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We are in the midst of a biological revolution. Molecular tools are now providing new means of critically testing hypotheses and models of microevolution in populations of wild, cultivated, weedy and feral plants. They are also offering the opportunity for significant progress in the investigation of long-term evolution of flowering plants, as part of molecular phylogenetic studies of the Tree of Life. This long-awaited fourth edition, fully revised by David Briggs, reflects new insights provided by molecular investigations and advances in computer science. Briggs considers the implications of these for our understanding of the evolution of flowering plants, as well as the potential for future advances. Numerous new sections on important topics such as the evolutionary impact of human activities, taxonomic challenges, gene flow and distribution, hybridisation, speciation and extinction, conservation and the molecular genetic basis of breeding systems will ensure that this remains a classic text for both undergraduate and graduate students in the field.
Our relentless drive to create makes us unique among living creatures. What is special about the human brain that enables us to innovate? Why don't cows choreograph dances? Why don't squirrels build elevators to their treetops? Why don't alligators invent speedboats? Weaving together the arts and sciences, neuroscientist David Eagleman and composer Anthony Brandt explore the need for novelty, the simulation of possible futures, and the social components that drive the inventiveness of our species. Taking us on a tour of human creativity from Picasso to concept cars to umbrellas to lunar travel, Brandt and Eagleman explore the cognitive software that generates new ideas, and illuminate the key facets of a creative mentality. Through understanding our ability to innovate - our most profound, mysterious, and deeply human capacity - we can meet the challenge of remaking our constantly shifting world.
As scientific inquiry and public interest in the adolescent brain grows, so too does the need for an accessible textbook that communicates the growing research on this topic. The Neuroscience of Adolescence is a comprehensive educational tool for developmental cognitive neuroscience students at all levels as it details the varying elements that shape the adolescent brain. Historical notions of adolescence have focused on the significant hormonal changes that occur as one transitions from childhood to adolescence, but new research has revealed a more nuanced picture that helps inform our understanding of how the brain functions across the lifespan. By emphasizing the biological and neurobiological changes that occur during adolescence, this book gives students a holistic understanding of this developmental window and uniquely discusses the policy implications of neuroscience research on the lives of young people today.
Brain on Fire is the stunning debut from journalist and author Susannah Cahalan, recounting the real-life horror story of how a sudden and mysterious illness put her on descent into a madness for which there seemed to be no cure 'My first serious blackout marked the line between sanity and insanity. Though I would have moments of lucidity over the coming days and weeks, I would never again be the same person ...' Susannah Cahalan was a happy, clever, healthy twenty-four-year old. Then one day she woke up in hospital, with no memory of what had happened or how she had got there. Within weeks, she would be transformed into someone unrecognizable, descending into a state of acute psychosis, undergoing rages and convulsions, hallucinating that her father had murdered his wife; that she could control time with her mind. Everything she had taken for granted about her life, and who she was, was wiped out. This is Susannah's story of her terrifying descent into madness and the desperate hunt for a diagnosis, as, after dozens of tests and scans, baffled doctors concluded she should be confined in a psychiatric ward. It is also the story of how one brilliant man, Syria-born Dr Najar, finally proved - using a simple pen and paper - that Susannah's psychotic behaviour was caused by a rare autoimmune disease attacking her brain. His diagnosis of this little-known condition, thought to have been the real cause of devil-possessions through history, saved her life, and possibly the lives of many others. Cahalan takes readers inside this newly-discovered disease through the progress of her own harrowing journey, piecing it together using memories, journals, hospital videos and records. Written with passionate honesty and intelligence, Brain on Fire is a searingly personal yet universal book, which asks what happens when your identity is suddenly destroyed, and how you get it back. 'With eagle-eye precision and brutal honesty, Susannah Cahalan turns her journalistic gaze on herself as she bravely looks back on one of the most harrowing and unimaginable experiences one could ever face: the loss of mind, body and self ... a mesmerizing story', Mira Bartok, New York Times bestselling author of The Memory Palace Susannah Cahalan is a reporter on the New York Post, and the recipient of the 2010 Silurian Award of Excellence in Journalism for Feature Writing. Her writing has also appeared in the New York Times, and is frequently picked up by the Daily Mail, Gawker, Gothamist, AOL and Yahoo among other news aggregrator sites.
