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Updated, with stunning new photographs At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the impossible was delivered. From the sterile depths of a disused china clay pit in Cornwall rose one of the most remarkable and ambitious ventures in recent memory. The Eden Project's Biomes, the world's largest conservatories, are the symbol of a living theatre of plants and people and their interdependence, of regeneration and of a pioneering forum for the exploration of possible futures. This is the extraordinary story of the Eden Project, of its conception, design and construction, of the larger-than-life personalities who made it happen and of all that has happened since its doors were first opened to the public in 2001. It is now undisputedly one of the world's great gardens with more than 17 million visitors flocking there and projects and partnerships all over the world.
For so long, the brain was the great unknown of human biology; an evolved complex of cells, chemicals and electricity, which eluded even the understanding of its own grey matter. Now, in this comprehensive guide, the most complicated concepts from across the field of neuroscience - such as memory, addiction and mind mapping - are broken down into easily understandable bite-sized pieces, to give everyone the chance to understand their own brain. Includes sections on: -The anatomy of the brain -Neurons, synapses and axons - the building blocks of the brain -Differences in male and female development -Modern treatment of mental illness -The effects on the brain of different food and stimulants -Memory, senses, cravings -Fight or flight -Perception and sensation -The future of neuroscience
In 2006 Dr Adrian Owen and his team made medical history. They discovered a new realm of consciousness, somewhere between life and death, which they called the Grey Zone. The people who inhabit it are frequently labelled as irretrievably lost, with no awareness or sense of self. The shocking truth is that they are often still there, an intact mind trapped inside a broken body and brain, hearing everything around them, experiencing emotions, thoughts, pleasure and pain. But now, through Dr Owen's pioneering techniques, we can talk to them - and they can talk back.
This book addresses a growing need for accessible information on the neuroscience of addiction. In the past decade, neuroscientific research has greatly advanced our understanding of the brain mechanisms of addiction. However this information still remains largely confined to scientific outlets. As legislation continues to evolve and the stigma surrounding addiction persists, new findings on the impact of substances on the brain are an important public health issue. Francesca Mapua Filbey gives readers an overview of research on addiction including classic theories as well as current neuroscientific studies. A variety of textual supports - including a glossary, learning objectives and review questions - help students better reinforce their reading and make the text a ready-made complement to undergraduate and graduate courses on addiction.
The species problem (the two questions, do species exist and, if yes, according to what criteria do two individuals belong to the same species) is one of the oldest questions in biology. Darwin's Origin of the Species' was - and still is - one of the most comprehensive answers to this problem. However, even Darwin's work cannot satisfactorily explain many of the speciation questions. Over the years, many concurrent taxonomic systems have evolved each of them particularly well suited for the speciation of certain groups of organisms but all of them fail to provide a universal answer to all questions relating to speciation. "Do Species Exist?" is a readily comprehensible guide for a wide audience of biologists, field taxonomists and philosophers, giving an excellent overview of the species problem without delving into the many feuds between the different schools of taxonomy. Written by a geneticist with extensive experience in field taxonomy, this practical book provides the sound scientific background to the problems arising with classifying organisms according to species. It covers the main current theories of specification and gives a number of examples that cannot be explained by any single theory alone.
Would you change your genes if you could? As we confront the 'industrial revolution of the genome', the recent discoveries of Crispr-Cas9 technologies are offering, for the first time, cheap and effective methods for editing the human genome. This opens up startling new opportunities as well as significant ethical uncertainty. Tracing events across a fifty-year period, from the first gene splicing techniques to the present day, this is the story of gene editing - the science, the impact and the potential. Kozubek weaves together the fascinating stories of many of the scientists involved in the development of gene editing technology. Along the way, he demystifies how the technology really works and provides vivid and thought-provoking reflections on the continuing ethical debate. This updated paperback edition contains all the very latest on the patent battle over Crisp and the applications of Crispr technology in agriculture and medicine.
