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David Christian, creator of Big History ('My favourite course of all time' Bill Gates), brings us the epic story of the universe and our place in it, from 13.8 billion years ago to the remote future 'Nails home the point: Life is a miracle ... A compelling history of everything' Washington Post 'Spectacular' Carlo Rovelli How did we get from the Big Bang to today's staggering complexity, in which seven billion humans are connected into networks powerful enough to transform the planet? And why, in comparison, are our closest primate relatives reduced to near-extinction? Big History creator David Christian gives the answers in a mind-expanding cosmological detective story told on the grandest possible scale. He traces how, during eight key thresholds, the right conditions have allowed new forms of complexity to arise, from stars to galaxies, Earth to homo sapiens, agriculture to fossil fuels. This last mega-innovation gave us an energy bonanza that brought huge benefits to mankind, yet also threatens to shake apart everything we have created. 'Rather like the Big Bang, the book is awe-inspiring ... Superb' The Times 'With fascinating ideas on every page and the page-turning energy of a good thriller, this is a landmark work' Sir Ken Robinson, author of The Element
'Mind-blowing ... It is a hugely important book ... His story is crucial' Matt Ridley, The Times One of the world's top behavioural geneticists argues that we need a radical rethink about what makes us who we are The blueprint for our individuality lies in the 1% of DNA that differs between people. Our intellectual capacity, our introversion or extraversion, our vulnerability to mental illness, even whether we are a morning person - all of these aspects of our personality are profoundly shaped by our inherited DNA differences. In Blueprint, Robert Plomin, a pioneer in the field of behavioural genetics, draws on a lifetime's worth of research to make the case that DNA is the most important factor shaping who we are. Our families, schools and the environment around us are important, but they are not as influential as our genes. This is why, he argues, teachers and parents should accept children for who they are, rather than trying to mould them in certain directions. Even the environments we choose and the signal events that impact our lives, from divorce to addiction, are influenced by our genetic predispositions. Now, thanks to the DNA revolution, it is becoming possible to predict who we will become, at birth, from our DNA alone. As Plomin shows us, these developments have sweeping implications for how we think about parenting, education, and social mobility. A game-changing book by a leader in the field, Blueprint shows how the DNA present in the single cell with which we all begin our lives can impact our behaviour as adults.
We like to think of ourselves as highly evolved creatures. But if we are evolution's greatest creation, why are we so badly designed? We have retinas that face backward, the stump of a tail, and way too many bones in our wrists. We must find vitamins and nutrients in our diets that other animals simply make for themselves. Millions of us can't reproduce successfully without help from modern science. We have nerves that take bizarre paths, muscles that attach to nothing, and lymph nodes that do more harm than good. And that's just the beginning of the story. As biologist Nathan H. Lents explains, our evolutionary history is a litany of mistakes, each more entertaining and enlightening than the last. As we will discover, by exploring human shortcomings, we can peer into our past, because each of our flaws tells a story about our species' evolutionary history. A rollicking, deeply informative tour of our four-billion-year-long evolutionary saga, Human Errors both celebrates our imperfections - for our mutations are, in their own way, a testament to our species' greatness - and offers an unconventional accounting of the cost of our success.
An all-in-one illustrated guide to human anatomy with encyclopedic coverage from bones and muscles to systems and processes. This in-depth manual to the human body's physical structure, chemical workings, and potential problems is a must-have reference to help further your studies or knowledge of how our bodies work.
Each page of The Human Body Book, updated to reflect the latest medical advances, is illustrated with colourful and comprehensive diagrams, which are thoroughly annotated to take you right into the cells and fibres that are responsible for keeping the human body ticking.
The opening chapter, Integrated Body, explains how the parts of the body work together at various levels of size and hierarchy to produce the living whole. It also contains an overview of the major body systems, enlivened by real-life 3D medical scans of the entire body. The chapters that follow provide coverage of the body function by function, system by system. Eleven main body systems are covered in turn, with each section ending on common injuries, diseases, and disorders afflicting that system. The book concludes with a chapter on Growth and Development which looks in detail at how the body changes over the course of a human lifespan.
