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Summary

Discover what it means to be alive....

Life is all around us, abundant and diverse; it is extraordinary. But what does it actually mean to be alive?

Paul Nurse has spent his career revealing how living cells work. In this book, he takes up the challenge of defining life in a way that everyone can understand. It is a shared journey of discovery; step by step he illuminates five great ideas that underpin biology. He traces the roots of his own curiosity and knowledge to reveal how science works, both now and in the past. 

Using his personal experiences, in and out of the lab, he shares with us the challenges, the lucky breaks and the thrilling eureka moments of discovery. To survive the challenges that face the human race today – from climate change, to pandemics, loss of biodiversity and food security – it is vital that we all understand what life is.

©2020 Paul Nurse (P)2020 Faber & Faber Ltd

Critic reviews

"A beautifully written exploration of perhaps the most important question in science." (Brian Cox)

"A nearly perfect guide to the wonder and complexity of existence." (Bill Bryson)

"Paul Nurse is about as distinguished a scientist as there could be. He is also a great communicator. This book explains, in a way that is both clear and elegant, how the processes of life unfold." (Philip Pullman)

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