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Everything you need to know about race (but were afraid to ask), previously published in 2015 as Black Brain, White Brain: Is Intelligence Skin Deep?.
In academic journals and on internet message boards, certain scientists and thinkers are laying siege to one of the great taboos. Could it be, they ask, that racism has a rational basis in science? These ideas are no longer limited to the fringe: race-based studies of intelligence have been discussed by thinkers such as Steven Pinker, Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson. If true, it would provide an intellectual foundation for so many of the attitudes that characterise the right wing, justifying inequality and discrimination. Gavin Evans tackles the nature vs nurture debate head-on, examining the latest studies on how intelligence develops and laying out new discoveries in genetics, palaeontology, archaeology and anthropology to unearth the truth about our shared past.
In doing so, Skin Deep demolishes the pernicious myth that our race is our destiny, and instead reveals what really makes us who we are.
"Fascinating and exhilarating-Sean B. Carroll at his very best."-Bill Bryson, author of The Body: A Guide for Occupants From acclaimed writer and biologist Sean B. Carroll, a rollicking, awe-inspiring story of the surprising power of chance in our lives and the world Why is the world the way it is? How did we get here? Does everything happen for a reason or are some things left to chance? Philosophers and theologians have pondered these questions for millennia, but startling scientific discoveries over the past half century are revealing that we live in a world driven by chance. A Series of Fortunate Events tells the story of the awesome power of chance and how it is the surprising source of all the beauty and diversity in the living world. Like every other species, we humans are here by accident. But it is shocking just how many things-any of which might never have occurred-had to happen in certain ways for any of us to exist. From an extremely improbable asteroid impact, to the wild gyrations of the Ice Age, to invisible accidents in our parents' gonads, we are all here through an astonishing series of fortunate events. And chance continues to reign every day over the razor-thin line between our life and death. This is a relatively small book about a really big idea. It is also a spirited tale. Drawing inspiration from Monty Python, Kurt Vonnegut, and other great thinkers, and crafted by one of today's most accomplished science storytellers, A Series of Fortunate Events is an irresistibly entertaining and thought-provoking account of one of the most important but least appreciated facts of life.
As a scientist, David Linden had devoted his career to understanding the brain processes and behaviors that are common to us all. That is, until a few years ago, when he found himself on OKCupid. Looking through that vast catalog of human difference, he got to thinking, where does it all come from? Why does one person have perfect pitch, a taste for hoppy beer, and an aversion to bathroom selfies? That is, what makes you, you, and me, me? In Unique, David Linden tells a riveting and accessible story of human individuality. Exploring topics that touch all of our lives-among them sexuality, gender identity, food preferences, biological rhythms, mood, personality, memory, and intelligence-Linden shows that human individuality is not simply a matter of nature versus nurture. Rather, it is a product of the complex, and often counterintuitive, interplay between our genetic blueprints and our experiences. Experience isn't just the how your parents reared you, but the diseases you have had, the foods you have eaten, the bacteria that reside in your body, the weather during your early development, and the technology you've been exposed to. Drawing all those factors together, Linden argues that human individuality is key to how we live as individuals and groups and explores how questions of individuality are informing social discussions of morality, public policy, religion, healthcare, education, and law. Like Carl Zimmer's She Has Her Mother's Laugh and Robert Sapolsky's Behave, Unique unveils a new vista on the intricacies of human existence. But, for all its brilliance and insight, this is no weighty academic tome. Told with Linden's unusual combination of authority and openness, seriousness of purpose and a great sense of humor, Unique sets a new standard for what popular science can be.
Obesity, autism, mental health problems, IBS, allergies, auto-immunity, cancer. Does the answer to the modern epidemic of `Western' diseases lie in our gut? You are 10% human. For every one of your cells, there are nine impostors hitching a ride. You are not just flesh and bone, but also bacteria and fungi. And you are more `them' than you are `you'. Your gut alone hosts 100 trillion of them and until recently we thought that our microbes didn't matter. This is all set to change as the latest scientific research tells a very different story, one where microbes run our bodies and becoming healthy is impossible without them. In this ground-breaking book, biologist Alanna Collen reveals how our personal colony of microbes influence our weight, immune system, mental health and even our choice of partner. This is a new way of understanding modern diseases - obesity, autism, mental health problems, gut disorders, allergies, auto-immunity and even cancer - as she argues they have their root in our failure to cherish our most fundamental and enduring relationship: that with our microbes. Illuminating many of the questions still unanswered by the human genome project 10% Human completely changes our understanding of diet, modern disease and medicine. The good news is that unlike our human cells, we can change our microbes for the better and this book shows you how. A revelatory and indispensable guide: life - and your body - will never seem the same again.
