One hundred thousand years ago, at least six human species inhabited the Earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations, and human rights; to trust money, books, and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism?
"Sums it up nicely"
The extraordinary Siddhartha Mukherjee has written a biography of the gene as deft, brilliant, and illuminating as his extraordinarily successful biography of cancer. Weaving science, social history, and personal narrative to tell us the story of one of the most important conceptual breakthroughs of modern times, Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.
"It's a Wonderful Book"
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.
We're all getting older every day, and scientific research has shown that starting in our 20s, some brain functions begin a linear decline. But is old age all doom and gloom? Not at all! While it's true that some functions in the aging brain decline, neuroscientists have discovered that many other brain functions remain stable - or even improve - as we age.
"Getting Older Smarter!"
We have a lifetime's association with our bodies, but for many of us they remain uncharted territory. In Adventures in Human Being, Gavin Francis leads the listener on a journey through health and illness, offering insights on everything from the ribbed surface of the brain to the secret workings of the heart and the womb; from the pulse of life at the wrist to the unique engineering of the foot.
"The anecdotes in this writing are entertaining."
Millions of people visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. His stick-figure drawings about science, technology, language, and love have a large and passionate following. Fans of xkcd ask Munroe a lot of strange questions. What if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent of the speed of light? How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? If there were a robot apocalypse, how long would humanity last?
"Just two words needed."
Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers' genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship.
"If you have an open mind... Give it a listen"
Richard Dawkins' brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of the study of social biology, and have forced thousands to rethink their beliefs about life.
"Better than print!"
The Human Superorganism makes a sweeping, paradigm-shifting argument. It demolishes two fundamental beliefs that have blinkered all medical thinking until very recently: 1) humans are better off as pure organisms free of foreign microbes; and 2) the human genome is the key to future medical advances. The microorganisms that we have sought to eliminate have been there for centuries, supporting our ancestors.
Since Darwin's day, we've been told that sexual monogamy comes naturally to our species. Mainstream science - as well as religious and cultural institutions - has maintained that men and women evolved in families in which a man's possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman's fertility and fidelity. But this narrative is collapsing....
"Strawmen and Ad Hominems"
Sparked by a provocative comment to BigThink.com last fall, and fueled by a highly controversial debate with Creation Museum curator Ken Ham, Bill Nye's campaign to confront the scientific shortcoming of creationism has exploded in just a few months into a national crusade.
"Bill Nye's case for evolution is Undeniably good"
In Brain Rules for Baby, Dr. John Medina shares what the latest science says about how to raise smart and happy children from zero to five. This book is destined to revolutionize parenting. Just one of the surprises: The best way to get your children into the college of their choice? Teach them impulse control. Brain Rules for Baby bridges the gap between what scientists know and what parents practice.
"The Only Baby Book I'd Recommend"
Origins explains the soul-stirring leaps in our understanding of the cosmos. From the first image of a galaxy birth to Spirit rover's exploration of Mars, to the discovery of water on one of Jupiter's moons, coauthors Neil deGrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith conduct a galvanizing tour of the cosmos with clarity and exuberance.
Since the publication of The Biology of Belief, Dr. Bruce Lipton has received widespread acclaim as one of the most accessible and knowledgeable voices of "new biology". The science is called epigenetics a revolutionary field that shows us how the energy of consciousness is as important in shaping life on earth as DNA and chemistry.
"Audiobook or speech?"
In the New York Times bestseller Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina, a molecular biologist, shares his lifelong interest in how the brain sciences might influence the way we teach our children and the way we work. In each chapter, he describes a brain rule - what scientists know for sure about how our brains work - and then offers transformative ideas for our daily lives. Medina’s fascinating stories and infectious sense of humor breathe life into brain science.
De Waal reviews the rise and fall of the mechanistic view of animals and opens our minds to the idea that animal minds are far more intricate and complex than we have assumed. De Waal's landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you thought you knew about animal - and human - intelligence.
"Finally the science catches up"
Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can’t walk for a year? Have sex? Smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour?
"Everything You Always Wanted to Know - and More"
The Earth teems with life: in its oceans, forests, skies, and cities. Yet there's a black hole at the heart of biology. We do not know why complex life is the way it is, or, for that matter, how life first began. In The Vital Question, award-winning author and biochemist Nick Lane radically reframes evolutionary history, putting forward a solution to conundrums that have puzzled generations of scientists.
