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This title in other editions

The Wild Life of Our Bodies: Predators, Parasites, and Partners That Shape Who We Are Today

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The Wild Life of Our Bodies: Predators, Parasites, and Partners That Shape Who We Are Today Cover

ISBN13: 9780061806483
ISBN10: 006180648x
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A biologist shows the influence of wild species on our well-being and the world and how nature still clings to us—and always will.

We evolved in a wilderness of parasites, mutualists, and pathogens, but we no longer see ourselves as being part of nature and the broader community of life. In the name of progress and clean living, we scrub much of nature off our bodies and try to remove whole kinds of life—parasites, bacteria, mutualists, and predators—to allow ourselves to live free of wild danger. Nature, in this new world, is the landscape outside, a kind of living painting that is pleasant to contemplate but nice to have escaped.

The truth, though, according to biologist Rob Dunn, is that while "clean living" has benefited us in some ways, it has also made us sicker in others. We are trapped in bodies that evolved to deal with the dependable presence of hundreds of other species. As Dunn reveals, our modern disconnect from the web of life has resulted in unprecedented effects that immunologists, evolutionary biologists, psychologists, and other scientists are only beginning to understand. Diabetes, autism, allergies, many anxiety disorders, autoimmune diseases, and even tooth, jaw, and vision problems are increasingly plaguing bodies that have been removed from the ecological context in which they existed for millennia.

In this eye-opening, thoroughly researched, and well-reasoned book, Dunn considers the crossroads at which we find ourselves. Through the stories of visionaries, Dunn argues that we can create a richer nature, one in which we choose to surround ourselves with species that benefit us, not just those that, despite us, survive.

Review:

"In this snappy, popular science look at the human condition, North Carolina State biologist Dunn (Every Living Thing) argues that our lives and our bodily functions (including the immune system) are intimately linked to species that live on and around us. Dunn offers lots of eye-popping biological tidbits — such as how worms may set you free if you suffer from a variety of stomach disorders; or the supposedly useless appendix actually helps the microbes in our guts; and scary movies satisfy our brain parts that still tell us we're being chased by predators. Ticks and lice may have triggered our relatively hairless evolution. Yet there's far more than fun facts; Dunn begs us to look toward a future in which we interact more with the species we have moved away from. Dunn challenges us to view a 'web of life in which we evolved, that once shaped us and whose rediscovery could benefit our bodies and our health.' (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

“Anextraordinary book…. With clarity and charm [Dunn] takes the reader into theoverlap of medicine, ecology, and evolutionary biology to reveal an importantdomain of the human condition.” —EdwardO. Wilson, author of Anthill and The Future of Life

BiologistRob Dunn reveals the crucial influence that other species have upon our health,our well-being, and our world in The WildLife of Our Bodies—a fascinating tour through the hidden truths of natureand codependence. Dunn illuminates the nuanced, often imperceptible relationshipsthat exist between homo sapiens and other species, relationships that underpinhumanitys ability to thrive and prosper in every circumstance. Readers ofMichael Pollans TheOmnivores Dilemma will be enthralled by Dunns powerful, lucid explorationof the role that humankind plays within the greater web of life on Earth.

About the Author

Rob Dunn is an assistant professor in the department of biology at North Carolina State University. An up-and-coming science popularizer, he has written for National Geographic, Natural History, Scientific American, BBC Wildlife, and Seed magazines. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

nrlymrtl, January 4, 2013 (view all comments by nrlymrtl)
This book was incredibly fun nonfiction to read. While of great interest to anyone with a bioscience bend, you don’t have to be scientifically minded to enjoy this book. Indeed, the concepts contained in this work are laid out for everyone to enjoy and access. In fact, Rob Dunn often waxes nearly poetic in his passion to imbue this book, and his readers, with knowledge. There are also many footnotes containing esoteric, yet highly amusing, information. For centuries, humans have tried to live apart from the world, cleaning, dousing, shaving, medicating away any other living organism on or near our pristine bodies. But perhaps that has not been the wisest course; after all, the human body, and it’s immune system, evolved over millennium to coexist with these little, microscopic organisms. In this book, this taboo subject is covered.
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Carol Reuther, January 2, 2013 (view all comments by Carol Reuther)
This was one of the most intriguing and fascinating books that I have ever read. So much to learn about our bodies that I had no idea about. It's as if our bodies are cities with many tiny inhabitants, from bacteria and viruses to worms. Really enjoyed learning so much.
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Mary Ann Dimand, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by Mary Ann Dimand)
A fascinating, intimately ecological account of how humans and other mammals make part of biological networks. Anthropological, medical, historical, and biological stories amplify the story of how we live best in balance with microorganisms and macro-competitors despite our mental clinging to absolute notions of purity and safety.
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View all 5 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061806483
Author:
Dunn, Rob
Publisher:
HarperTorch
Author:
Dunn, Rob R.
Subject:
General science
Subject:
Health and Medicine-Medical Specialties
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series Volume:
Predators, Parasites
Publication Date:
20110631
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.01 in 17.6 oz

Related Subjects

» Children's » General
» Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
» Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » History of Medicine
» Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
» Reference » Science Reference » General
» Science and Mathematics » Biology » General
» Science and Mathematics » Biology » Microbiology
» Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General
» Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Biology

The Wild Life of Our Bodies: Predators, Parasites, and Partners That Shape Who We Are Today New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$26.99 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Harper - English 9780061806483 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this snappy, popular science look at the human condition, North Carolina State biologist Dunn (Every Living Thing) argues that our lives and our bodily functions (including the immune system) are intimately linked to species that live on and around us. Dunn offers lots of eye-popping biological tidbits — such as how worms may set you free if you suffer from a variety of stomach disorders; or the supposedly useless appendix actually helps the microbes in our guts; and scary movies satisfy our brain parts that still tell us we're being chased by predators. Ticks and lice may have triggered our relatively hairless evolution. Yet there's far more than fun facts; Dunn begs us to look toward a future in which we interact more with the species we have moved away from. Dunn challenges us to view a 'web of life in which we evolved, that once shaped us and whose rediscovery could benefit our bodies and our health.' (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , “Anextraordinary book…. With clarity and charm [Dunn] takes the reader into theoverlap of medicine, ecology, and evolutionary biology to reveal an importantdomain of the human condition.” —EdwardO. Wilson, author of Anthill and The Future of Life

BiologistRob Dunn reveals the crucial influence that other species have upon our health,our well-being, and our world in The WildLife of Our Bodies—a fascinating tour through the hidden truths of natureand codependence. Dunn illuminates the nuanced, often imperceptible relationshipsthat exist between homo sapiens and other species, relationships that underpinhumanitys ability to thrive and prosper in every circumstance. Readers ofMichael Pollans TheOmnivores Dilemma will be enthralled by Dunns powerful, lucid explorationof the role that humankind plays within the greater web of life on Earth.

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