An introduction to a popular programming language for neuroscience research, taking the reader from beginning to intermediate and advanced levels of MATLAB programming. MATLAB is one of the most popular programming languages for neuroscience and psychology research. Its balance of usability, visualization, and widespread use makes it one of the most powerful tools in a scientist's toolbox. In this book, Mike Cohen teaches brain scientists how to program in MATLAB, with a focus on applications most commonly used in neuroscience and psychology. Although most MATLAB tutorials will abandon users at the beginner's level, leaving them to sink or swim, MATLAB for Brain and Cognitive Scientists takes readers from beginning to intermediate and advanced levels of MATLAB programming, helping them gain real expertise in applications that they will use in their work. The book offers a mix of instructive text and rigorous explanations of MATLAB code along with programming tips and tricks. The goal is to teach the reader how to program data analyses in neuroscience and psychology. Readers will learn not only how to but also how not to program, with examples of bad code that they are invited to correct or improve. Chapters end with exercises that test and develop the skills taught in each chapter. Interviews with neuroscientists and cognitive scientists who have made significant contributions their field using MATLAB appear throughout the book. MATLAB for Brain and Cognitive Scientists is an essential resource for both students and instructors, in the classroom or for independent study.
'Wonderfully clear, fluent and eye-opening' THE TIMES 'A stirring scientific journey, a celebration of human diversity and a call to rethink the "unthinkable"' NATURE 'An utterly fascinating romp around the nether regions of the human mind' BIG ISSUE IMAGINE . . . getting lost in a one-room flat; seeing auras; never forgetting a moment; a permanent orchestra in your head; turning into a tiger; life as an out-of-body experience; feeling other people's pain; being convinced you are dead; becoming a different person overnight. Our brains are far stranger than we think. We take it for granted that we can remember, feel emotion, navigate, empathise and understand the world around us, but how would our lives change if these abilities were dramatically enhanced - or disappeared overnight? Award-winning science writer Helen Thomson has spent years travelling the world tracking down incredibly rare brain disorders. In Unthinkable she tells the stories of nine extraordinary people. From the man who thinks he's a tiger to the doctor who feels the pain of others just by looking at them, their experiences illustrate how the brain can shape our lives in unexpected and, in some cases, brilliant and alarming ways. Delving into the rich histories of these conditions, exploring the very latest research and cutting-edge medical techniques, Thomson explains the workings of our consciousness, our emotions, our creativity and even the mechanisms that allow us to understand our own existence. Story by remarkable story, Unthinkable takes us on an unforgettable journey through the human brain. Discover how to forge memories that never disappear, how to grow an alien limb and how to make better decisions. Learn how to hallucinate and how to make yourself happier in a split second. Find out how to avoid getting lost, how to see more of your reality, even how exactly you can confirm you are alive. Think the unthinkable.
Plant remains can preserve a critical part of history of life on Earth. While telling the fascinating evolutionary story of plants and vegetation across the last 500 million years, this book also crucially offers non-specialists a practical guide to studying, dealing with and interpreting plant fossils. It shows how various techniques can be used to reveal the secrets of plant fossils and how to identify common types, such as compressions and impressions. Incorporating the concepts of evolutionary floras, this second edition includes revised data on all main plant groups, the latest approaches to naming plant fossils using fossil-taxa and techniques such as tomography. With extensive illustrations of plant fossils and living plants, the book encourages readers to think of fossils as once-living organisms. It is written for students on introductory or intermediate courses in palaeobotany, palaeontology, plant evolutionary biology and plant science, and for amateurs interested in studying plant fossils.