From an award-winning medic and scientist, the game-changing case that genetic females have greater resilience, immunity, endurance and more, compared with males 'A powerful antidote to the myth of a "weaker sex"' Gina Rippon, author of The Gendered Brain From birth, genetic females are better at fighting viruses, infections and cancer. They do better at surviving epidemics and famines. They live longer, and even see the world in a wider variety of colours. These are the facts; they are simply stronger than men at every stage of life. Why? And why are we taught the opposite? Drawing on his wide-ranging experience and cutting-edge research as a medic, geneticist and specialist in rare diseases, Dr Sharon Moalem set out to understand why women are consistently more likely than men to thrive. The answer, he reveals, lies in our genetics: the female's double XX chromosomes offer a powerful survival advantage. Moalem explains why genetic females outperform males when it comes to immunity, resilience, stamina and much more. And he calls for a long-overdue reconsideration of our male-centric, one-size-fits-all view of the body and of how we prescribe medications - a view that still frames women through the lens of men. Revolutionary, captivating and utterly persuasive, The Better Half will make you see women, men and the survival of our species anew.
Exam Board: SQA Level: Higher Subject: Human Biology First Teaching: August 2018 First Exam: May 2019 Get your best grade with comprehensive course notes and advice from Scotland's top experts, fully updated for the latest changes to SQA Higher assessment. How to Pass Higher Biology Second Edition contains all the advice and support you need to revise successfully for your Higher exam. It combines an overview of the course syllabus with advice from top experts on how to improve exam performance, so you have the best chance of success. - Revise confidently with up-to-date guidance tailored to the latest SQA assessment changes - Refresh your knowledge with comprehensive, tailored subject notes - Prepare for the exam with top tips and hints on revision techniques - Get your best grade with advice on how to gain those vital extra marks
The International Bestseller, as featured in The Times Fat is a vital yet hugely under-rated organ. Fat has become a dirty word, but we know so little about how it really works. In Fat, expert doctors and obesity researchers Dr Mariette Boon and Professor Liesbeth van Rossum present the ground-breaking research which explodes many of the myths and prejudices surrounding body fat and will make us completely rethink our relationship with it. Making use of the cutting-edge research in this specialist field, this fascinating and entertaining book will explain how fat generates important hormones, communicates with our brains and is, indeed, essential for staying alive. Informative yet accessible, Fat: The Secret Organ is important reading, not only for people who have struggled with their weight, but for everybody who is serious about their health.
Top ten Sunday Times Bestseller 'Engaging, ambitious and creative' Guardian Where are we? Are we alone? Who are we? Why are we here? What is our future? Human Universe tackles some of the greatest questions that humans have asked to try and understand the very nature of ourselves and the Universe in which we live. Through the endless leaps of human minds, it explores the extraordinary depth of our knowledge today and where our curiosity may lead us in the future. With groundbreaking insight it reveals how time, physics and chemistry came together to create a creature that can wonder at its own existence, blessed with an unquenchable thirst to discover not just where it came from, but how it can think, where it is going and if it is alone. Accompanies the acclaimed BBC TV series.
206 bones. One heart. Two eyes. Ten fingers. You may think you know what makes up a human. But it turns out our bodies are full of surprises. What makes tears of joy different from tears of sadness? Why is a gut feeling so much smarter than you think? And why is 90% of you not even human? This book turns your knowledge of the human body on its head. The effervescent van Tulleken twins bring their knowledge and charm to the page to reveal just how well our bodies keep secrets from the things that want to exploit it: bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, larger predators and, crucially, other people. They reveal the remarkable stories behind the science we are not meant to know, on matters of life and death. Leading us through these revelations are tales of everyday miracles - the human stories that bind every one of us together through the universal stages of life. Chris and Xand van Tulleken reveal the incredible abilities every human shares, leading us to discover the secrets that make every ordinary human body ... extraordinary.