While we joke that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, our gender differences can't compare to those of other animals. For instance: the male garden spider spontaneously dies after mating with a female more than fifty times his size. Female cichlids must guard their eggs and larvae--even from the hungry appetites of their own partners. And male blanket octopuses employ a copulatory arm longer than their own bodies to mate with females that outweigh them by four orders of magnitude. Why do these gender gulfs exist? Introducing readers to important discoveries in animal behavior and evolution, "Odd Couples" explores some of the most extraordinary sexual differences in the animal world. From the fields of Spain to the deep oceans, evolutionary biologist Daphne Fairbairn uncovers the unique and bizarre characteristics--in size, behavior, ecology, and life history--that exist in these remarkable species and the special strategies they use to maximize reproductive success. Fairbairn describes how male great bustards aggressively compete to display their gorgeous plumage and large physiques to watching, choosey females. She investigates why female elephant seals voluntarily live in harems where they are harassed constantly by eager males. And she reveals why dwarf male giant seadevils parasitically fuse to their giant female partners for life. Fairbairn also considers humans and explains that although we are keenly aware of our own sexual differences, they are unexceptional within the vast animal world.
Looking at some of the most amazing creatures on the planet, "Odd Couples" sheds astonishing light on what it means to be male or female in the animal kingdom.
'[A] beautifully written investigation of grief ... As an exploration of love and loss, as a portrait of a person and of the nature of personhood, this book is about as true as any I have read' James McConnachie, Sunday Times An audacious and beautiful account of grief and who we are. Memoir, neuroscience and myth interweave to create a book unlike any other When celebrated neuropsychologist Paul Broks' wife died of cancer, he found himself plunged into the world of the bereaved. As he experienced the pain, alienation and suffering that make us human, his clinician-self seemed to watch on with keen interest. He embarked upon a voyage of experience: a journey through grief, philosophy, consciousness, humanity and magical thinking - seen through the prism of a lifetime's work in neuroscience. Fusing an account of living with and recovering from loss with thought-provoking meditations on the nature of the mind and the self, The Darker the Night, the Brighter the Stars is an audacious and beautiful work by a writer of astonishing wisdom and compassion.
An essential book for all those who conduct animal-based research or are involved in education and training, as well as regulators, supporters, and opponents alike. This fully updated third edition includes discussion of genetically altered animals and associated welfare and ethical issues that surround the breeding programmes in animal based research. The book discusses the origins of vivisection, the advances in human and non-human welfare made possible by animal experimentation, moral objections, and alternatives to the use of animals in research. It also examines the regulatory umbrella under which experiments are conducted in Europe, USA and Australasia. The author highlights the future responsibilities of researchers who will be working with animals, and offers practical advice on experimental design, literature search, consultation with colleagues, and the importance of the ongoing search for alternatives.
A thorough explanation of the tenets of biomechanics
At once a basic and applied science, biomechanics focuses on the mechanical cause-effect relationships that determine the motions of living organisms. "Biomechanics for Dummies" examines the relationship between biological and mechanical worlds. It clarifies a vital topic for students of biomechanics who work in a variety of fields, including biological sciences, exercise and sports science, health sciences, ergonomics and human factors, and engineering and applied science. Following the path of a traditional introductory course, "Biomechanics for Dummies" covers the terminology and fundamentals of biomechanics, bone, joint, and muscle composition and function, motion analysis and control, kinematics and kinetics, fluid mechanics, stress and strain, applications of biomechanics, and black and white medical illustrations.Offers insights and expertise in biomechanics to provide an easy-to-follow, jargon-free guide to the subjectProvides students who major in kinesiology, neuroscience, biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physical education, nutritional science, and many other subjects with a basic knowledge of biomechanics
Students and self-motivated learners interested in biological, applied, exercise, sports, and health sciences should not be without this accessible guide to the fundamentals.
Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are.
This book introduces experimental design and data analysis / interpretation as well as field monitoring skills for both plants and animals. Clearly structured throughout and written in a student-friendly manner, the main emphasis of the book concentrates on the techniques required to design a field based ecological survey and shows how to execute an appropriate sampling regime. The book evaluates appropriate methods, including the problems associated with various techniques and their inherent flaws (e.g. low sample sizes, large amount of field or laboratory work, high cost etc). This provides a resource base outlining details from the planning stage, into the field, guiding through sampling and finally through organism identification in the laboratory and computer based data analysis and interpretation.