While the sequencing of the human genome was a landmark achievement, the availability and manipulation of such a vast amount of data about our species has inevitably led to questions that are increasingly fundamental and urgent: now that information about human bodies can be transformed into a natural resource, how will and should we interpret and use it? With The Postgenomic Condition, Jenny Reardon draws on more than a decade of research in molecular biology labs, commercial startups, governmental agencies and civic spaces to examine the extensive efforts after the completion of the Human Genome Project to transform genomics from high tech informatics practiced by a few well-financed scientists and engineers to meaningful knowledge beneficial to all people. Through her in-depth profiles of genomic initiatives around the world, we see hopes to forge public knowledge and goods from blood and DNA meet the reality of limited resources and conflicting values. Building the argument around the limits of liberal concepts of openness, information, inclusion, privacy, property and the public concepts that proved salient at different points in the unfolding story of efforts to make sense of human genomes Reardon shows how genomics challenges us to move beyond existing liberal frameworks to ask deeper questions of knowledge and justice. While the news media is filled with grand visions of future designer drugs and babies, The Postgenomic Condition brings richly into view these hard on-the-ground questions about what can be known and who and how we will live on a depleted but data-rich, interconnected yet fractured planet, where technoscience garners disproportionate resources.
A critical examination of translational medicine, when private risk is transferred to the public sector and university research teams become tech startups for global investors. A global shift has secretly transformed science and medicine. Starting in 2003, biomedical research in the West has been reshaped by the emergence of translational science and medicine-the idea that the aim of research is to translate findings as quickly as possible into medical products. In The Market in Mind, Mark Dennis Robinson charts this shift, arguing that the new research paradigm has turned university research teams into small biotechnology startups and their industry partners into early-stage investment firms. There is also a larger, surprising consequence from this shift: according to Robinson, translational science and medicine enable biopharmaceutical firms, as part of a broader financial strategy, to outsource the riskiest parts of research to nonprofit universities. Robinson examines the implications of this new configuration. What happens, for example, when universities absorb unknown levels of risk? Robinson argues that in the years since the global financial crisis translational science and medicine has brought about "the financialization of health." Robinson explores such topics as shareholder anxiety and industry retreat from Alzheimer's and depression research; how laboratory research is understood as health innovation even when there is no product; the emergence of investor networking events as crucial for viewing science in a market context; and the place of patients in research decisions. Although translational medicine justifies itself by the goal of relieving patients' suffering, Robinson finds patients' voices largely marginalized in translational neuroscience.
How does life work? How does nature produce the right numbers of zebras and lions on the African savanna, or fish in the ocean? How do our bodies produce the right numbers of cells in our organs and bloodstream? In The Serengeti Rules, award-winning biologist and author Sean Carroll tells the stories of the pioneering scientists who sought the answers to such simple yet profoundly important questions, and shows how their discoveries matter for our health and the health of the planet we depend upon. One of the most important revelations about the natural world is that everything is regulated--there are rules that regulate the amount of every molecule in our bodies and rules that govern the numbers of every animal and plant in the wild. And the most surprising revelation about the rules that regulate life at such different scales is that they are remarkably similar--there is a common underlying logic of life. Carroll recounts how our deep knowledge of the rules and logic of the human body has spurred the advent of revolutionary life-saving medicines, and makes the compelling case that it is now time to use the Serengeti Rules to heal our ailing planet. A bold and inspiring synthesis by one of our most accomplished biologists and gifted storytellers, The Serengeti Rules is the first book to illuminate how life works at vastly different scales. Read it and you will never look at the world the same way again.
This first title on the topic provides complete coverage, including the molecular basis, production and possible biomedical applications. Written by the most prominent academic researchers in the field as well as by researchers at one of the world's leading companies in industrial production of minicircle DNA, this practical book is aimed at everyone who is directly or indirectly involved in the development of gene therapies.
