Warriors B2G1 Free
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Q&A | May 11, 2015

    Heidi Pitlor: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Heidi Pitlor



    Describe your latest book. My novel, The Daylight Marriage, is about a wife and mother who goes missing one day. The narrative alternates between... Continue »
    1. $17.47 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

      The Daylight Marriage

      Heidi Pitlor 9781616203689

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$3.95
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Burnside Biology- General

This title in other editions

Sex and the Origins of Death

by

Sex and the Origins of Death Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In Sex and the Origins of Death, William R. Clark looks at life and death at the level of the cell, as he addresses such profound questions as why we age, why death exists, and why death and sex go hand in hand. We learn that every cell in our body has a self-destruct program embedded into it and that cell suicide is in fact a fairly commonplace event. But why do our cells have such programs? And why must we die? To shed light on this question, Clark reaches far back in evolutionary history, to the moment when "inevitable death" (death from aging) first appeared.

In Sex and the Origins of Death, William Clark ranges far and wide over fascinating terrain. This brilliant, profound volume illuminates the miraculous workings of life at its most elemental level and finds in these tiny spaces the answers to some of our largest questions.

Review:

"Strikingly well argued and clear." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Anyone who reckons that science writing is dry stuff may find their outlook broadened by this...book." New Scientist

Review:

"Clark eloquently traces the ancestral roots of both programmed cell death and...death of the whole organism." Nature

Review:

"An exemplary job." The Washington Post Book World

Synopsis:

Death, for bacteria, is not inevitable. Protect a bacterium from predators, and provide it with adequate food and space to grow, and it would continue living--and reproducing asexually--forever. But a paramecium (a slightly more advanced single-cell organism), under the same ideal conditions, would stop dividing after about 200 generations--and die. Death, for paramecia and their offspring, is inevitable. Unless they have sex. If at any point during that 200 or so generations, two of the progeny of our paramecium have sex, their clock will be reset to zero. They and their progeny are granted another 200 generations. Those who fail to have sex eventually die. Immortality for bacteria is automatic; for all other living beings--including humans--immortality depends on having sex. But why is this so? Why must death be inevitable? And what is the connection between death and sexual reproduction?

In Sex and the Origins of Death, William R. Clark looks at life and death at the level of the cell, as he addresses such profound questions as why we age, why death exists, and why death and sex go hand in hand. Clark reveals that there are in fact two kinds of cell death--accidental death, caused by extreme cold or heat, starvation, or physical destruction, and "programmed cell death," initiated by codes embedded in our DNA. (Bacteria have no such codes.) We learn that every cell in our body has a self-destruct program embedded into it and that cell suicide is in fact a fairly commonplace event. We also discover that virtually every aspect of a cell's life is regulated by its DNA, including its own death, that the span of life is genetically determined (identical twins on average die 36 months apart, randomly selected siblings 106 months apart), that human tissue in culture will divide some 50 times and then die (an important exception being tumor cells, which divide indefinitely). But why do our cells have such programs? Why must we die? To shed light on this question, Clark reaches far back in evolutionary history, to the moment when "inevitable death" (death from aging) first appeared. For cells during the first billion years, death, when it occurred, was accidental; there was nothing programmed into them that said they must die. But fierce competition gradually led to multicellular animals--size being an advantage against predators--and with this change came cell specialization and, most important, germ cells in which reproductive DNA was segregated. When sexual reproduction evolved, it became the dominant form of reproduction on the planet, in part because mixing DNA from two individuals corrects errors that have crept into the code. But this improved DNA made DNA in the other (somatic) cells not only superfluous, but dangerous, because somatic DNA might harbor mutations. Nature's solution to this danger, Clark concludes, was programmed death--the somatic cells must die. Unfortunately, we are the somatic cells. Death is necessary to exploit to the fullest the advantages of sexual reproduction.

In Sex and the Origins of Death, William Clark ranges far and wide over fascinating terrain. Whether describing a 62-year-old man having a major heart attack (and how his myocardial cells rupture and die), or discussing curious life-forms that defy any definition of life (including bacterial spores, which can regenerate after decades of inactivity, and viruses, which are nothing more than DNA or RNA wrapped in protein), this brilliant, profound volume illuminates the miraculous workings of life at its most elemental level and finds in these tiny spaces the answers to some of our largest questions.