The first comprehensive look at menopause from prehistory to today Are the ways we look at menopause all wrong? Historian Susan Mattern says yes, and The Slow Moon Climbs reveals just how wrong we have been. Taking readers from the rainforests of Paraguay to the streets of Tokyo, Mattern draws on historical, scientific, and cultural research to reveal how our perceptions of menopause developed from prehistory to today. For most of human history, people had no word for menopause and did not view it as a medical condition. Rather, in traditional foraging and agrarian societies, it was a transition to another important life stage. This book, then, introduces new ways of understanding life beyond fertility. Mattern examines the fascinating "Grandmother Hypothesis"-which argues for the importance of elders in the rearing of future generations-as well as other evolutionary theories that have generated surprising insights about menopause and the place of older people in society. She looks at agricultural communities where households relied on postreproductive women for the family's survival. And she explores the emergence of menopause as a medical condition in the Western world. It was only around 1700 that people began to see menopause as a dangerous pathological disorder linked to upsetting symptoms that rendered women weak and vulnerable. Mattern argues that menopause was another syndrome, like hysterical suffocation or melancholia, that emerged or reemerged in early modern Europe in tandem with the rise of a professional medical class. The Slow Moon Climbs casts menopause, at last, in the positive light it deserves-not only as an essential life stage, but also as a key factor in the history of human flourishing.
Sperm Wars turns the conventional thinking about the biology of sex on its head. Evolutionary biologist Robin Baker argues that human sexuality follows certain laws, and all of those laws are governed by one thing: sperm warfare. In the interest of promoting competition between sperm to fertilize the same egg, evolution has built men to conquer and monopolize women while women, without ever knowing they are doing it, seek the best genetic input on offer from potential sexual partners. In this book, Baker reveals, through a series of provocative fictional scenes, the far-reaching implications of sperm competition: ten percent of children are not fathered by their "fathers;" less than one percent of a man's sperm is capable of fertilizing anything (the rest is there to fight off all other men's sperm); "smart" vaginal mucus encourages some sperm but blocks others; and a woman is far more likely to conceive through a casual fling than through sex with her regular partner. From infidelity, to homosexuality, to the female orgasm, Sperm Wars turns on every light in the bedroom. Two decades after its initial publication, this classic of popular science will still surprise, entertain, and even shock.
**NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER** Why do human beings behave as they do? 'Awe-inspiring... You will learn more about human nature than in any other book I can think of' Henry Marsh, bestselling author of Do No Harm We are capable of savage acts of violence but also spectacular feats of kindness: is one side of our nature destined to win out over the other? Every act of human behaviour has multiple layers of causation, spiralling back seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, even centuries, right back to the dawn of time and the origins of our species. In the epic sweep of history, how does our biology affect the arc of war and peace, justice and persecution? How have our brains evolved alongside our cultures? This is the exhilarating story of human morality and the science underpinning the biggest question of all: what makes us human? 'One of the best scientist-writers of our time' Oliver Sacks
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Jonathan Weiner comes a fast-paced and astonishing scientific adventure story: has the long-sought secret of eternal youth at last been found?
In recent years, the dream of eternal youth has started to look like more than just a dream. In the twentieth century alone, life expectancy increased by more than thirty years--almost as much time as humans have gained in the whole span of human existence. Today a motley array of scientists, researchers, and entrepreneurs believe that another, bigger leap is at hand--that human immortality is not only possible, but attainable in our own time. Is there genius or folly in the dreams of these charismatic but eccentric thinkers?
In Long for This World, Jonathan Weiner, a natural storyteller and an intrepid reporter with a gift for making cutting-edge science understandable, takes the reader on a whirlwind intellectual quest to find out. From Berkeley to the Bronx, from Cambridge University to Dante's tomb in Ravenna, Weiner meets the leading intellectuals in the field and delves into the mind-blowing science behind the latest research. He traces the centuries-old, fascinating history of the quest for longevity in art, science, and literature, from Gilgamesh to Shakespeare, Doctor Faustus to "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."
