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81. Origin of Species
$94.95 $56.95
82. Evolution
$122.95 $95.99
83. Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs
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84. Paleoecology: Concepts and Applications,
$44.95 $42.51
85. Calculations for Molecular Biology
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86. Short Protocols in Molecular Biology
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87. Life on Earth: A Natural History
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88. Speciation
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89. Genes VII
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90. Climate Crash: Abrupt Climate
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91. Queueing Networks: Customers,
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92. A Short History of Nearly Everything
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93. The Red Queen : Sex and the Evolution
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94. Forensic DNA Typing: Biology and
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95. The Structure of Evolutionary
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96. Mouse Development: Patterning,
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97. Bioinformatics: Sequence and Genome
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98. The Origins of Order: Self-Organization
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99. The Correspondence of Charles
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100. Evolution in Four Dimensions :

81. Origin of Species
by CHARLES DARWIN
list price: $7.99
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Asin: 0517123207
Catlog: Book (1995-05-22)
Publisher: Gramercy
Sales Rank: 6232
Average Customer Review: 4.08 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Origin of Species sold out on the first day of its publication in 1859.It is the major book of the nineteenth century, and one of the most readable and accessible of the great revolutionary works of the scientific imagination.
The Origin of Species was the first mature and persuasive work to explain how species change through the process of natural selection.Upon its publication, the book began to transform attitudes about society and religion, and was soon used to justify the philosophies of communists, socialists, capitalists, and even Germany's National Socialists.But the most quoted response came from Thomas Henry Huxley, Darwin's friend and also a renowned naturalist, who exclaimed, "How extremely stupid not to have thought of that!"
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Reviews (49)

3-0 out of 5 stars An esential read for any scientist.
Darwin's "Origin of Species" is in fact an abstract of a 20 volume thesis containing the evidence gathered over many years which support the concept of evolution by natural selection. This way of describing the evolution of organisms on earth has by now become the standard and, in fact, one hardly ever thinks of evolution without automatically connecting it with Darwin's ideas.

At first, upon commencing reading this small book, I continued to ask `where is the evidence for that' but on realising that he had gathered a large volume of data to support this theory I simply continued to read on. Its not either an easy read or that complicated. Darwin looks at evolution in a very comprehensive way: first, linking the main idea with the variation of animals under domestication, something he himself had extensively studied in the case of pidgeons; second, associating this with variation under nature and the struggle for existence; he then goes on to describe in detail natural selection and the laws of variation. He follows this like any good scientist by an analysis of what may be the theory's weaknesses, such as the scarcity in the geological record and the lack of organisms in a state of gradation. He then applies the ideas to instinct, hybridism and then discusses in great depth the imperfections of the geological record. He also considers how geographical distribution can alter the results of evolution and how the embryos of various animals have a resemblance to that of other animals and how they also appear to repeat previous evolutionary steps as they mature.

Its too bad the 20 volume set was never published, even the incomplete version would have been better than only the abstract. Nonetheless it is well discussed and written as a comprehensive summary of the main thesis. At times the style can be repetitive and even dull but this is compensated for by fascinating little excerpts which are present throughout. This was, remarkably enough, my first reading of "The Origin of Species" and I do believe that every practicing scientist should read it as part of their education rather than accepting its tenets without question as is the wont. However rather than being a description of the true origin of species, it actually takes a change which occurs (by whatever means) and then describes the process the species undergoes from then on. Darwin never actually said anything about how new variations are formed, this was left for others to consider and eventually led to the modern Darwinian thesis including the idea of mutation caused by radiation, viruses or chemical agents. Much has also come to light over the last century such as the symbiosis of organisms producing the merger of cell and mitochondria seen in every cell today and similarly the recent evidence of gene swapping going on between bacteria and now also larger organisms, see "Lamarck's Signature" by Ted Steele. Since Darwin did also not explain form but rather the possibility of how form came about Brian Goodwin's Form and Transformation is a good place to start.

It must also be remembered that in his time the thesis was new even if many others were working on similar ideas Darwin was the first, in conjunction with Wallace, to expand on natural selection and obtain strong evidence for it. An essential read for any scientist.

5-0 out of 5 stars The second most misrepresented book ever written
There is only one other book that is so widely known, discussed, and debated, yet so rarely read: that other book is the Bible. To make my point, here is a little quiz:

1) Which name is most closely associated with the theory of evolution?

2) Which book did this person write on evolution?

3) What claims are made in that book?

4) What else is contained in that book?

With astonishing regularity, the average literate adult will respond as follows: 1) Darwin, 2) Origin of Species, 3) Humans descended from apes, and 4) I have no idea. The first two are correct, the third is absolutely false, and the fourth is an admission of complete ignorance. Considering that "Origin of Species" is over 600 pages long, and took nearly two decades to write, one would expect it to contain something more than the four simple words "Humans descended from apes," which, in fact, it neither contains nor implies. So, what DOES it contain? There is one word that best summarizes the bulk of Darwin's magnum opus: "observation".

It is a lengthy book; at times it is tedious, at times politically incorrect, and at times scientifically off-base. But, despite its numerous flaws, it is one of the greatest achievements in the history of mankind. Even if you are among the few who refuse to accept Darwin's ideas, you cannot deny their impact. The theory is the cornerstone--if not the very foundation--of modern biology. Whatever your preconceptions, you will likely be surprised by this work. Darwin was the consummate naturalist and scientist, as well as a refined and articulate gentleman. "Origin" is a delight and an epiphany to read. It's amazing how much Darwin got right, despite the fact that he had essentially no idea of how inheritance worked. It's amazing how much data Darwin carefully assembled, analyzed, and described. It's amazing how meticulously Darwin weighed the evidence, noting when competing theories made different predictions, when the available evidence was not what he would have expected, and what future evidence could completely discredit (falsify) his theory. It's amazing in its honesty.