About the Author

William R. Clark is Professor of Immunology and Chair, Emeritus, of the Department of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology at UCLA. He is the author of At War Within: The Double Edged Sword of Immunity.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195121193
Author:
Clark, William R.
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
Clark, William R.
Author:
null, William R.
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Sex
Subject:
Cytology
Subject:
Life Sciences - Cytology
Subject:
Life Sciences | Evolutionary Biology
Subject:
Biology-Cytology and Cell Biology
Copyright:
Edition Description:
bonded leather burgundy 211
Publication Date:
19980531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
7 line illus.
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8.50x5.50x.48 in. .60 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. Full House the Spread of Excellence... Used Trade Paper $2.95
  2. The Monkey in the Mirror: Essays on... Used Trade Paper $6.50
  3. Race to the Finish: Identity and... Used Trade Paper $24.50
  4. Plague Time: How Stealth Infections... Used Hardcover $9.95
  5. Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation
    Used Trade Paper $6.50
  6. Dictionary of Zoology 2ND Edition Used Trade Paper $5.50

Related Subjects


Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Anatomy and Physiology
History and Social Science » Politics » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Cytology and Cell Biology
Science and Mathematics » Biology » General

Sex and the Origins of Death Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195121193 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Strikingly well argued and clear."
"Review" by , "Anyone who reckons that science writing is dry stuff may find their outlook broadened by this...book."
"Review" by , "Clark eloquently traces the ancestral roots of both programmed cell death and...death of the whole organism."
"Review" by , "An exemplary job."
"Synopsis" by , Death, for bacteria, is not inevitable. Protect a bacterium from predators, and provide it with adequate food and space to grow, and it would continue living--and reproducing asexually--forever. But a paramecium (a slightly more advanced single-cell organism), under the same ideal conditions, would stop dividing after about 200 generations--and die. Death, for paramecia and their offspring, is inevitable. Unless they have sex. If at any point during that 200 or so generations, two of the progeny of our paramecium have sex, their clock will be reset to zero. They and their progeny are granted another 200 generations. Those who fail to have sex eventually die. Immortality for bacteria is automatic; for all other living beings--including humans--immortality depends on having sex. But why is this so? Why must death be inevitable? And what is the connection between death and sexual reproduction?

In Sex and the Origins of Death, William R. Clark looks at life and death at the level of the cell, as he addresses such profound questions as why we age, why death exists, and why death and sex go hand in hand. Clark reveals that there are in fact two kinds of cell death--accidental death, caused by extreme cold or heat, starvation, or physical destruction, and "programmed cell death," initiated by codes embedded in our DNA. (Bacteria have no such codes.) We learn that every cell in our body has a self-destruct program embedded into it and that cell suicide is in fact a fairly commonplace event. We also discover that virtually every aspect of a cell's life is regulated by its DNA, including its own death, that the span of life is genetically determined (identical twins on average die 36 months apart, randomly selected siblings 106 months apart), that human tissue in culture will divide some 50 times and then die (an important exception being tumor cells, which divide indefinitely). But why do our cells have such programs? Why must we die? To shed light on this question, Clark reaches far back in evolutionary history, to the moment when "inevitable death" (death from aging) first appeared. For cells during the first billion years, death, when it occurred, was accidental; there was nothing programmed into them that said they must die. But fierce competition gradually led to multicellular animals--size being an advantage against predators--and with this change came cell specialization and, most important, germ cells in which reproductive DNA was segregated. When sexual reproduction evolved, it became the dominant form of reproduction on the planet, in part because mixing DNA from two individuals corrects errors that have crept into the code. But this improved DNA made DNA in the other (somatic) cells not only superfluous, but dangerous, because somatic DNA might harbor mutations. Nature's solution to this danger, Clark concludes, was programmed death--the somatic cells must die. Unfortunately, we are the somatic cells. Death is necessary to exploit to the fullest the advantages of sexual reproduction.

In Sex and the Origins of Death, William Clark ranges far and wide over fascinating terrain. Whether describing a 62-year-old man having a major heart attack (and how his myocardial cells rupture and die), or discussing curious life-forms that defy any definition of life (including bacterial spores, which can regenerate after decades of inactivity, and viruses, which are nothing more than DNA or RNA wrapped in protein), this brilliant, profound volume illuminates the miraculous workings of life at its most elemental level and finds in these tiny spaces the answers to some of our largest questions.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.