In which a scientist searches for an empirical explanation for phenomenal experience, spurred by his instinctual belief that life is meaningful. What links conscious experience of pain, joy, color, and smell to bioelectrical activity in the brain? How can anything physical give rise to nonphysical, subjective, conscious states? Christof Koch has devoted much of his career to bridging the seemingly unbridgeable gap between the physics of the brain and phenomenal experience. This engaging book-part scientific overview, part memoir, part futurist speculation-describes Koch's search for an empirical explanation for consciousness. Koch recounts not only the birth of the modern science of consciousness but also the subterranean motivation for his quest-his instinctual (if "romantic") belief that life is meaningful. Koch describes his own groundbreaking work with Francis Crick in the 1990s and 2000s and the gradual emergence of consciousness (once considered a "fringy" subject) as a legitimate topic for scientific investigation. Present at this paradigm shift were Koch and a handful of colleagues, including Ned Block, David Chalmers, Stanislas Dehaene, Giulio Tononi, Wolf Singer, and others. Aiding and abetting it were new techniques to listen in on the activity of individual nerve cells, clinical studies, and brain-imaging technologies that allowed safe and noninvasive study of the human brain in action. Koch gives us stories from the front lines of modern research into the neurobiology of consciousness as well as his own reflections on a variety of topics, including the distinction between attention and awareness, the unconscious, how neurons respond to Homer Simpson, the physics and biology of free will, dogs, Der Ring des Nibelungen, sentient machines, the loss of his belief in a personal God, and sadness. All of them are signposts in the pursuit of his life's work-to uncover the roots of consciousness.
In 1980, the science world was stunned when a maverick team of researchers proposed that a massive meteor strike had wiped the dinosaurs and other fauna from the Earth 66 million years ago. Scientists found evidence for this theory in a "crater of doom"on the Yucatan Peninsula that showed our planet has been the target in a galactic shooting gallery. Seeking to develop "neocatastrophism" even further, Michael R. Rampino adds to this exciting field in Cataclysms, building on the latest findings from leading geoscientists. Rampino recounts his conversion to the impact hypothesis, describing his visits to meteor-strike sites and his review of the existing geological record. His story enables a richer understanding of the science behind major planetary upheavals and extinction events. The new geology he outlines explicitly rejects nineteenth-century "uniformitarianism," which casts planetary change as gradual and driven by processes we can see at work today. Rampino's new geology offers a cosmic context for Earth's geologic evolution, in which cataclysms from above in the form of comets and asteroid impacts and from below in the form of huge outpourings of lava in flood-basalt eruptions have led to severe changes in the Earth's surface. The new geology sees Earth's position in our solar system and galaxy as the keys to understanding our planet's geology and history of life. The author concludes with a fascinating take on dark matter's potential as a triggering mechanism, considering its role in heating Earth's core and spurring massive volcanism throughout geologic time.
The analysis and interpretation of data is fundamental to the subject of genetics and forms a compulsory part of the undergraduate genetics curriculum. Indeed, the key skills that a genetics student requires are an ability to design and understand experimental strategies and to use problem-solving skills to interpret experimental results and data. Genetics? No Problem! provides students with a graded set of problems that aim to enthuse, challenge and entertain the reader. The book is divided into three sections introductory; intermediate and advanced each with 10 problems. For first level students there will be short genetics problems embedded in a wide range of scenarios, such as murder mysteries. As the book progresses, the stories will get longer and the science will get progressively more complex to challenge final year students and enable the reader to identify genetic disease in obscure organisms as well as designing and testing treatments and cures. Genetics? No Problem!: * Takes a unique, innovative approach that provides students with a set of graded problems designed to develop both their skills, and their ability to tackle problems with confidence * Includes problems embedded in a narrative, written in an interesting, informative and entertaining style by an Author with a proven track record in teaching, research and communication * Is well illustrated in full colour throughout. The book will prove invaluable to all students of genetics across a range of disciplines needing to get to grips with the analysis and interpretation of data that is fundamental to the subject.
In the compelling popular science tradition of Sapiens and Guns, Germs, and Steel, a groundbreaking and eye-opening exploration that applies evolutionary science to provide a new perspective on human psychology, revealing how major challenges from our past have shaped some of the most fundamental aspects of our being. The most fundamental aspects of our lives-from leadership and innovation to aggression and happiness-were permanently altered by the "social leap" our ancestors made from the rainforest to the savannah. Their struggle to survive on the open grasslands required a shift from individualism to a new form of collectivism, which forever altered the way our mind works. It changed the way we fight and our proclivity to make peace, it changed the way we lead and the way we follow, it made us innovative but not inventive, it created a new kind of social intelligence, and it led to new sources of life satisfaction. In The Social Leap, William von Hippel lays out this revolutionary hypothesis, tracing human development through three critical evolutionary inflection points to explain how events in our distant past shape our lives today. From the mundane, such as why we exaggerate, to the surprising, such as why we believe our own lies and why fame and fortune are as likely to bring misery as happiness, the implications are far reaching and extraordinary. Blending anthropology, biology, history, and psychology with evolutionary science, The Social Leap is a fresh and provocative look at our species that provides new clues about who we are, what makes us happy, and how to use this knowledge to improve our lives.