And he tells the dramatic story of how aging could be conquered once and for all, focusing on the ideas of those who believe aging is a curable disease. Chief among them is the extraordinary Aubrey de Grey, a garrulous Englishman who bears more than a passing resemblance to Methuselah (at 969 years, the oldest man in the Bible) and who is perhaps immortality's most radical and engaging true believer.
A rollicking scientific adventure story in the grand manner of Oliver Sacks, Long for This World is science writing of the highest order and with the highest stakes. Could we live forever? And if we could...would we want to?
Our Marvelous Bodies offers a unique perspective on the structure, function, and care of the major systems of the human body. Unlike other texts that use a strictly scientific approach, physiologist Gary F. Merrill relays medical facts alongside personal stories that help students relate to and apply the information.Readers learn the basics of feedback control systems, homeostasis, and physiological gradients. These principles apply to an understanding of the body's functioning under optimal, healthy conditions, and they provide insight into states of acute and chronic illness. Separate chapters are devoted to each of the body's systems in detail: nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, reproductive, and immune. Through a series of real-life examples, the book also shows the importance of maintaining careful medical records for health care professionals, scientists, and patients alike. This book is: written in an engaging and accessible style; ideal for undergraduate courses in human physiology and advanced students of health science; and, relays medical facts with personal stories.
Where did the human species originate? Why are tropical peoples much more diverse than those at polar latitudes? Why can only Japanese peoples digest seaweed? How are darker skin, sunlight, and fertility related? Did Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens ever interbreed? In Humankind, U. C. Davis professor Alexander Harcourt answers these questions and more, as he explains how the expansion of the human species around the globe and our interaction with our environment explains much about why humans differ from one region of the world to another, not only biologically, but culturally. What effects have other species had on the distribution of humans around the world, and we, in turn, on their distribution? And how have human populations affected each other's geography, even existence? For the first time in a single book, Alexander Harcourt brings these topics together to help us understand why we are, what we are, where we are. It turns out that when one looks at humanity's expansion around the world, and in the biological explanations for our geographic diversity, we humans are often just another primate. Humanity's distribution around the world and the type of organism we are today has been shaped by the same biogeographical forces that shape other species.
Everyone has questions about death. In Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?, best-selling author and mortician Caitlin Doughty answers the most intriguing questions she's ever received about what happens to our bodies when we die. In a brisk, informative, and morbidly funny style, Doughty explores everything from ancient Egyptian death rituals and the science of skeletons to flesh-eating insects and the proper depth at which to bury your pet if you want Fluffy to become a mummy. Now featuring an interview with a clinical expert on discussing these issues with young people-the source of some of our most revealing questions about death-Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? confronts our common fear of dying with candid, honest, and hilarious facts about what awaits the body we leave behind.
The nanotechnology revolution that will transform human health and longevity Nano Comes to Life opens a window onto the nanoscale-the infinitesimal realm of proteins and DNA where physics and cellular and molecular biology meet-and introduces readers to the rapidly evolving nanotechnologies that are allowing us to manipulate the very building blocks of life. Sonia Contera gives an insider's perspective on this new frontier, revealing how nanotechnology enables a new kind of multidisciplinary science that is poised to give us control over our own biology, our health, and our lives. Drawing on her perspective as one of today's leading researchers in the field, Contera describes the exciting ways in which nanotechnology makes it possible to understand, interact with, and manipulate biology-such as by designing and building artificial structures and even machines at the nanoscale using DNA, proteins, and other biological molecules as materials. In turn, nanotechnology is revolutionizing medicine in ways that will have profound effects on our health and longevity, from nanoscale machines that can target individual cancer cells and deliver drugs more effectively, to nanoantibiotics that can fight resistant bacteria, to the engineering of tissues and organs for research, drug discovery, and transplantation. The future will bring about the continued fusion of nanotechnology with biology, physics, medicine, and cutting-edge fields like robotics and artificial intelligence, ushering us into a new "transmaterial era." As we contemplate the power, advantages, and risks of accessing and manipulating our own biology, Contera offers insight and hope that we may all share in the benefits of this revolutionary research.
