive psychology, normative ethics, and metaethics.
In a book that is both groundbreaking and accessible, Daniel C. Dennett, whom Chet Raymo of The Boston Globe calls "one of the most provocative thinkers on the planet", focuses his unerringly logical mind on the theory of natural selection, showing how Darwin's great idea transforms and illuminates our traditional view of humanity's place in the universe. Dennett vividly describes the theory itself and then extends Darwin's vision with impeccable arguments to their often surprising conclusions, challenging the views of some of the most famous scientists of our day.
"Coherent and engaging"
While we joke that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, our gender differences can't compare to those of other animals. For instance: the male garden spider spontaneously dies after mating with a female more than fifty times his size. Female cichlids must guard their eggs and larvae--even from the hungry appetites of their own partners. And male blanket octopuses employ a copulatory arm longer than their own bodies to mate with females that outweigh them by four orders of magnitude. Why do these gender gulfs exist?
Are men literally born to cheat? Does monogamy actually serve women's interests? These are among the questions that have made The Moral Animal one of the most provocative science books in recent years. Wright unveils the genetic strategies behind everything from our sexual preferences to our office politics - as well as their implications for our moral codes and public policies.
"Fascinating, and Frustrating"
In this classic work that continues to inspire its many fans, James Lovelock deftly explains his idea that life on Earth functions as a single organism. Written for the non-scientist, Gaia is a journey through time and space in search of evidence with which to support a new and radically different model of our planet. In contrast to conventional belief that living matter is passive in the face of threats to its existence, the book explores the hypothesis that the Earth's living matter - air, ocean, and land surfaces - forms a complex system that has the capacity to keep the Earth a fit place for life.
"A good way to digest a dense book!"
The authors of the best-selling Bold and The Rise of Superman explore altered states of consciousness and how they can ignite passion, fuel creativity, and accelerate problem solving, in this groundbreaking book in the vein of Daniel Pink's Drive and Charles Duhigg's Smarter Faster Better.
Our ancestors crossed deserts, mountains, and oceans without even a whisper of what anyone today might consider modern technology. Those feats of endurance now seem impossible in an age where we take comfort for granted. But what if we could regain some of our lost evolutionary strength by simulating the environmental conditions of our forbears? Investigative journalist and anthropologist Scott Carney takes up the challenge to find out: Can we hack our bodies and use the environment to stimulate our inner biology?
In Brain Rules for Baby, Dr. John Medina shares what the latest science says about how to raise smart and happy children from zero to five. This book is destined to revolutionize parenting. Just one of the surprises: The best way to get your children into the college of their choice? Teach them impulse control. Brain Rules for Baby bridges the gap between what scientists know and what parents practice.
"Obligatory reading for parents"
The inspiration for the BBC series of the same name. Fresh out of Glasgow Veterinary College, to the young James Herriot 1930s Yorkshire seems to offer an idyllic pocket of rural life in a rapidly changing world. But from his erratic new colleagues, brothers Siegfried and Tristan Farnon, to incomprehensible farmers, herds of semiferal cattle, a pig called Nugent and an overweight Pekingese called Tricki Woo, James find he is on a learning curve as steep as the hills around him.
"Great story and narrator - terrible sound quality"
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari is a multifaceted review and analysis of the current understanding of human evolution and the forces behind major historical developments. This companion to Sapiens includes an overview of the book, important people, key takeaways, analysis of key takeaways, and much more.
"Brief being the operative word!!!"
The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, Joshua Foer's part-memoir, part-guide on mastering your memory. Read by Mike Chamberlain. On average, people squander forty days annually trying to remember things they've forgotten. Joshua Foer used to be one of those people. But after a year of training, he found himself in the finals of the U.S.
"A very interesting listen"
An astonishing new scientific discovery called neuroplasticity is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the adult human brain is fixed and unchanging. It is, instead, able to change its own structure and function, even into old age. In this revolutionary look at the brain, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge, M.D., provides an introduction to both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they've transformed.
"Interesting topic, strange focus"
In the tradition of Carl Sagan, Rachel Carson, and Stephen Hawking, a new voice has emerged with the unique gift of translating cutting-edge science into clear, accessible language: Dr. Bruce Lipton. With The Wisdom of Your Cells, this internationally recognized authority on cellular biology takes listeners on an in-depth exploration into the microscopic world, where new discoveries and research are revolutionizing the way we understand life, evolution, and consciousness.
A comprehensive history of cancer - one of the greatest enemies of medical progress - and an insight into its effects and potential cures, by a leading expert on the illness. In The Emperor of All Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee, doctor, researcher and award-winning science writer, examines cancer with a cellular biologist's precision, a historian's perspective, and a biographer's passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with - and perished from - for more than five thousand years.
"I had no idea how little I knew about Cancer"
We are all increasingly bewildered by the simple question of what to eat. Despite advice from experts, governments and dieticians about the dangers of too much fat, sugar, protein and lack of exercise, our nutrition - and the global obesity crisis - is getting worse. Why can one person eat a certain meal and gain weight and another eat exactly the same food and lose pounds? Genes provide part of the answer, but we have been overlooking one vital aspect of diet that lies within us.
In The Greatest Show on Earth, Richard Dawkins takes on creationists, including followers of 'Intelligent Design' and all those who question the fact of evolution through natural selection. Like a detective arriving on the scene of a crime, he sifts through fascinating layers of scientific facts and disciplines to build a cast-iron case: from the living examples of natural selection in birds and insects.
"Simple and elegantly written"
The structures that lie beneath our skin represent a remarkable and beautiful assortment of biological mechanisms that are essential for our lives. However, we often take these structures for granted. In these 14 fascinating lectures, a basic overview of the human body, its physical features, biological systems, and general functioning will be presented for the benefit of anyone from budding medical students to curious laymen.
"Absolutely fascinating overview of your body"
Dish up the red meat, eggs, and whole milk! In this well-researched and captivating narrative, veteran food writer Nina Teicholz proves how everything we've been told about fat is wrong. For decades, Americans have cut back on red meat and dairy products full of "bad" saturated fats. We obediently complied with nutritional guidelines to eat "heart healthy" fats found in olive oil, fish, and nuts, and followed a Mediterranean diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, and grains. Yet the nation's health has declined. What is going on?
"Excellent Book. Easy listen."
In this landmark book of popular science, Daniel E. Lieberman - chair of the department of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University and a leader in the field - gives us a lucid and engaging account of how the human body evolved over millions of years, even as it shows how the increasing disparity between the jumble of adaptations in our Stone Age bodies and advancements in the modern world is occasioning this paradox: greater longevity but increased chronic disease.
In The China Study, T. Colin Campbell revolutionized the way we think about our food with the evidence that a whole food, plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat. Now, in Whole, he explains the science behind that evidence, the ways our current scientific paradigm ignores the fascinating complexity of the human body, and why, if we have such overwhelming evidence that everything we think we know about nutrition is wrong, our eating habits haven't changed.
"hard reading, good information"