"A must read for the interested, literate nonscientist"
The study of sexual physiology has been a paying career or a diverting sideline for scientists as far-ranging as Leonardo da Vinci and James Watson. The research has taken place behind the closed doors of laboratories, brothels, MRI centers, pig farms, sex-toy R&D labs, and Alfred Kinsey's attic.
Mary Roach, "The funniest science writer in the country", devoted the past two years to stepping behind those doors. In Bonk, Roach shows us how and why sexual arousal and orgasm can be so hard to achieve and what science is doing to slowly make the bedroom a more satisfying place.
A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days, 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic "hot" virus. The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their "crashes" into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.
"If you love viruses and gore and non-fiction..."
Early in 2013 Neil Hayward was at a crossroads. He didn't want to open a bakery or whatever else executives do when they quit a lucrative but unfulfilling job. He didn't want to think about his failed relationship with 'the one' or his potential for ruining a new relationship with 'the next one'. And he almost certainly didn't want to think about turning 40. And so instead he went birding. Birding was a lifelong passion. It was only among the birds that Neil found a calm that had eluded him in the confusing world of humans.
In his new book, The Simple Heart Cure, you'll find this top doc's groundbreaking approach to preventing and reversing heart disease - an approach honed by his study of foreign cultures free of heart disease and decades of experience helping patients achieve a healthier heart at any age. Dr. Crandall is living proof of his program's success.
The Allergy Solution by Leo Galland and Jonathan Galland is a self-help book for people who want to understand the root causes of allergies, how they manifest biologically, and how to heal them naturally without resorting to potentially harmful drugs. In his four decades as an internist, Leo Galland has healed a range of common allergic diseases, such as hay fever and eczema, as well as an increasing number of hidden allergies, which can result in weight gain, mood swings, poor digestion, and more.
A dog is a four-legged animal with a wagging tail, with a very cold wet nose, and a huge big heart full of unconditional love. Dogs are in fact very much like human beings - they come in all sizes; tall, short, thick, thin, hairy, bald, and noisy, or quiet. When it comes to owning a pet as a companion, there is no other animal who can accompany you everywhere you go.
At 22 Julie Barton collapsed on her kitchen floor in Manhattan. She was one year out of college and severely depressed. Summoned by Julie's incoherent phone call, her mother raced from Ohio to New York and took her home. Psychiatrists, therapists and family tried to intervene, but nothing reached her until the day she decided to do one hopeful thing: adopt a golden retriever puppy she named Bunker.
The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee describes the history of genetic research, the impact of genetic inheritance on his family, and the potential for future applications of gene science. Mukherjee's father and uncles struggled with disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, both of which are linked to genetic mutations. After centuries of conjecture about the nature of familial inheritance, naturalist Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution in 1859.
Until recently, Zika virus - once considered a mild disease - was hardly a cause for global panic. But as early as August 2015, doctors in Brazil's northeast region began to notice a trend: Many mothers who had recently experienced Zika symptoms were giving birth to babies with microcephaly, a serious disorder characterized by unusually small heads and brain damage. By the beginning of 2016, Zika was making headlines as evidence mounted, and eventually confirmed, that microcephaly is a direct result of the virus.
There are redwoods in California that were ancient by the time Columbus first landed and pines still alive that germinated around the time humans invented writing. There are Douglas firs as tall as skyscrapers and a banyan tree in Calcutta as big as a football field. From the tallest to the smallest, trees inspire wonder in all of us, and in The Tree, Colin Tudge travels around the world - throughout the United States, the Costa Rican rain forest, Panama and Brazil, India, New Zealand, China, and most of Europe - bringing to life stories and facts about the trees around us.
The advance of genetics completely changed the modern world, making it possible to, for example, create clones, resistant transgenic crops to pests, perform paternity tests and solve crimes, map diseases, and perform genetic counseling. In this book on genetics, you will check the prepared topics below to see what's new in the field of genetics and to understand the principles that guide this biology field.
How are eggs of different shapes made, and why are they the shapes they are? When does the shell of an egg harden? Why do some eggs contain two yolks? How are the colours and patterns of eggshells created, and why do they vary? And which end of an egg is laid first - the blunt end or the pointy end?
With breakthroughs in modern technology, we have been able to successfully curtail many of these diseases. However, that does not mean we are immune from future outbreaks. For example, HIV may not be the bubonic plague, but it has devastated millions of lives and continues to do so despite the new drugs that control it. We recently had an outbreak of Ebola in Africa that managed to hitch a ride back to the United States and other western countries. It doesn't take that much for a pandemic to take root.
