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.
"A wonderful book, wonderfully narrated"
In this groundbreaking book, Alanna Collen explores the extraordinary world of the powerful microbes that make up 90 percent of the human body. You are just 10 percent human. For every one of the cells that make your body, there are nine impostor cells. You are not just flesh and blood, muscle and bone, brain and skin, but bacteria and fungi. You are not an individual but a colony of microbes. Far from being passive, the trillions of microbes that live on and in you are intimately involved in running your body.
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 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.
"A must listen"
We inherit mechanisms for survival from our primeval past - none so obviously as those involved in reproduction. The hormone testosterone underlies the organization of activation of masculinity: It changes the body and brain to make a male. It is involved not only in sexuality but in driving aggression, competitiveness, risk-taking - all elements that were needed for successful survival and reproduction in the past. But these ancient systems are carried forward into a modern world.
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"
Feeling stressed? You're not alone. Stress is an inherent aspect of life that can have tremendous negative effects on your mental and physical health. This makes coping with stress a critical part of how well we live.Once you understand the inner workings of your stress response system, you'll possess powerful knowledge that will help you understand and better deal with this common aspect of your busy life.
"So interesting it's almost addictive"
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.
"Really enjoyed listening"
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"
Sparked by a provocative comment to BigThink.com last fall, and fueled by a highly controversial debate with Creation Museum curator Ken Ham, Bill Nye's campaign to confront the scientific shortcoming of creationism has exploded in just a few months into a national crusade.
"brilliant book covering many key questions."
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.
"Excellent book, 'melancholic' performance"
This book is about the discovery that the human brain has its own unique way of healing. For centuries we believed that the price we paid for our brain's complexity was that, compared to other organs, it was fixed and unregenerative - unable to recover from damage or illness. In his revolutionary new book, Norman Doidge turns this belief on its head.
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.
"Sparkling with life!"
Our true origins are not just human, or even terrestrial, but in fact cosmic. Drawing on scientific breakthroughs and the current cross-pollination among geology, biology, astrophysics, and cosmology, Origins explains the soul-stirring leaps in our understanding of the cosmos. From the first image of a galaxy birth to Spirit rover's exploration of Mars, to the discovery of water on one of Jupiter's moons, coauthors Neil deGrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith conduct a galvanizing tour of the cosmos with clarity and exuberance.
The Ancestor's Tale is a pilgrimage back through time - a journey on which we meet up with fellow pilgrims as we and they converge on our common ancestors. Chimpanzees join us at about six million years in the past, gorillas at seven million years, orangutans at 14 million years, as we stride on together, a growing band. The journey provides the setting for a collection of some 40 tales.
"Dawkins does it again"
One of the greatest scientific feats of our era is the astonishing progress made in understanding biology-the intricate machinery of life-a progress to which the period we are living in right now has contributed the most.As you read these words, researchers are delving ever deeper into the workings of living systems, turning their discoveries into new medical treatments, improved methods of growing food, and innovative products that are already changing the world.
"Biology brought to life!"
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 series of 24 fascinating lectures, an acclaimed teacher and psychologist gives you a bio-psychological perspective on both the way we humans navigate and react to the world around us and an understanding of the ways in which that process is ever-changing.
How could a relatively simple chemical code give rise to the complexity of a human being? How could our human genome have evolved? And how does it actually work? Your genome defines you at the most profound level. That same genome is present in every one of the approximately 100,000 billion cells that make you who you are as an individual member of the human species. An important ingredient of the genome, and its essential nature, is memory .
The Territorial Imperative is a work of wit, of literary wealth, of high adventure. The author draws on his inexhaustible knowledge of animal ways and takes his listeners on deep excursions into the ancient animal world, and on deep penetrations of the contemporary human wilderness.
The largest structure ever built was not made by humans, but by incredibly tiny organisms known as coral polyps. Over the course of tens of thousands of years, these small organisms have put together a collection of nearly 3,000 reefs, known as the Great Barrier Reef, which form a collective stretching across 130,000 square miles. Scientists have counted about 1,500 different fish species that use the reef, and it's estimated that 1.5 million birds use the site.