The text is divided into six distinct chapters. The first chapter covers planning, including health and safety together with information on a variety of statistical techniques for examining and analysing data. Following a chapter dealing with site characterisation and general aspects of species identification, subsequent chapters describe the techniques used to survey and census particular groups of organisms. The final chapter covers interpreting and presenting data and writing up the research. The emphasis here is on appropriate wording of interpretation and structure and content of the report.
Reflecting the major advances that have been made in the field over the past decade, this book provides an overview of current models of biological systems. The focus is on simple quantitative models, highlighting their role in enhancing our understanding of the strategies of gene regulation and dynamics of information transfer along signalling pathways, as well as in unravelling the interplay between function and evolution. The chapters are self-contained, each describing key methods for studying the quantitative aspects of life through the use of physical models. They focus, in particular, on connecting the dynamics of proteins and DNA with strategic decisions on the larger scale of a living cell, using E. coli and phage lambda as key examples. Encompassing fields such as quantitative molecular biology, systems biology and biophysics, this book will be a valuable tool for students from both biological and physical science backgrounds.
Two distinguished neuroscientists distil general principles from more than a century of scientific study, "reverse engineering" the brain to understand its design. Neuroscience research has exploded, with more than fifty thousand neuroscientists applying increasingly advanced methods. A mountain of new facts and mechanisms has emerged. And yet a principled framework to organize this knowledge has been missing. In this book, Peter Sterling and Simon Laughlin, two leading neuroscientists, strive to fill this gap, outlining a set of organizing principles to explain the whys of neural design that allow the brain to compute so efficiently. Setting out to "reverse engineer" the brain-disassembling it to understand it-Sterling and Laughlin first consider why an animal should need a brain, tracing computational abilities from bacterium to protozoan to worm. They examine bigger brains and the advantages of "anticipatory regulation"; identify constraints on neural design and the need to "nanofy"; and demonstrate the routes to efficiency in an integrated molecular system, phototransduction. They show that the principles of neural design at finer scales and lower levels apply at larger scales and higher levels; describe neural wiring efficiency; and discuss learning as a principle of biological design that includes "save only what is needed." Sterling and Laughlin avoid speculation about how the brain might work and endeavor to make sense of what is already known. Their distinctive contribution is to gather a coherent set of basic rules and exemplify them across spatial and functional scales.
Case studies, personal accounts, and analysis show how to recognize and combat pseudoscience in a post-truth world. In a post-truth, fake news world, we are particularly susceptible to the claims of pseudoscience. When emotions and opinions are more widely disseminated than scientific findings, and self-proclaimed experts get their expertise from Google, how can the average person distinguish real science from fake? This book examines pseudoscience from a variety of perspectives, through case studies, analysis, and personal accounts that show how to recognize pseudoscience, why it is so widely accepted, and how to advocate for real science. Contributors examine the basics of pseudoscience, including issues of cognitive bias; the costs of pseudoscience, with accounts of naturopathy and logical fallacies in the anti-vaccination movement; perceptions of scientific soundness; the mainstream presence of "integrative medicine," hypnosis, and parapsychology; and the use of case studies and new media in science advocacy. Contributors David Ball, Paul Joseph Barnett, Jeffrey Beall, Mark Benisz, Fernando Blanco, Ron Dumont, Stacy Ellenberg, Kevin M. Folta, Christopher French, Ashwin Gautam, Dennis M. Gorman, David H. Gorski, David K. Hecht, Britt Marie Hermes, Clyde F. Herreid, Jonathan Howard, Seth C. Kalichman, Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, Arnold Kozak, Scott O. Lilienfeld, Emilio Lobato, Steven Lynn, Adam Marcus, Helena Matute, Ivan Oransky, Chad Orzel, Dorit Reiss, Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter, Kavin Senapathy, Dean Keith Simonton, Indre Viskontas, John O. Willis, Corrine Zimmerman
Recent technological advances have enabled comprehensive determination of the molecular composition of living cells. The chemical interactions between many of these molecules are known, giving rise to genome-scale reconstructed biochemical reaction networks underlying cellular functions. Mathematical descriptions of the totality of these chemical interactions lead to genome-scale models that allow the computation of physiological functions. Reflecting these recent developments, this textbook explains how such quantitative and computable genotype-phenotype relationships are built using a genome-wide basis of information about the gene portfolio of a target organism. It describes how biological knowledge is assembled to reconstruct biochemical reaction networks, the formulation of computational models of biological functions, and how these models can be used to address key biological questions and enable predictive biology. Developed through extensive classroom use, the book is designed to provide students with a solid conceptual framework and an invaluable set of modeling tools and computational approaches.