The past few years have seen a revolution in our ability to map whole genome DNA from ancient humans. With the ancient DNA revolution, combined with rapid genome mapping of present human populations, has come remarkable insights into our past. This important new data has clarified and added to our knowledge from archaeology and anthropology, helped resolve long-existing controversies, challenged long-held views, and thrown up some remarkable surprises. The emerging picture is one of many waves of ancient human migrations, so that all populations existing today are mixes of ancient ones, as well as in many cases carrying a genetic component from Neanderthals, and, in some populations, Denisovans. David Reich, whose team has been at the forefront of these discoveries, explains what the genetics is telling us about ourselves and our complex and often surprising ancestry. Gone are old ideas of any kind of racial 'purity', or even deep and ancient divides between peoples. Instead, we are finding a rich variety of mixtures. Reich describes the cutting-edge findings from the past few years, and also considers the sensitivities involved in tracing ancestry, with science sometimes jostling with politics and tradition. He brings an important wider message: that we should celebrate our rich diversity, and recognize that every one of us is the result of a long history of migration and intermixing of ancient peoples, which we carry as ghosts in our DNA. What will we discover next?
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.
In recent years recovery has become a sports and fitness buzzword. Anyone who works out or competes at any level is bombarded with the latest recovery products and services: from drinks and shakes to compression sleeves, foam rollers, electrical muscle stimulators, and sleep trackers. In Good to Go, acclaimed FiveThirtyEight science writer Christie Aschwanden takes readers on an entertaining and enlightening tour through this strange world. She investigates whether drinking Gatorade or beer after training helps or hinders performance; she examines the latest trends among athletes, from NFL star Tom Brady's infrared pajamas to gymnast Simone Biles' pneumatic compression boots to swimmer Michael Phelps's "cupping" ritual; and she tests some of the most controversial methods herself, including cryochambers, float tanks, and infrared saunas. At a time when the latest recovery products and services promise so much, Good to Go seeks answers to the fundamental question: Do any of them actually help the body recover and achieve peak performance?
***'Awe-inspiring... You will learn more about human nature than in any other book I can think of' Henry Marsh THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER / WINNER OF THE 2017 LA TIMES BOOK PRIZE 'One of the best scientist-writers of our time' Oliver Sacks Why do human beings behave as they do? 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?
'Awe-inspiring ... the best scientific book written for non-specialists that I have ever read. You will learn more about human nature than in any other book I can think of, and you will be inspired' Henry Marsh, author of Do No Harm A ground-breaking synthesis of the entire science of human behaviour by 'one of the best scientist-writers of our time' (Oliver Sacks) -- 'It's no exaggeration to say that Behave is one of the best nonfiction books I've ever read' Wall Street Journal 'They should put Behave in hotel rooms instead of the Bible: the world would be a much better, wiser place' Kate Fox, author of Watching the English Why do we do what we do? Behave is at once a dazzling tour and a majestic synthesis of the whole science of human behaviour. Brought to life through simple language, engaging stories and irreverent wit, it offers the fullest picture yet of the origins of tribalism and xenophobia, hierarchy and competition, morality and free will, war and peace. Robert Sapolsky's ingenious method is to move backwards in time from the moment at which a behaviour occurs, layer by layer through the myriad influences that led to it: - We begin with the split-second reactions of the brain and nervous system... - Then we consider our response to sight, sound and smell in the minutes and seconds beforehand... - Next he explains the interactions of hormones, which prime our behaviour in the preceding hours and days... - He proceeds through the experiences of adolescence, childhood and foetal development that shape us over our lifespans... - And continues over centuries and millennia through the profound influences of genetic inheritance, cultural context and ultimately the evolutionary origins of our species. Throughout, Sapolsky considers the most important question: what causes acts of aggression or compassion? What inspires us to terrible deeds and what might help foster our best behaviour? Wise, humane, often very funny, Behave is a towering achievement, powerfully humanizing, that is unlikely to be surpassed for many years.
