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!"
The language of genes has become common parlance. We know they make your eyes blue, your hair curly or your nose straight. The media tells us that our genes control the risk of cancer, heart disease, alcoholism or Alzheimer's. The cost of DNA sequencing has plummeted from billions of pounds to a few hundred, and gene-based advances in medicine hold huge promise. So we've all heard of genes, but how do they actually work?
"Informative and current"
Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can't walk for a year? Have sex? Smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour?
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.
"Classic, perfect narrator - terrible editing"
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.
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"
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.
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.
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!"
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"
In Origins, Frank H. T. Rhodes explores the origin and evolution of living things, the changing environments in which they have developed, and the challenges we now face on an increasingly crowded and polluted planet. Rhodes argues that the future well-being of our burgeoning population depends in no small part on our understanding of life's past, its long and slow development, and its intricate interdependencies.
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 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"
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.
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"
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.
"Most interesting and informative book"
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 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"
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.
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"
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.
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.
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.
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.
By identifying the structure of DNA, the molecule of life, Francis Crick and James Watson revolutionized biochemistry and won themselves a Nobel Prize. At the time, Watson was only 24, a young scientist hungry to make his mark. His uncompromisingly honest account of the heady days of their thrilling sprint against other world-class researchers to solve one of science's greatest mysteries gives a dazzlingly clear picture of a world of brilliant scientists with great gifts, very human ambitions, and bitter rivalries.
"This is truly science :)"
In this witty, fact-packed A-Z, Newman takes the listener on a whirlwind tour from caring, sharing vampire bats to intelligent slime mould; from pacifist baboons to Richard Dawkins wrestling naked with his postman; from the invisibility cloak of the Hawaiian bobtail squid to Francis "DNA" Crick's belief that life on Earth began with alien spaceships.
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.
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.
Plants form a fundamental element of the biosphere, and the evolution of plants has directly affected the evolution of animal life and the evolution of the Earth's climate. Plants have also become essential to humans not only in the form of cereal crops, fruit, and vegetables, but in their many other uses in wood and paper, and in providing medicines. In this Very Short Introduction, Timothy Walker, Director of the Botanical Gardens in Oxford, provides a concise account of the nature of plants, their variety and classification, their evolution, and their aesthetic and practical value, stressing the need for their conservation for future generations.
"Narrator's voice makes its boring"
If you could bring back one living being from the whole of the history of time, what would you choose? Comedian and former stem-cell biologist Helen Pilcher has thought about this problem - a lot. In Bring Back the King, Helen explains the cutting-edge science that makes the resurrection of extinct animals a very real possibility and highlights her choices from eras gone by, from the king of the dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus rex, to the King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley.
Where did I come from? Why do I have two arms but just one head? How is my left leg the same size as my right one? Why are the fingerprints of identical twins not identical? How did my brain learn to learn? Why must I die? Questions like these remain biology's deepest and most ancient challenges. They force us to confront a fundamental biological problem: How can something as large and complex as a human body organize itself from the simplicity of a fertilized egg?
How are eggs of different shapes made, and why are they the shapes they are? When does the shell of an egg harden? Why do some eggs contain two yolks? How are the colours and patterns of eggshells created, and why do they vary? And which end of an egg is laid first - the blunt end or the pointy end?
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"
In this lively and illuminating discussion of his landmark research, esteemed primatologist Frans de Waal argues that human morality is not imposed from above but instead comes from within. Moral behavior does not begin and end with religion but is in fact a product of evolution. For many years, de Waal has observed chimpanzees soothe distressed neighbors and bonobos share their food. Now he delivers fascinating fresh evidence for the seeds of ethical behavior in primate societies that further cements the case for the biological origins of human fairness.