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Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolutionby Nick Lane
Synopses & Reviews
How did life invent itself? Where did DNA come from? How did consciousness develop? Powerful new research methods are providing vivid insights into the makeup of life. Comparing gene sequences, examining atomic structures of proteins, and looking into the geochemistry of rocks have helped explain evolution in more detail than ever before. Nick Lane expertly reconstructs the history of life by describing the ten greatest inventions of evolution (including DNA, photosynthesis, sex, and sight), based on their historical impact, role in organisms today, and relevance to current controversies. Who would have guessed that eyes started off as light-sensitive spots used to calibrate photosynthesis in algae? Or that DNA"s building blocks form spontaneously in hydrothermal vents? Lane gives a gripping, lucid account of nature"s ingenuity, and the result is a work of essential reading for anyone who has ever pondered or questioned the science underlying evolution"s greatest gifts to man.
"Original and awe-inspiring . . . an exhilarating tour of some of the most profound and important ideas in biology."--
'Original and awe-inspiring . . . an exhilarating tour of some of the most profound and important ideas in biology."New Scientist
A renowned biochemist draws on cutting-edge scientific findings to construct the mosaic of life"s astounding history.
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 evolution's history by describing its ten greatest inventions--from sex and warmth to death--resulting in a stunning account of nature's ingenuity.
About the Author
Nick Lane is a biochemist and honorary reader at University College London, where he lives. His book Power, Sex, Suicide was named an Economist Book of the Year and was shortlisted for the Aventis Science Book Prize.
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