In this book you will learn the truth behind the biggest health and body myths of our times. Using the latest research, Dr Sarah Schenker debunks scaremongering headlines and explains what is really going on inside your body when you eat, drink and exercise. You will find out why breakfast is not the most important meal of the day; which "healthy" fats you should actually avoid; and what being thirsty really means for your hydration. And if you're looking for guidance on positive change, this book offers health tips that are rooted in scientific fact.
With a signature blend of evolutionary theory, population genetics, and behavioral ecology, How Humans Evolved teaches the science and history behind human evolution. Thoroughly updated with coverage of recent research and new discoveries, the Eighth Edition offers the most visual, dynamic, and effective learning tools in its field. The Eighth Edition also includes an expanded suite of animations that help students better visualize and understand tricky concepts, as well as real-world videos and InQuizitive adaptive learning.
Discover all there is to know about human anatomy in DK's latest concise visual guide to the human body. Fully updated to reflect the latest medical information, The Concise Human Body Book is illustrated throughout with colourful and comprehensive diagrams, photographs, scans, and 3D artworks, which take you right into the cells and fibres that are responsible for keeping your body ticking. The Concise Human Body Book provides full coverage of the body, function by function, system by system. In the opening chapter, colourful medical scans, illustrations, and easy-to-understand diagrams show you how the different parts of the body work together to produce a living whole. Eleven main body systems - including the skeletal system, cardiovascular system, and respiratory system - are then covered in intricate detail in the following chapters, with each section ending on common diseases and disorders that can affect that system. From bones and muscles to systems and processes, this in-depth, pocket-sized guide to the body's physical structure, chemical workings, and potential problems is the must-have reference manual for trainee medical professionals, students, or anyone interested in finding out more about how the human body works.
In this spirited and irreverent critique of Darwin's long hold over our imagination, a distinguished philosopher of science makes the case that, in culture as well as nature, not only the fittest survive: the world is full of the "good enough" that persist too. Why is the genome of a salamander forty times larger than that of a human? Why does the avocado tree produce a million flowers and only a hundred fruits? Why, in short, is there so much waste in nature? In this lively and wide-ranging meditation on the curious accidents and unexpected detours on the path of life, Daniel Milo argues that we ask these questions because we've embraced a faulty conception of how evolution-and human society-really works. Good Enough offers a vigorous critique of the quasi-monopoly that Darwin's concept of natural selection has on our idea of the natural world. Darwinism excels in accounting for the evolution of traits, but it does not explain their excess in size and number. Many traits far exceed the optimal configuration to do the job, and yet the maintenance of this extra baggage does not prevent species from thriving for millions of years. Milo aims to give the messy side of nature its due-to stand up for the wasteful and inefficient organisms that nevertheless survive and multiply. But he does not stop at the border between evolutionary theory and its social consequences. He argues provocatively that the theory of evolution through natural selection has acquired the trappings of an ethical system. Optimization, competitiveness, and innovation have become the watchwords of Western societies, yet their role in human lives-as in the rest of nature-is dangerously overrated. Imperfection is not just good enough: it may at times be essential to survival.
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.
`Thrilling... Reads like the best kind of adventure story' STEPHEN FRY `Wonderful... recounts in exceptionally clear and sympathetic prose how research into the immune system has resulted in a health revolution' HENRY MARSH SHORTLISTED FOR THE ROYAL SOCIETY SCIENCE BOOK PRIZE A Best Book of the Year 2018 in The Times, Telegraph, New Scientist & Daily Mail Our immune system is one of the great marvels of nature - and it holds the key to human health. Here, Professor Daniel Davis charts the groundbreaking scientific quest to understand how it fights disease and enables the body to heal itself. He explains how it is affected by stress, sleep, age and our state of mind, and reveals how all of this knowledge is now unlocking a revolutionary approach to medicine and well-being. The Beautiful Cure tells a dramatic story of detective work and discovery, of puzzles solved and of the mysteries that remain, and of lives sacrificed and saved. `Thoroughly absorbing... Davis is a wonderful storyteller' BILL BRYSON
An all-in-one visual guide to human anatomy with encyclopedic coverage from bones and muscles to systems and processes.
This in-depth manual to the human body’s physical structure, chemical workings, and potential problems is a must-have reference to help further your studies or knowledge of how our bodies work.