According to Thomas Metzinger, no such things as selves exist in the world: nobody ever had or was a self. All that exists are phenomenal selves, as they appear in conscious experience. The phenomenal self, however, is not a thing but an ongoing process; it is the content of a "transparent self-model." In "Being No One," Metzinger, a German philosopher, draws strongly on neuroscientific research to present a representationalist and functional analysis of what a consciously experienced first-person perspective actually is. Building a bridge between the humanities and the empirical sciences of the mind, he develops new conceptual toolkits and metaphors; uses case studies of unusual states of mind such as agnosia, neglect, blindsight, and hallucinations; and offers new sets of multilevel constraints for the concept of consciousness. Metzinger's central question is: How exactly does strong, consciously experienced subjectivity emerge out of objective events in the natural world? His epistemic goal is to determine whether conscious experience, in particular the experience of being someone that results from the emergence of a phenomenal self, can be analyzed on subpersonal levels of description. He also asks if and how our Cartesian intuitions that subjective experiences as such can never be reductively explained are themselves ultimately rooted in the deeper representational structure of our conscious minds.
This second part of Volume 48 of the Flora of Pan-Himalaya is devoted to the single genus, Saussurea of the Asteraceae family, which has wide medicinal applications. This is the largest family in the Pan-Himalaya, with 235 species, 149 of which are endemic to the Pan-Himalaya. Saussurea is a notoriously difficult, largely Asiatic, genus with often indistinct species boundaries. Many new species of Saussurea were described in the course of preparing this account. The nomenclatural novelties in this volume include five changes in status, and 17 new synonyms. 27 lectotypes are newly designated. During the research for this volume, the author and his team described 40 new species of Saussurea, and these, along with numerous new designations and classifications, are recorded here for the first time.
We live in an age of ubiquitous genomics. Next generation sequencing (NGS) technology, both widely adopted and advancing at pace, has transformed the data landscape, opening up an enormous source of heritable characters to the comparative biologist. Its impact on systematics, like many other fields of biology, has been felt throughout its breadth: from defining species boundaries to estimating their evolutionary histories. This volume examines the broad range of ways in which NGS data are being used in systematics and in the fields that it underpins, from biodiversity prospecting to evo-devo. Experts in their fields draw on contemporary case studies to demonstrate state-of-the-art applications of NGS data. These, along with novel analyses, comprehensive reviews and lively perspectives, are combined to produce an authoritative account of contemporary issues in systematics that have been impacted by the adoption of NGS.
Oceanic islands are storehouses for unique creatures. Zoologists have long been fascinated by island animals because they break all the rules. Speedy, nervous, little birds repeatedly evolve to become plump, tame and flightless on islands. Equally strange and wonderful plants have evolved on islands. However, plants are very poorly understood relatives to animals. Do plants repeatedly evolve similar patterns in dispersal ability, size and defence on islands? This volume answers this question for the first time using a modern quantitative approach. It not only reviews the literature on differences in defence, loss of dispersal, changes in size, alterations to breeding systems and the loss of fire adaptations, but also brings new data into focus to fill gaps in current understanding. By firmly establishing what is currently known about repeated patterns in the evolution of island plants, this book provides a roadmap for future research.
'Daring, learned and humane ... A revelatory restoration of wonder' Stephen Greenblatt.
We no longer think, like the ancient Chinese did, that the world was hatched from an egg, or, like the Maori, that it came from the tearing-apart of a love embrace. The Greeks told of a tempestuous Hera and a cunning Zeus, but we now use genes and natural selection to explain fear and desire, and physics to demystify the workings of the universe.
