One of the greatest scientific feats of our era is the astonishing progress made in understanding biology-the intricate machinery of life-a progress to which the period we are living in right now has contributed the most.
As you read these words, researchers are delving ever deeper into the workings of living systems, turning their discoveries into new medical treatments, improved methods of growing food, and innovative products that are already changing the world.
The 72 lectures in this comprehensive exploration of living systems at all levels-from biological molecules to global ecosystems-will give you all the information you need to grasp this fascinating field and its impact on both our own lives and our understanding of the life that surrounds us.
Professor Nowicki presents his subject in a conceptual format, emphasizing the importance of broad principles. Though facts and details are offered in abundance, it is always in the context of developing a context listeners can readily absorb.
Your newfound mastery of the fundamentals of biology will serve you in many ways-whether you want to read the headlines with greater insight, update a subject you studied long ago, view the natural world with new appreciation, become a better-informed voter and consumer, or gain the intellectual stimulation of understanding the basic principles that unite all living things.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2004 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2004 The Great Courses
very very interesting, next year I'm starting to study biology in University,
and I wanted a good background for it.
36 half an hour lectures is not possible,
but it was very catching and intresting
The Scope of "Life"
More on the Origin of Life
The Organism and the Cell
Proteins—How Things Get Done in the Cell
Which Molecule Holds the Code?
The Double Helix
The Nuts and Bolts of Replicating DNA
The Central Dogma
The Genetic Code
From DNA to RNA
From RNA to Protein
When Mistakes Happen
Dividing DNA Between Dividing Cells
Mendel and His Pea Plants
How Sex Leads to Variation
Genes and Chromosomes
Charles Darwin and "The Origin of Species"
Natural Selection in Action
Reconciling Darwin and Mendel
Mechanisms of Evolutionary Change
What Are Species and How Do New Ones Arise?
More on the Origin of New Species
The History of Life, Revisited
From Cells to Organisms
Control of Gene Expression I
Control of Gene Expression II
Getting Proteins to the Right Place
Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
How Cells Talk—Signals and Receptors
How Cells Talk—Ways That Cells Respond
From One Cell to Many in an Organism
Patterns of Early Development
Determination and Differentiation
Induction and Pattern Formation
Genes and Development
Hormones in Animals
What is Special about Neurons?
Action Potentials and Synapses
Synaptic Integration and Memory
How Muscles Work
The Innate Immune System
The Acquired Immune System
Form and Function in Plants I
Form and Function in Plants II
Behavior as an Adaptive Trait
Energy and Resources in Living Systems
How Energy is Harnessed by Cells
Enzymes—Making Chemistry Work in Cells
Cellular Currencies of Energy
Making ATP—Cellular Respiration
Making ATP—The Chemiosmotic Theory
Capturing Energy from Sunlight
The Reactions of Photosynthesis
Resources and Life Histories
The Structure of Populations
What Limits Population Growth?
Costs and Benefits of Behavior
Altruism and Mate Selection
Ecological Interactions Among Species
Predators and Competitors
Competition and the Ecological Niche
Energy in Ecosystems
Nutrients in Ecosystems
How Predictable Are Ecological Communities?
Human Population Growth
The Human Asteroid
I am using this audiobook to review some of the concepts I learned during my time as a Biological Sciences major. Although I am already familiar with most of the material being covered, I have been using this audiobook to review for the MCAT. I would totally recommend this to anyone looking for an easy way to review major concepts. He does an excellent job of describing mechanisms and processes in a way that is easy to comprehend. I typically listen to this while driving or on the bus. However, I should mention that this may not be an easy listen for someone who has never taken an introductory biology course at the university level. For those people, I would suggest getting a general biology book containing related figures and diagrams or better yet getting the video version of these lectures because it may be difficult to visualize certain processes just by his description.
I periodically return to lectures to see what I missed. The course is a tour-de-force. My son is taking AP Biology and plans to make a career in biology. I thought, as a lawyer and programmer who never took a college science course, that I should meet him half way. Perhaps, if I had taked a course with Prof. Nowicki, my career path would have changed.
I finally understood what the fuss was over "creation vs.evolution" and why the creationists are driving real scientists totally crazy. The classes on the origins of life, and on Darwin were fascinating and explained why treating the 2 schools of thought as "absolute truths" are completely incompatible. As an ethical guide and parable, maybe, ... but as absolute truth, modern man, committed to the scientific method finds that approach an anathema.
This was a science lecture. The discussion of the discovery of DNA was a great story.
Science is awesome
This could be terribly dry material in other hands, but Nowicki is a very good speaker, and makes things seem alive.