The living dead are often thought to be exclusive to movies and dreams, but in this quick book you will see your nightmares come to life. Cotard's Syndrome is a very rare and mysterious illness in which the victim truly believes they are dead, and they certainly act the part. Several cases include a woman who believes she doesn't have a brain or stomach, a man who believes he's gone to Hell and can't leave, and an elderly lady who sleeps in a coffin. It may sound crazy, but these horrifying accounts are all true.
If you suffer from tinnitus, you know about the discomfort. Take a positive step in not allowing this condition to control your life. This book will educate you on the diseases or conditions which bring about tinnitus. Listeners will also learn about the symptoms, effects, and the proper diagnosis of tinnitus. Learn about the natural cures currently in use and medical procedures and techniques available. Learn about talk therapy, sound therapy and other management techniques.
How can we ever be sure that we really know the other? To test the limits of our ability to inhabit lives that are not our own, Charles Foster set out to know the ultimate other: the nonhumans, the beasts. And to do that, he tried to be like them, choosing a badger, an otter, a fox, a deer, and a swift.
This short book focuses on reasons why human cryopreservation and cryonics is ultimately desirable. This is done by examining specific reasons why utilizing cryonics may be beneficial, and also by examining potential objections to utilizing cryonics and why these are ultimately likely unfounded. Whether or not to try and utilize cryopreservation is ultimately a personal choice and this book attempts to help provide a way of making a more informed personal decision.
"To Be or, Not to Be...Cryo-Preserved"
Humans are awesome. Our brains are gigantic, seven times larger than they should be for the size of our bodies. The human brain uses 25 percent of all the energy the body requires each day. And it became enormous in a very short amount of time in evolution, allowing us to leave our cousins, the great apes, behind. So the human brain is special, right? Wrong, according to Suzana Herculano-Houzel. Humans have developed cognitive abilities that outstrip those of all other animals but not because we are evolutionary outliers.
"Take That Raw Foods!"
For decades, medical science has believed that genes determined our biological destiny. Now the new genetics has changed that assumption forever. You will always have the genes you were born with, but genes are dynamic, responding to everything we think, say, and do. Suddenly they've become our strongest allies for personal transformation. When you make lifestyle choices that optimize how your genes behave, you can reach for a state of health and fulfillment undreamed of even a decade ago.
In Cracking the Aging Code, theoretical biologist Josh Mitteldorf and award-winning writer and ecological philosopher Dorion Sagan reveal that evolution and aging are even more complex and breathtaking than we originally thought. Using meticulous multidisciplinary science as well as reviewing the history of our understanding about evolution, this book makes the case that aging is not something that "just happens", nor is it the result of wear and tear or a genetic inevitability.
Our gut is almost as important to us as our brain, yet we know very little about how it works. Gut: The Inside Story is an entertaining, informative tour of the digestive system from the moment we raise a tasty morsel to our lips until the moment our body surrenders the remnants to the toilet bowl. No topic is too lowly for the author's wonder and admiration, from the careful choreography of breaking wind to the precise internal communication required for a cleansing vomit.
"Best Gut Microbe Book Around"
The Blind Watchmaker, knowledgably narrated by author Richard Dawkins, is as prescient and timely a book as ever. The watchmaker belongs to the 18th-century theologian William Paley, who argued that just as a watch is too complicated and functional to have sprung into existence by accident, so too must all living things, with their far greater complexity, be purposefully designed. Charles Darwin's brilliant discovery challenged the creationist arguments; but only Richard Dawkins could have written this elegant riposte.
"Challenging textbook more than an enjoyable listen"
The whole of Western natural philosophy is undergoing a sea change, forced upon us by the experimental findings of quantum theory. At the same time, these findings have increased our doubt and uncertainty about traditional physical explanations of the universe's genesis and structure. Biocentrism completes this shift in worldview, turning the planet upside down again with the revolutionary view that life creates the universe instead of the other way around.
"Mystical hogwash, but I loved it."
A riveting investigation of the myriad ways that parasites control how other creatures - including humans - think, feel, and act. These tiny organisms can live only inside another animal, and, as McAuliffe reveals, they have many evolutionary motives for manipulating their host's behavior. Far more often than appreciated, these puppeteers orchestrate the interplay between predator and prey.
