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Biology: The Science of Life | [The Great Courses]

Biology: The Science of Life

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

©2004 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2004 The Great Courses

What Members Say

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  •  
    Eran Jerusalem, Israel 07-11-13
    Eran Jerusalem, Israel 07-11-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great for starters to biology"
    What made the experience of listening to Biology: The Science of Life the most enjoyable?

    very very interesting, next year I'm starting to study biology in University,
    and I wanted a good background for it.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    36 half an hour lectures is not possible,
    but it was very catching and intresting


    Any additional comments?

    LECTURE LIST
    1
    The Scope of "Life"
    2
    More on the Origin of Life
    3
    The Organism and the Cell
    4
    Proteins—How Things Get Done in the Cell
    5
    Which Molecule Holds the Code?
    6
    The Double Helix
    7
    The Nuts and Bolts of Replicating DNA
    8
    The Central Dogma
    9
    The Genetic Code
    10
    From DNA to RNA
    11
    From RNA to Protein
    12
    When Mistakes Happen
    13
    Dividing DNA Between Dividing Cells
    14
    Mendel and His Pea Plants
    15
    How Sex Leads to Variation
    16
    Genes and Chromosomes
    17
    Charles Darwin and "The Origin of Species"
    18
    Natural Selection in Action
    19
    Reconciling Darwin and Mendel
    20
    Mechanisms of Evolutionary Change
    21
    What Are Species and How Do New Ones Arise?
    22
    More on the Origin of New Species
    23
    Reconstructing Evolution
    24
    The History of Life, Revisited
    25
    From Cells to Organisms
    26
    Control of Gene Expression I
    27
    Control of Gene Expression II
    28
    Getting Proteins to the Right Place
    29
    Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
    30
    How Cells Talk—Signals and Receptors
    31
    How Cells Talk—Ways That Cells Respond
    32
    From One Cell to Many in an Organism
    33
    Patterns of Early Development
    34
    Determination and Differentiation
    35
    Induction and Pattern Formation
    36
    Genes and Development
    37
    Homeostasis
    38
    Hormones in Animals
    39
    What is Special about Neurons?
    40
    Action Potentials and Synapses
    41
    Synaptic Integration and Memory
    42
    Sensory Function
    43
    How Muscles Work
    44
    The Innate Immune System
    45
    The Acquired Immune System
    46
    Form and Function in Plants I
    47
    Form and Function in Plants II
    48
    Behavior as an Adaptive Trait
    49
    Energy and Resources in Living Systems
    50
    How Energy is Harnessed by Cells
    51
    Enzymes—Making Chemistry Work in Cells
    52
    Cellular Currencies of Energy
    53
    Making ATP—Glycolysis
    54
    Making ATP—Cellular Respiration
    55
    Making ATP—The Chemiosmotic Theory
    56
    Capturing Energy from Sunlight
    57
    The Reactions of Photosynthesis
    58
    Resources and Life Histories
    59
    The Structure of Populations
    60
    Population Growth
    61
    What Limits Population Growth?
    62
    Costs and Benefits of Behavior
    63
    Altruism and Mate Selection
    64
    Ecological Interactions Among Species
    65
    Predators and Competitors
    66
    Competition and the Ecological Niche
    67
    Energy in Ecosystems
    68
    Nutrients in Ecosystems
    69
    How Predictable Are Ecological Communities?
    70
    Biogeography
    71
    Human Population Growth
    72
    The Human Asteroid

    45 of 45 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia 04-25-14
    Patricia 04-25-14
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    "Great purchase even for a bio major!"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg United States 09-21-13
    Greg United States 09-21-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Absolutely fantastic!"
    Where does Biology: The Science of Life rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best audio books I have listened to. Every learned something from every chapter. A must listen for beginners or anyone interested in biology!


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linnie Kate Schmidt Vallejo, CA 02-16-14
    Linnie Kate Schmidt Vallejo, CA 02-16-14

    slacker

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    "Engaging and Edifying"
    If you could sum up Biology: The Science of Life in three words, what would they be?

    Science is awesome


    What about Professor Stephen Nowicki’s performance did you like?

    This could be terribly dry material in other hands, but Nowicki is a very good speaker, and makes things seem alive.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saud United States 02-02-14
    Saud United States 02-02-14 Member Since 2007

    Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thorough"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rose Blau Rowland Cortlandt Manor, NY United States 01-20-14
    Rose Blau Rowland Cortlandt Manor, NY United States 01-20-14 Member Since 2006

    Sophy Westin

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    "Learn to Talk to your Son"
    Would you listen to Biology: The Science of Life again? Why?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Biology: The Science of Life?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by Professor Stephen Nowicki – was your favorite?

    This was a science lecture. The discussion of the discovery of DNA was a great story.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alina MANASSAS, VA, United States 08-08-13
    Alina MANASSAS, VA, United States 08-08-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Excellent book for Biology lovers"
    Would you listen to Biology: The Science of Life again? Why?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Biology: The Science of Life?

    The course is both wide and deep, and presents a good review material.


    What about Professor Stephen Nowicki’s performance did you like?

    Very knowledgeable and passionate, carries the listener away into the scientific world.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Emotions are not a part of scientific approach.


    Any additional comments?

    Best use of your time if you are into the material presented.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frederic Leusch Brisbane, Qld, Australia 03-13-14
    Frederic Leusch Brisbane, Qld, Australia 03-13-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Great and far-ranging overview of biology"
    Would you listen to Biology: The Science of Life again? Why?

    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.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    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 ...


    Any additional comments?

    Great book, and congrats to Prof Nowicki for presenting the information in such an interesting way.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-8 of 8 results
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  • G. Hodges
    uk
    8/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Biology brought to life!"
    What made the experience of listening to Biology: The Science of Life the most enjoyable?

    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.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Florence Delaney
    9/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant lecture series"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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