No, I'm listening to it on daily walks. Today I listened to the episodes about the discovery of DNA, however, and it was so gripping I walked an extra half mile to get to the end.
This is really helping me with the biology class I'm taking. Everything is explained thoroughly, but Nowicki doesn't get bogged down with details that aren't pertinent at the moment. I've been recommending this series very highly to my classmates!
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
The course explores the theory of evolution from the "primordial soup" to the modern era, followed by more relevant exploration of key biological systems and the idea of biodiversity and communities. There's some imbalances in the attention given between one topic and another, and it focuses a lot of some extremely specific processes and skims through others.
I really enjoyed this audiobook - it was well organized and highly informative. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get a sound basis of the concepts and issues of biology.
The only thing I found a little disappointing is the level of polish of the book. The narrator made several minor mistakes, which he immediately corrected, but these should have been removed during editing. In fact, there doesn't appear to have been ANY editing for this audiobook - it is more like a recorded series of university lectures than an audio book. I understand that is how it was recorded, but for the audio book version the least the editor could have done is some cleaning up ...
Great book, and congrats to Prof Nowicki for presenting the information in such an interesting way.
The book has a lot of scientific information helpful in getting a good grasp in introductory Biology. It has been helpful in repeating and revising the material learned in a university class and a great addition to the regular text book. I would recommend it to students, especially those who commute to school as a supplemental material.
The course is both wide and deep, and presents a good review material.
Very knowledgeable and passionate, carries the listener away into the scientific world.
Emotions are not a part of scientific approach.
Best use of your time if you are into the material presented.
A great place to begin even for laymen, but the fact that this audiobook is from 2003 shows. This audiobook deserves a 2nd edition.
When Junk DNA (via retro viralesque means) was talked about as a viable possibility, BTW Junk DNA has been proven wrong.
This does not mean that this audiobook is useless, as there are a lot of relevant stuff in there as well.
calm, clear, and easy to understand.
I would petition Stephen for a 2nd edition.
The way Stephen talks about the various subjects, as well as the way he structures his lessons, does credit to the initial goals, stated in lecture 1, that this is meant to be the layman's entry to the world of biology as well as useable by students seeking to get a college degree.
The title and intro (the opening lines of chapter 1) of this audiobook suggests that this is made for non-scientists as well. You cannot expect non scientists to be completely up to date on current scientific literature. Genetics happens to be an interest of mine(and i have Sadava's understanding genetics from the great courses), therefore i knew about junk DNA.
But the average curious Georges and Janes are not necessarily going to have my interest, and they will most likely not appreciate the 41$ price-tag (15 if they subscribe to audible), just to get outdated teaching material.
Now i know i have just blitzed this audiobook, but i still encourage you, dear fellow layman consumer, to at least consider this audiobook.
My tirade about junk DNA is about 5 sentences in one lecture, and junk DNA is served as a hypothesis and not as a theory, There are 72 lectures and most of this (at least to my knowledge) is still correct.
The course guidebook even comes with several graphs and models. so you get lectures as well as what is basically a biology book.
I tried to listen to it for several hours and it was tough. I am interested by biology, but I don't know much or enough to appreciate it.
Most probably no. This is the level of a student in that field. So it isn't ok for what I need.
Fabulous and captivating. This course is really "Concepts and Ideas of Biology".
I think that a basic chemistry knowledge is required to get the most of the course.
Narration was excellent. It really felt personal. Pacing was very good.
The structure of the course with its 3 axes (Evolution, Development/Homeostasis, Energy) made it really more interesting than an biology book that I have seen in school.
Then, there are plenty of small "Wow moments".
"Biology brought to life!"
This series of lectures is written and read in such a lively, engaging manner, its a pleasure to listen to and promotes effortless learning. I have been hoping in earnest for a series like this to appear (vast improvement over the lacklustre modern scholar title I tried previously) and I can't wait to sample other courses in the series.
The professor - whose performance is bright and bouncy enough to carry you the distance with his enthusiasm- gives an extremely well structured overview of the life sciences, pitched at about A level. I am fairly familiar with the material but It is suitable for those with limited knowledge of the subject- however such a reader might need to supplement their learning with diagrams from books to gain a more complete understanding of some topics.
"Brilliant lecture series"
This is a really enjoyable and engaging series of lectures. The information is clear and it gives a great in-depth overview of the subject. I was worried it would be too dumbed-down - not so.
"More than a superficial introduction to biology"
Author is very enthusiastic and very good at explaining complex subjects without dumbing down. 72 lectures is a lot, but I miss listening to them now that it is over.
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