This case analysis is about a company called Monsanto and the belief that their use of genetically modified foods is, allegedly, doing more harm than good. Monsanto has responded to opposition by indicating that newly developed, genetically modified food is the only way to combat world hunger. The company believes that this opposition to genetically modified food will soon pass. This essay serves as a great example of how to perform a case study; it also tackles myths and business practices surrounding Monsanto.
In their latest audiobook, Joe Kirschvink and Peter Ward will show that many of our most cherished beliefs about the evolution of life are wrong. Gathering and analyzing years of discoveries and research not yet widely known to the public, A New History of Life proposes a different origin of species than the one Darwin proposed, one which includes eight-foot-long centipedes, a frozen snowball Earth, and the seeds for life originating on Mars.
It has long been a maxim that it is easy to forget when one is at war who the enemy really is, and that can certainly be said for the Ebola virus, which recently catapulted into headlines and instantly became the most feared disease in the world. In the case of the fight against Ebola, the enemy is not the person who has contracted the disease, nor is it the region where the virus has flourished. The enemy is a microscopic virus that, when seen under sufficient magnification, looks like a piece of loosely knotted rope.
A lot of gardeners just hang up their gardening tools for the winter and wait until the weather becomes warmer, but this should not be the case. Depending on your local weather, gardening during the winter may simply be less than the ideal, or you may be working with frozen soil. Regardless of the situation, winter offers any ambitious gardener an opportunity to explore many options that may not be available during the warmer seasons. There is no reason for you not to keep your thumb green throughout the entire year.
Cut through the medical myths and get a solidly scientific guide to keeping yourself and your loved ones as protected as possible from pathogens, including a no-nonsense guide to vaccinations, tips on keeping a healthier home environment, and valuable advice for world travelers.
Paul Falkowski looks "under the hood" of microbes to find the engines of life, the actual working parts that do the biochemical heavy lifting for every living organism on Earth. With insight and humor, he explains how these miniature engines are built - and how they have been appropriated by and assembled like Lego sets within every creature that walks, swims, or flies. Falkowski shows how evolution works to maintain this core machinery of life, and how we and other animals are veritable conglomerations of microbes.
A genetically modified organism (GMO) is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. GMOs are the source of genetically modified foods and are also widely used in scientific research and to produce goods other than food. I reveal the truth and explain the whole creation process of a crop infused with genetically modified organisms.
As physicists work toward completing a theory of the universe and biologists unravel the molecular complexity of life, a glaring incompleteness in this scientific vision becomes apparent. The "theory of everything" that appears to be emerging includes everything but us: the feelings, meanings, consciousness, and purposes that make us (and many of our animal cousins) what we are.
Believe it or not, there are effective ways on how to treat HPV and genital warts. And I give them to you within this guide.
Could extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? The science says yes. In How to Clone a Mammoth, Beth Shapiro, evolutionary biologist and pioneer in "ancient DNA" research, walks listeners through the astonishing and controversial process of de-extinction.
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.
"The best book I've read in a long time"
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"
Imagine raising an orphaned bear cub, carefully reintroducing her to the wild, then being welcomed back, almost daily, to observe her wild world for more than 17 years. Imagine visiting her in her feeding spots, watching her with her mates and her young, peering into her den, and, over time, observing the lives of all the other wild bears in her territory and surrounding ones. That is what happened to Ben Kilham.
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.
At the beginning of Nonzero, Robert Wright sets out to "define the arrow of the history of life, from the primordial soup to the World Wide Web." Twenty-two chapters later, after a sweeping and vivid narrative of the human past, he has succeeded and has mounted a powerful challenge to the conventional view that evolution and human history are aimless.
An extraterrestrial colony, in some form, may already exist, just awaiting discovery. But the greatest impediment to such an important scientific discovery may not be technological, but political. No scientific endeavor can be launched without a budget, and matters of money are within the arena of politicians. Dr. Ben Bova explores some of the key players and the arguments waged in a debate of both scientific and cultural priorities.
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 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.
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 evolutions history by describing its 10 greatest inventionsfrom sex and warmth to deathresulting in a stunning account of natures ingenuity.
"Very poor reader"
Over a decade ago, as the Human Genome Project completed its mapping of the entire human genome, hopes ran high that we would rapidly be able to use our knowledge of human genes to tackle many inherited diseases, and understand what makes us unique among animals. But things didn't turn out that way.
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.
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.