A riveting exploration of how microbes are transforming the way we see nature and ourselves - and could revolutionize agriculture and medicine. Prepare to set aside what you think you know about yourself and microbes. Good health - for people and for plants - depends on Earth's smallest creatures. The Hidden Half of Nature tells the story of our tangled relationship with microbes and their potential to revolutionize agriculture and medicine, from garden to gut.
The key to living a happier, healthier life is inside us. Our gut is almost as important to us as our brain or our heart, yet we know very little about how it works. In Gut, Giulia Enders shows that rather than the utilitarian and - let's be honest - somewhat embarrassing body part we imagine it to be, it is one of the most complex, important, and even miraculous parts of our anatomy.
Deep is a voyage from the ocean's surface to its darkest trenches, the most mysterious places on Earth. Fascinated by the sport of freediving - in which competitors descend to great depths on a single breath - James Nestor embeds with a gang of oceangoing extreme athletes and renegade researchers. He finds whales that communicate with other whales hundreds of miles away, sharks that swim in unerringly straight lines through pitch-black waters, and other strange phenomena.
Why evolution is more than just a theory: it is a fact. In all the current highly publicized debates about creationism and its descendant "intelligent design", there is an element of the controversy that is rarely mentioned: the evidence, the empirical truth of evolution by natural selection.
"Perfect !! Just what I was looking for."
Seventy years ago, Erwin Schrdinger posed a simple, yet profound, question: What is life?. How could the very existence of such extraordinary chemical systems be understood? This problem has puzzled biologists and physical scientists both before, and ever since. Living things are hugely complex and have unique properties, such as self-maintenance and apparently purposeful behaviour which we do not see in inert matter. So how does chemistry give rise to biology?
"Profound & Life Changing..."
The emergence of strange new diseases is a frightening problem that seems to be getting worse. In this age of speedy travel, it threatens a worldwide pandemic. We hear news reports of Ebola, SARS, AIDS, and something called Hendra killing horses and people in Australia - but those reports miss the big truth that such phenomena are part of a single pattern. The bugs that transmit these diseases share one thing: they originate in wild animals and pass to humans by a process called spillover. David Quammen tracks this subject around the world.
"Fascinating, but not Riveting"
In their latest audiobook, Joe Kirschvink and Peter Ward will show that many of our most cherished beliefs about the evolution of life are wrong. Gathering and analyzing years of discoveries and research not yet widely known to the public, A New History of Life proposes a different origin of species than the one Darwin proposed, one which includes eight-foot-long centipedes, a frozen snowball Earth, and the seeds for life originating on Mars.
"Perspective worth reading"
Are men literally born to cheat? Does monogamy actually serve women's interests? These are among the questions that have made The Moral Animal one of the most provocative science books in recent years. Wright unveils the genetic strategies behind everything from our sexual preferences to our office politics - as well as their implications for our moral codes and public policies.
"A Masterpiece of Science Writing"
A dazzling tour of the universe as Einstein saw it. How did Albert Einstein come up with the theories that changed the way we look at the world? By thinking in pictures. Michio Kaku, leading theoretical physicist (a cofounder of string theory) and best-selling science storyteller, shows how Einstein used seemingly simple images to lead a revolution in science. With originality and expertise, Kaku uncovers the surprising beauty that lies at the heart of Einstein's cosmos
In this lively and illuminating discussion of his landmark research, esteemed primatologist Frans de Waal argues that human morality is not imposed from above but instead comes from within. Moral behavior does not begin and end with religion but is in fact a product of evolution. For many years, de Waal has observed chimpanzees soothe distressed neighbors and bonobos share their food. Now he delivers fascinating fresh evidence for the seeds of ethical behavior in primate societies that further cements the case for the biological origins of human fairness.
"Great research on apes, bad research on humans"
In a book that is both groundbreaking and accessible, Daniel C. Dennett, whom Chet Raymo of The Boston Globe calls "one of the most provocative thinkers on the planet", focuses his unerringly logical mind on the theory of natural selection, showing how Darwin's great idea transforms and illuminates our traditional view of humanity's place in the universe. Dennett vividly describes the theory itself and then extends Darwin's vision with impeccable arguments to their often surprising conclusions, challenging the views of some of the most famous scientists of our day.
"Sky Hooks need not apply."
In an engaging tour of the science and history of cheese, Michael Tunick explores the art of cheese making, the science that lies underneath the deliciousness, and the history behind how humanity came up with one of its most varied and versatile of foods. Dr. Tunick spends his everyday deep within the halls of the science of cheese, as a researcher who creates new dairy products, primarily, cheeses.
"Science, Humor, Education and Brilliance"