This is Real Life Sale
 
 

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


    Original Essays | February 16, 2015

    Mary Pilon: IMG The Coffee Shops I Have Loved



    "Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?" – Albert Camus In the five years it took for me to complete my book, The Monopolists, I wrote... Continue »

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$10.50
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Burnside Botany- General

More copies of this ISBN

Seed to Seed: The Secret Life of Plants

by

Seed to Seed: The Secret Life of Plants Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A brilliant evocation of the natural and genetic beauty of the plant world, in the form of a year-long journal from one of the worlds leading biologists.

Nicholas Harberd, a father, scientist, and nature lover, spends his days at the lab directing a team discovering the secrets of how plants grow, using a common weed as their example. Concerned that hes losing sight of the weeds ordinary days in the world, he sets out to find an example of the same plant in the wild. And so begins this unique and beautiful book—part field notebook, part sketchbook, and part journal. Building on a narrative of the passing seasons of 2004, Harberd relates that narrative to the life history of what becomes an iconic plant. As a biologist and close observer, he is able to describe both what is visible and the hidden molecular mechanisms that underlie the visible events in the plants life. In the process, he reveals what the daily life of a scientist truly is.

Beautifully produced, with dozens of diagrams and drawings, and written with thoughtfulness and passion, Seed to Seed is a testament to the wonder of the world around us.

Nicholas Harberd is one of the world's leading plant biologists. He directs a research team at the John Innes Centre (Europe's premier plant and microbial science research institute) and is Honorary Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. He is the author of numerous scientific papers and has published in the leading international journals Nature and Science.
Part field notebook, part sketchbook, part diary, Seed to Seed is an evocation of the beauty of the natural world and an explanation of the secret workings of plants.
 
Nicholas Harberd's narrative of the changing seasons focuses on one tiny weed in a country churchyard. He describes both what can be seen with the naked eye and the hidden molecular mechanisms that underlie the visible events in the plant's life. He also tells the story of the last ten years of scientific discovery in his own laboratory, as the team works to understand the genetic control of the growth of the same weed, thale-cress [Arabidopsis thaliana]—the fruit fly of the plant world.
 
Seed to Seed is the work of a scientist, passionate about his subject, who decided to get out into the open air to relate discoveries made in the lab to the natural world around us. Set in the English countryside, with journeys to New Zealand, Mallorca, Ireland and California, it is beautifully illustrated with more than forty sketches and diagrams, and gives an open portrait of the scientific mind at work.
"Harberd indicates that this book is an attempt to show how science can enhance our vision of the world; it is written, then, principally for nonscientists. The author, one of the world's leading plant geneticists, describes the developing understanding of how and why plants grow. He explains that experiments are revealing the hidden fundamentals of how the growth of plants is controlled. The book is in the form of a diary of the year 2004, its focus on one small weed in a country churchyard in Norfolk, England, the thale-cress. Harberd comments on the weather ('The sky a salad of dampness; grays, blues, and yellows, all speeding in one direction'). He writes of his search for thale-cress ('What I'd found was a curved line of three, six feet above the remains [in a grave] buried below the ground.') With 46 black-and-white sketches and diagrams . . .  his intriguing narrative is not to be missed."—George Cohen, Booklist

"A scientist discovers a world of wonder in a graveyard weed. Nearing 50 and feeling directionless in his research, leading British plant geneticist Harberd stole away from the routine of academic science at the noted John Innes Centre to rekindle his sense of wonder outdoors. In St. Mary's churchyard in Norfolk, he observed over a yearlong period the life of the thale-cress plant. 'It's just a weed, we've got plenty of them in the garden at home,' remarked his young son. This exquisitely detailed journal—at once rigorously scientific and yet bordering on the mystical—belies that statement. The author recounts the many stories a weed can tell as it grows, flowers, faces threats (first a slug, then apparently a rabbit) and is finally destroyed by a mourner weeding at graveside. Because the plant was in the world (rather than isolated in the lab), Harberd found new ways of seeing its growth, death and regeneration, all of which depended on 'connectivity' to the earth and sun. While cycling from home to his beloved churchyard, working in the lab, attending concerts or traveling on business and holiday, the author muses on nature, memory, life and death. His written-on-the-run observations eventually helped break his 'scientist's block' and left the hardheaded DNA expert with a newfound, quasi-religious reverence for the oneness of life: 'Music, landscape, life, all connected' . . . [These are] fascinating glimpses of a first-rate scientific mind at play. Most refreshing is the author's candor about the imperfections of science: its starts and stops; the gap between separating and classifying things in the lab, and the wholeness and harmony of nature in the field. Inspires new respect for weeds—and life."—Kirkus Reviews