Each page of The Human Body Book, updated to reflect the latest medical information, is illustrated with colorful and comprehensive diagrams, which are thoroughly annotated to take you right into the cells and fibers that are responsible for keeping the human body ticking.
The opening chapter, Integrated Body, explains how the parts of the body work together at various levels of size and hierarchy to produce the living whole. It also contains an overview of the major body systems, enlivened by real-life 3-D medical scans of the entire body. The chapters that follow provide coverage of the body function by function, system by system. Eleven main body systems are covered in turn, with each section ending on common injuries, diseases, and disorders afflicting that system. The book concludes with a chapter on Growth and Development which looks in detail at how the body changes over the course of a human lifespan.
How did we get from the Big Bang to today's staggering complexity, in which seven billion humans are connected into networks powerful enough to transform the planet? And why, in comparison, are our closest primate relatives reduced to near-extinction? Big History creator David Christian gives the answers in a mind-expanding cosmological detective story told on the grandest possible scale. He traces how, during eight key thresholds, the right conditions have allowed new forms of complexity to arise, from stars to galaxies, Earth to homo sapiens, agriculture to fossil fuels. This last mega-innovation gave us an energy bonanza that brought huge benefits to mankind, yet also threatens to shake apart everything we have created. This global origin story is one that we could only begin to tell recently, thanks to the underlying unity of modern knowledge. Panoramic in scope and thrillingly told, Origin Story reveals what we learn about human existence when we consider it from a universal scale.
The study of human evolution is advancing rapidly. Newly discovered fossil evidence is adding ever more pieces to the puzzle of our past, whilst revolutionary technological advances in the study of ancient DNA are completely reshaping theories of early human populations and migrations. In this Very Short Introduction Bernard Wood traces the history of paleoanthropology from its beginnings in the eighteenth century to the very latest fossil finds. In this new edition he discusses how Ancient DNA studies have revolutionized how we view the recent (post-550 ka) human evolution, and the process of speciation. The combination of ancient and modern human DNA has contributed to discoveries of new taxa, as well as the suggestion of 'ghost' taxa whose fossil records still remain to be discovered. Considering the contributions of related sciences such as paleoclimatology, geochronology, systematics, genetics, and developmental biology, Wood explores our latest understandings of our own evolution. 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.
How do we find the life that's right for each of us? More and more of us are feeling overwhelmed by the everyday struggle to lead the lives to which we aspire. Children are placed under unbearable pressure to achieve; adults fight a constant battle to balance family life with work and economic demands; old people suffer from social isolation and a lack of emotional security. People of every age are feeling increasingly at odds with the world, and less able to live a life that corresponds to their individual needs and talents. At the root of this problem, argues internationally renowned child development expert Remo Largo, is a mistaken idea of what makes us human. A distillation of forty years of research and medical experience, The Right Life sets out a new theory of human thriving. Tracing our development as individuals from the beginnings of evolution to the twenty-first century, he sets out his own theory, the 'Fit Principle', which proposes that every human strives to live in harmony with their fellow humans and their environment. Rather than a ceaseless quest for self-improvement and growth, he argues, our collective goals should be individual self-acceptance, as we embrace the unique matrix of skills, needs and limitations that makes each of us who we are. Not only, Largo suggests, can a true understanding of human thriving help people find their way back to their individuality; it can help us to reshape society and economy in order to live as fully as possible.
Full of fascinating and bizarre cases of genetic mutation and irregularity, `Mutants' is an amazing exploration of the human form in all its beautiful and unique guises. Why are most of us born with one nose, two legs, ten fingers and twenty-four ribs - and some of us not? Why do most of us stop growing in our teens - while others just keep going? Why do some us have heads of red hair - and others no hair at all? The human genome, we are told, makes us what we are. But how? Armand Marie Leroi takes us to the extremes of human mutation - from the grotesque to the beautiful, and often both at the same time - to explain how we become what we are. Through the tales of long-lived Croatian dwarves, ostrich-footed Wadoma tribesmen, sex-changing French convent girls, and many more wonders of human development, Leroi has written a brilliant narrative account of our genetic grammar and people whose bodies have revealed it.