A "courageous, compassionate, and rigorous every-person's guide" (Christina Bethell, PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) that shows the link between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and adult illnesses such as heart disease, autoimmune disease, and cancer-Childhood Disrupted also explains how to cope and heal from these emotional traumas. Your biography becomes your biology. The emotional trauma we suffer as children not only shapes our emotional lives as adults, but it also affects our physical health, longevity, and overall wellbeing. Scientists now know on a bio-chemical level exactly how parents' chronic fights, divorce, death in the family, being bullied or hazed, and growing up with a hypercritical, alcoholic, or mentally ill parent can leave permanent, physical "fingerprints" on our brains. When children encounter sudden or chronic adversity, stress hormones cause powerful changes in the body, altering the body's chemistry. The developing immune system and brain react to this chemical barrage by permanently resetting children's stress response to "high," which in turn can have a devastating impact on their mental and physical health as they grow up. Donna Jackson Nakazawa shares stories from people who have recognized and overcome their adverse experiences, shows why some children are more immune to stress than others, and explains why women are at particular risk. "Groundbreaking" (Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance) in its research, inspiring in its clarity, Childhood Disrupted explains how you can reset your biology-and help your loved ones find ways to heal. "A truly important gift of understanding-illuminates the heartbreaking costs of childhood trauma and like good medicine offers the promising science of healing and prevention" (Jack Kornfield, author of A Path With Heart).
In Women After All, anthropologist Melvin Konner traces the arc of evolution to explain the relationships between women and men. Drawing on colorful examples from the natural world the octopus, the black widow spider, and coral reef fish, which can switch from male to female in a single reproductive career he sheds light on our biologically different human identities and the poignant exceptions that challenge the male/female divide. We meet hunter-gatherers in Botswana whose culture gave women a prominent place, inventing the working mother and respecting women s voices around the fire. History upset this balance as a dense world of war fostered extreme male dominance. But our species has been recovering over the past two centuries, and an unstoppable move toward equality is afoot. It will not be the end of men, but it will be the end of male supremacy and a better, wiser world for women and men alike."
A fundamental and groundbreaking reassessment of how we view and manage cancer When we think of the forces driving cancer, we don't necessarily think of evolution. But evolution and cancer are closely linked, for the historical processes that created life also created cancer. The Cheating Cell delves into this extraordinary relationship, and shows that by understanding cancer's evolutionary origins, researchers can come up with more effective, revolutionary treatments. Athena Aktipis goes back billions of years to explore when unicellular forms became multicellular organisms. Within these bodies of cooperating cells, cheating ones arose, overusing resources and replicating out of control, giving rise to cancer. Aktipis illustrates how evolution has paved the way for cancer's ubiquity, and why it will exist as long as multicellular life does. Even so, she argues, this doesn't mean we should give up on treating cancer-in fact, evolutionary approaches offer new and promising options for the disease's prevention and treatments that aim at long-term management rather than simple eradication. Looking across species-from sponges and cacti to dogs and elephants-we are discovering new mechanisms of tumor suppression and the many ways that multicellular life-forms have evolved to keep cancer under control. By accepting that cancer is a part of our biological past, present, and future-and that we cannot win a war against evolution-treatments can become smarter, more strategic, and more humane. Unifying the latest research from biology, ecology, medicine, and social science, The Cheating Cell challenges us to rethink cancer's fundamental nature and our relationship to it.
Can you taste words, feel flavours as a shape, or hear colors? If so you may well have synaesthesia, a neurological condition that gives rise to a 'merging of the senses'. This Very Short Introduction describes synaesthesia's many forms, and delves into the underlying neuroscience. Explaining the scientific basis for synaesthesia, Julia Simner considers how we can measure the effects synaesthesia has on the everyday lives of people living with it. Exploring the fascinating stories of different synaesthetes' experiences of the world, she also discusses the documented links between synaesthesia, childhood development, memory, personality, and artistic creativity, and the potential limitations synaesthesia might impose. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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