 
"Even the most hardcore city dweller will be moved by British plant biologist Harberd's look at the life cycle of the thale-cress plant, as he records not only the stages of a single species through one year but also provides an outline of 'the unseen molecular forces that drive plants from stage to stage.' Harberd engagingly shows how this common but ignored garden plant, with its short life span and small genome, is perfect for the plant geneticist, 'our own Drosophila (fruit-fly).' Once scientists have determined its entire DNA sequence, they will be able to 'get to grips with solving some of the most important questions in plant biology.' Most enjoyable are Harberd's passionate observations—from the 'exhilarating' results of stem cell behavior to how the 'awesome velocity' of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring reminds him of the 'brutal in Nature'—and how he successfully uses those observations to convey a view that 'the world is a whole' and that even the most common plant can help us 'see ourselves as part of something sacred. Perhaps even redefine our science as something sacramental.'"—Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Even the most hardcore city dweller will be moved by British plant biologist Harberd's look at the life cycle of the thale cress plant, as he records not only the stages of a single species through one year but also provides an outline of 'the unseen molecular forces that drive plants from stage to stage.' Harberd engagingly shows how this common but ignored garden plant, with its short life span and small genome, is perfect for the plant geneticist, 'our own Drosophila (fruit-fly).' Once scientists have determined its entire DNA sequence, they will be able to 'get to grips with solving some of the most important questions in plant biology.' Most enjoyable are Harberd's passionate observations — from the 'exhilarating' results of stem cell behavior to how the 'awesome velocity' of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring reminds him of the 'brutal in Nature' — and how he successfully uses those observations to convey a view that 'the world is a whole' and that even the most common plant can help us 'see ourselves as part of something sacred. Perhaps even redefine our science as something sacramental.' Illus." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

A brilliant evocation of the natural and genetic beauty of the plant world, in the form of a year-long journal from one of the world's leading biologists.

Nicholas Harberd, a father, scientist, and nature lover, spends his days at the lab directing a team discovering the secrets of how plants grow, using a common weed as their example. Concerned that he's losing sight of the weed's ordinary days in the world, he sets out to find an example of the same plant in the wild. And so begins this unique and beautiful book--part field notebook, part sketchbook, and part journal. Building on a narrative of the passing seasons of 2004, Harberd relates that narrative to the life history of what becomes an iconic plant. As a biologist and close observer, he is able to describe both what is visible and the hidden molecular mechanisms that underlie the visible events in the plant's life. In the process, he reveals what the daily life of a scientist truly is.

Beautifully produced, with dozens of diagrams and drawings, and written with thoughtfulness and passion, Seed to Seed is a testament to the wonder of the world around us.

About the Author

Nicholas Harberd is one of the world's leading plant biologists. He directs a research team at the John Innes Centre (Europe's premier plant and microbial science research institute) and is Honorary Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. He is the author of numerous scientific papers and has published in the leading international journals Nature and Science.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781582344133
Subtitle:
The Secret Life of Plants
Author:
Harberd, Nicholas
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Subject:
Plants
Subject:
Plant genetics
Subject:
Plants - General
Subject:
Nature Studies-Botany
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20060501
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
color
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

Other books you might like

  1. Blazer Lectures #1989: Harlan Hubbard-Pa New Trade Paper $26.25
  2. The Killer Angels
    Used Trade Paper $4.50

Related Subjects


Science and Mathematics » Botany » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Botany

Seed to Seed: The Secret Life of Plants Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781582344133 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Even the most hardcore city dweller will be moved by British plant biologist Harberd's look at the life cycle of the thale cress plant, as he records not only the stages of a single species through one year but also provides an outline of 'the unseen molecular forces that drive plants from stage to stage.' Harberd engagingly shows how this common but ignored garden plant, with its short life span and small genome, is perfect for the plant geneticist, 'our own Drosophila (fruit-fly).' Once scientists have determined its entire DNA sequence, they will be able to 'get to grips with solving some of the most important questions in plant biology.' Most enjoyable are Harberd's passionate observations — from the 'exhilarating' results of stem cell behavior to how the 'awesome velocity' of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring reminds him of the 'brutal in Nature' — and how he successfully uses those observations to convey a view that 'the world is a whole' and that even the most common plant can help us 'see ourselves as part of something sacred. Perhaps even redefine our science as something sacramental.' Illus." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
A brilliant evocation of the natural and genetic beauty of the plant world, in the form of a year-long journal from one of the world's leading biologists.

Nicholas Harberd, a father, scientist, and nature lover, spends his days at the lab directing a team discovering the secrets of how plants grow, using a common weed as their example. Concerned that he's losing sight of the weed's ordinary days in the world, he sets out to find an example of the same plant in the wild. And so begins this unique and beautiful book--part field notebook, part sketchbook, and part journal. Building on a narrative of the passing seasons of 2004, Harberd relates that narrative to the life history of what becomes an iconic plant. As a biologist and close observer, he is able to describe both what is visible and the hidden molecular mechanisms that underlie the visible events in the plant's life. In the process, he reveals what the daily life of a scientist truly is.

Beautifully produced, with dozens of diagrams and drawings, and written with thoughtfulness and passion, Seed to Seed is a testament to the wonder of the world around us.

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.