Moving away from the long-established paradigm which holds that all political behavior is learned via socialization, this Handbook assesses the contributions of biology to political science, illustrating that behavior is in actual fact shaped by the interplay between learning and biological influences. Describing how a more biologically-oriented approach expands and enriches political science, both conceptually and in terms of its research capabilities, key chapters focus on general biological approaches to politics, biopolitical contributions to mainstream areas within political science, and linkages between biology and public policy. Providing specific examples of how Neo-Darwinism can contribute to more successful public policies, the Handbook further emphasizes the close ties between a realistic understanding of human political behavior and the likelihood that our species successfully resolves the problems that now threaten its welfare. Original and thought-provoking, this Handbook will prove an enriching read for political scientists starting to consider the value of biological factors in influencing political behavior, as well as for behavioural scientists in other areas experiencing the same paradigm shifts. Biologists will also find further grounding for their research into biological and behavioral science.
"How Do You Feel?" brings together startling evidence from neuroscience, psychology, and psychiatry to present revolutionary new insights into how our brains enable us to experience the range of sensations and mental states known as feelings. Drawing on his own cutting-edge research, neurobiologist Bud Craig has identified an area deep inside the mammalian brain--the insular cortex--as the place where interoception, or the processing of bodily stimuli, generates feelings. He shows how this crucial pathway for interoceptive awareness gives rise in humans to the feeling of being alive, vivid perceptual feelings, and a subjective image of the sentient self across time. Craig explains how feelings represent activity patterns in our brains that signify emotions, intentions, and thoughts, and how integration of these patterns is driven by the unique energy needs of the hominid brain. He describes the essential role of feelings and the insular cortex in such diverse realms as music, fluid intelligence, and bivalent emotions, and relates these ideas to the philosophy of William James and even to feelings in dogs.
"How Do You Feel?" is also a compelling insider's account of scientific discovery, one that takes readers behind the scenes as the astonishing answer to this neurological puzzle is pursued and pieced together from seemingly unrelated fields of scientific inquiry. This book will fundamentally alter the way that neuroscientists and psychologists categorize sensations and understand the origins and significance of human feelings.
Acclaimed author Matt Ridley's thrilling follow-up to his bestseller Genome. Armed with the extraordinary new discoveries about our genes, Ridley turns his attention to the nature versus nurture debate to bring the first popular account of the roots of human behaviour. What makes us who we are?In February 2001 it was announced that the genome contains not 100,000 genes as originally expected but only 30,000. This startling revision led some scientists to conclude that there are simply not enough human genes to account for all the different ways people behave: we must be made by nurture, not nature. Matt Ridley argues that the emerging truth is far more interesting than this myth. Nurture depends on genes, too, and genes need nurture. Genes not only predetermine the broad structure of the brain; they also absorb formative experiences, react to social cues and even run memory. after the discovery of the double helix of DNA, Nature via Nurture chronicles a new revolution in our understanding of genes. Ridley recounts the hundred years' war between the partisans of nature and nurture to explain how this paradoxical creature, the human being, can be simultaneously free-willed and motivated by instinct and culture. Nature via Nurture is an enthralling, up-to-the-minute account of how genes build brains to absorb experience.
Information Theory and Evolution discusses the phenomenon of life, including its origin and evolution (and also human cultural evolution), against the background of thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and information theory. Among the central themes is the seeming contradiction between the second law of thermodynamics and the high degree of order and complexity produced by living systems. This paradox has its resolution in the information content of the Gibbs free energy that enters the biosphere from outside sources, as the author will show. The role of information in human cultural evolution is another focus of the book.The first edition of Information Theory and Evolution made a strong impact on thought in the field by bringing together results from many disciplines. The new second edition offers updated results based on reports of important new research in several areas, including exciting new studies of the human mitochondrial and Y-chromosomal DNA. Another extensive discussion featured in the second edition is contained in a new appendix devoted to the relationship of entropy and Gibbs free energy to economics. This appendix includes a review of the ideas of Alfred Lotka, Frederick Soddy, Nicholas Georgiescu-Roegen and Herman E. Daly, and discusses the relevance of these ideas to the current economic crisis.The new edition discusses current research on the origin of life, the distinction between thermodynamic information and cybernetic information, new DNA research and human prehistory, developments in current information technology, and the relationship between entropy and economics.