A startling investigation of what it means to be human. Human beings know how to make machines. But what kind of machine is a human being? And could we ever make one? In order to answer these questions, other questions get in the way: What is it like to be a human being? What is it like to be some other kind of animal? What is reality? What is consciousness? Is there a God? What is love? Why live? The questions proliferate. But all these questions can be viewed as facets of a single question: What is science? In `How To Make a Human Being' Christopher Potter shows how, at every scale of description, human beings escape the net of scientific reductionism. What it is to be human can be glimpsed in the details: in the opening of a window, in a shared joke. But cannot be caught by any reductive scientific description.
Our understanding of the British Palaeolithic and Mesolithic has changed dramatically over the last three decades, and yet not since H. J. Fleure's A Natural History of Man in Britain (1951) has the New Naturalist Library included a volume focused on the study of early humans and their environment. In this long overdue new book, distinguished archaeologist Nick Ashton uncovers the most recent findings, following the remarkable survival and discovery of bones, stone tools and footprints which allow us to paint a picture of the first human visitors to this remote peninsula of north-west Europe. As part of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project and subsequent research, Ashton is involved in an unrivalled collaborative effort involving archaeologists, palaeontologists, and earth scientists at different British institutes, including the Natural History Museum and the British Museum. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the book explores the latest discoveries such as footprints at Happisburgh, Norfolk that are thought to be nearly one million years old, flint artefacts at Pakefield in Suffolk and mammoth remains at West Runton, among others. These remarkable remnants help our quest to unravel the interactions between the changing environments and their ancient human occupants, as well as their lifestyles and migrations. Early humans colonised our remote corner of the European mainland time and again, despite being faced with ice age climates with far-reaching consequences. Setting the scene on the Norfolk coast almost a million years ago, Ashton tells the story of the fauna, flora and developing geography of Britain against the backdrop of an ever-changing climate. Above all, he explores how early people began as brief visitors to this wild remote land, but over time through better ways of acquiring food and developing new technologies, they began to tame, shape and dominate the countryside we see today.
This breathtaking portrait of the human body uses new medical imaging techniques to make incredibly detailed digital illustrations. The 3-D computer-generated images cover the entire body, region by region and system by system, featuring everything from bones, muscles, and joints to cells and DNA. An extensive section on what goes wrong includes physical and mental health disorders.
The Complete Human Body is the definitive visual guide to human biology and human anatomy, including the development, form, function, and disorders of the human body. Professor Alice Roberts takes you on a detailed tour of how your respiratory system works, to discover your anatomy up-close, and to learn about over 200 diseases and how they afflict the human body. This new edition includes extra detail on the hands, feet, and major joints.
The quality of digital images and level of detail make this book an invaluable study resource for students of human biology and physiology. Or if you are just curious to learn how the body works, this comprehensive guide is for you.
Previous edition ISBN 9781405347495
Since the late 1980s the dominant theory of human origins has been that a 'cognitive revolution' (C.50,000 years ago) led to the advent of our species, Homo sapiens. As a result of this revolution our species spread and eventually replaced all existing archaic Homo species, ultimately leading to the superiority of modern humans. Or so we thought. As Clive Finlayson explains, the latest advances in genetics prove that there was significant interbreeding between Modern Humans and the Neanderthals. All non-Africans today carry some Neanderthal genes. We have also discovered aspects of Neanderthal behaviour that indicate that they were not cognitively inferior to modern humans, as we once thought, and in fact had their own rituals and art. Finlayson, who is at the forefront of this research, recounts the discoveries of his team, providing evidence that Neanderthals caught birds of prey, and used their feathers for symbolic purposes. There is also evidence that Neanderthals practised other forms of art, as the recently discovered engravings in Gorham's Cave Gibraltar indicate. Linking all the recent evidence, The Smart Neanderthal casts a new light on the Neanderthals and the 'Cognitive Revolution'. Finlayson argues that there was no revolution and, instead, modern behaviour arose gradually and independently among different populations of Modern Humans and Neanderthals. Some practices were even adopted by Modern Humans from the Neanderthals. Finlayson overturns classic narratives of human origins, and raises important questions about who we really are.
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