Science is an astounding achievement, but are we really any wiser than the ancients? Has science revealed the secrets of fate and immortality? Has it provided protection from jealousy or love? There are those who believe that science has replaced faith, but must it also be a death knell for mythology?
Evolutions brings to life the latest scientific thinking on the birth of the universe and the solar system, the journey from a single cell all the way to our human minds. Reawakening our sense of wonder and terror at the world around us and within us, Oren Harman uses modern science to create new and original mythologies. Here are the Earth and the Moon presenting a cosmological view of motherhood, a panicking Mitochondrion introducing sex and death to the world, the loneliness of consciousness emerging from the memory of an octopus, and the birth of language in evolution summoning humankind's struggle with truth.
Science may not solve our existential puzzles, but like the age-old legends, its magical discoveries can help us continue the never-ending search.
A pithy work of philosophical anthropology that explores why humans find moral orders in natural orders. Why have human beings, in many different cultures and epochs, looked to nature as a source of norms for human behavior? From ancient India and ancient Greece, medieval France and Enlightenment America, up to the latest controversies over gay marriage and cloning, natural orders have been enlisted to illustrate and buttress moral orders. Revolutionaries and reactionaries alike have appealed to nature to shore up their causes. No amount of philosophical argument or political critique deters the persistent and pervasive temptation to conflate the "is" of natural orders with the "ought" of moral orders. In this short, pithy work of philosophical anthropology, Lorraine Daston asks why we continually seek moral orders in natural orders, despite so much good counsel to the contrary. She outlines three specific forms of natural order in the Western philosophical tradition-specific natures, local natures, and universal natural laws-and describes how each of these three natural orders has been used to define and oppose a distinctive form of the unnatural. She argues that each of these forms of the unnatural triggers equally distinctive emotions: horror, terror, and wonder. Daston proposes that human reason practiced in human bodies should command the attention of philosophers, who have traditionally yearned for a transcendent reason, valid for all species, all epochs, even all planets.
Learn all about how your DNA makes you who you are-an awesome, unique individual-in this fun and simple illustrated guide! Did you know your sense of purpose is determined by your genes? And that DNA determines your reaction to poison ivy, and maybe even your sex drive? In DNA Is You!, the author behind Beatrice the Biologist uses her trademark humor to break down the ins and outs of DNA to give you the low-down on each trait, one by one. She provides the answers to questions like: how dependent are traits on your parents' genes? Are they based on mutations or influenced by the environment? What kind of studies have been performed on genetics, and what have they discovered? Home DNA tests are more popular than ever, and DNA Is You! takes a look at the weird and wild scientific factors that can change your genes-like that dimples are dominant, how someone gets two different eye colors, and which genes determine whether or not you'll need glasses. Learn more about how you got to be who you are with DNA Is You! and understand yourself-and your family-a little bit better!
What teeth can teach us about the evolution of the human species Whether we realize it or not, we carry in our mouths the legacy of our evolution. Our teeth are like living fossils that can be studied and compared to those of our ancestors to teach us how we became human. In Evolution's Bite, noted paleoanthropologist Peter Ungar brings together for the first time cutting-edge advances in understanding human evolution and climate change with new approaches to uncovering dietary clues from fossil teeth to present a remarkable investigation into the ways that teeth--their shape, chemistry, and wear--reveal how we came to be. Ungar describes how a tooth's "foodprints"--distinctive patterns of microscopic wear and tear--provide telltale details about what an animal actually ate in the past. These clues, combined with groundbreaking research in paleoclimatology, demonstrate how a changing climate altered the food options available to our ancestors, what Ungar calls the biospheric buffet. When diets change, species change, and Ungar traces how diet and an unpredictable climate determined who among our ancestors was winnowed out and who survived, as well as why we transitioned from the role of forager to farmer. By sifting through the evidence--and the scars on our teeth--Ungar makes the important case for what might or might not be the most natural diet for humans. Traveling the four corners of the globe and combining scientific breakthroughs with vivid narrative, Evolution's Bite presents a unique dental perspective on our astonishing human development.
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