What it takes to be a genius: nine essential and contradictory ingredients. What does it take to be a genius? A high score on an IQ test? Brilliant physicist Richard Feynman's IQ was too low for membership in Mensa. Suffering from varying degrees of mental illness? Creativity is often considered a marker of mental health. Be a child prodigy like Mozart, or a later bloomer like Beethoven? Die tragically young, like Keats, or live to a ripe old age like Goethe? In The Genius Checklist, Dean Keith Simonton examines the key factors in creative genius and finds that they are more than a little contradictory. Simonton, who has studied creativity and genius for more than four decades, draws on both scientific research and stories from the lives of famous creative geniuses that range from Isaac Newton to Vincent van Gogh to Virginia Woolf. He explains the origin of IQ tests and the art of estimating the IQ of long-dead historical figures (John Stuart Mill: 200; Charles Darwin: 160). He compares IQ scores with achieved eminence as measures of genius, and he draws a distinction between artistic and scientific genius. He rules out birth order as a determining factor (in the James family alone, three geniuses at three different birth-order positions: William James, firs-tborn; Henry James, second born; Alice James, born fifth and last); considers Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hour rule; and describes how the "lone" genius gets enmeshed in social networks. Genius, Simonton explains, operates in ways so subtle that they seem contradictory. Genius is born and made, the domain of child prodigies and their elders. Simonton's checklist gives us a new, integrative way to understand geniuses-and perhaps even to nurture your own genius!
This book primarily focuses on the study of various neurological disorders, including Parkinson's (PD), Huntington (HD), Epilepsy, Alzheimer's and Motor Neuron Diseases (MND) from a new perspective by analyzing the physiological signals associated with them using non-linear dynamics. The development of nonlinear methods has significantly helped to study complex nonlinear systems in detail by providing accurate and reliable information. The book provides a brief introduction to the central nervous system and its various disorders, their effects on health and quality of life, and their respective courses of treatment, followed by different bioelectrical signals like those detected by Electroencephalography (EEG), Electrocardiography (ECG), and Electromyography (EMG). In turn, the book discusses a range of nonlinear techniques, fractals, multifractals, and Higuchi's Fractal Dimension (HFD), with mathematical examples and procedures. A review of studies conducted to date on neurological disorders like epilepsy, dementia, Parkinson's, Huntington, Alzheimer's, and Motor Neuron Diseases, which incorporate linear and nonlinear techniques, is also provided. The book subsequently presents new findings on neurological disorders of the central nervous system, namely Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease, by analyzing their gait characteristics using a nonlinear fractal based technique: Multifractal Detrended Fluctuation Analysis (MFDFA). In closing, the book elaborates on several parameters that can be obtained from cross-correlation studies of ECG and blood pressure, and can be used as markers for neurological disorders.
Large-scale, interoperable biobanks are an increasingly important asset in today's life science research and, as a result, multiple types of biobanks are being established around the globe with very different financial, organizational and legal set-ups. With interdisciplinary chapters written by lawyers, sociologists, doctors and biobank practitioners, Global Genes, Local Concerns identifies and discusses the most pressing issues in contemporary biobanking. This timely book addresses pressing questions such as: how do national biobanks best contribute to translational research?; What are the opportunities and challenges that current regulations present for translational use of biobanks?; How does inter-biobank coordination and collaboration occur on various levels?; and how could academic and industrial exploitation, ownership and IPR issues be addressed and facilitated? Identifying that biobanks' foundational and operational set-ups should be legally and ethically sound, while at the same time reflecting the hopes and concerns of all the involved stakeholders, this book contributes to the continued development of international biobanking by highlighting and analysing the complexities in this important area of research. Academics in the fields of law and ethics, health law and biomedical law, as well as biobank managers and policymakers will find this insightful book a stimulating and engaging read.
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