The misconceptions about "Origin of Species" are not merely rampant, they are effectively universal, fueled (largely in the US) by the rise of creationism, which seeks first and foremost to vilify the theory of evolution as well as Darwin (often failing to distinguish between the two). It's worth the time to read this enormous but meticulously crafted volume, if only to allow you to form your own opinions about such an influential book. Once you have, take the little quiz again. You may need 600 pages to answer the last question.

3-0 out of 5 stars Hum
Another reviewer boldly proclaimed "they(creationists) might see that arguing against Darwin's theory is like arguing Netwon's theory of gravity is wrong."

Well, the problem is that Newton's theory of gravity is ultimately wrong.

5-0 out of 5 stars The most important book of biological science.
'The Origin of Species' by Charles Darwin is the most important book of biological science. Even though the book may be dead in detail, it is basically the "big bang" of evolutionary thought. If one is a student of Biology, this is the book they want to read in order to develop true scientific thought.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully readable
The cover of this edition is misleading as Darwin only refers to man once in this book. It was in "Descent of Man" that he addressed the subject of evolution in man. That aside, this is a great book. Darwin wrote one of the most readable scientific texts in history. It also happens to be one of the most important science books in all of history. If you have never read a seminal science book before, treat yourself and see what a pleasure it can be. ... Read more


82. Evolution
by Monroe W. Strickberger
list price: $94.95
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Asin: 0763710660
Catlog: Book (2000-01-15)
Publisher: Jones & Bartlett Publishers
Sales Rank: 91398
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The second edition of this widely used textbook brings togetherprevailing knowledge and ideas about evolution and provides an informedevolutionary framework of thought for undergraduates. The orientation of thetext is based on the concept that evolution is a historical science in everysense of the word. Evolution is defined completely: from its concern with thehistory of the physical and chemical events that led up to organisms on earth toits exploration of the historically coded genetic information that connectsorganisms to events in the past. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource
This is a superb textbook. Where it surpasses the most widely known textbook in the field (Futuyma)is in its detailed listing of original source material after every chapter. This makes it an excellent springboard into serious background study for virtually any aspect of evolution or the topics surrounding evolution.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I used the second edition of this book and have not had a chance to view the third, but it no doubt is an excellent and comprehensive overview of the theory of evolution, just as in the second. In the edition I used, there are many fine diagrams illustrating the main points and also exercises at the end of each chapter to reinforce the concepts presented. Space probibits a detailed review so I will list only the areas in the book that I found exceptionally well-written: 1. The philosophical and religious issues in evolution theory. 2. The history of biology before Darwin. 3. The comparison between the pangenesis and germ plasm theories in the formation of a human. 4. The table on the comparison of views on variation and heredity. 5. The clarification by the author that evolution is primarily a historical process, and not arising by a lucky combination of events. 6. The general scheme of protein synthesis in Escherchia coli. 7. The schematic diagram outlining the mutual dependence of information carried by nucleotide sequences and function governed by proteins. 8. The dicussion on the "RNA world". 9. The universality of the genetic code. 10. The evolution of the genetic code. 11. The discussion on exceptions to Mendelism. 12. The highly interesting discussion on the evolution of sex-determining systems. 13. The discussion on sickle cell mutation. 14. Evolutionary solutions to problems of locomotion. 15. The evolution of the human brain. 15. Conservation of gene frequencies and Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. 16. The treatment of adaptive landscapes showing adaptive heights of different possible genotypes.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fascinatingly complete and accessible work
"Evolution" covers all of the possible topics with completion and accuracy. The work is made accessible to any reader through wide use of graphics to illustrate key concepts.The book is divided into four parts, each dealing with a different facet of evolutionary science: "The Organic Framework" concerns with the evolution of each of the five kingdoms of organisms; "The Psysical and Chemical Framework" focuses on the cellular level, dealing with the common chemical background and mechanisms of living creatures; "The Historical Framework" discusses the events leading up to Darwin's concept of evolution and further into our time; and, finally, "The Mechanisms", which reveals the workings of evolution on small-scale levels, such as gene frequencies and populations. Each of the book's chapters is further supported by an accompinying web site.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very informative and well written book.
This is the most complete book I've ever seen when it comes to the subject of evolution. The author writes with incredible detail and a mastery not often found when it comes to evolutionary biology. ... Read more


83. Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs
by Kevin Padian, Philip J. Currie
list price: $122.95
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Asin: 0122268105
Catlog: Book (1997-09-17)
Publisher: Academic Press
Sales Rank: 274149
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book is the most authoritative encyclopedia ever prepared on dinosaurs and dinosaur science. In addition to entries on specific animals such as Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, and Velociraptor, the Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs covers reproduction, behavior, physiology, and extinction. The book is generously illustrated with many detailed drawings and photographs, and includes color pictures and illustrations that feature interpretations of the best known and most important animals. All alphabetical entries are cross-referenced internally, as well as at the end of each entry. The Encyclopedia includes up-to-date references that encourage the reader to investigate personal interests.

Key Features
*The most authoritative encyclopedia ever prepared on dinosaurs
*Includes many detailed drawings, photographs and illustrations in both color and black-and-white
*Contains comprehensively cross-referenced alphabetical entries with internal references, as well as references at the conclusion of each entry
*Provides in-depth references, allowing readers to pursue independent interests
*Includes sixteen plates and 35 color illustrations
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This is a great book, considering how huge it is. Being written in 1998, this book has all the current knowledge. There's more info on the actual era and the technical asspects of dinosaurs than the actual dinosaurs. Despite the price, this book is worth it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Questions about dinosaurs that go deeper than the surface?
If so, then this is the book for you! The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs is a wonderful, up-to-date book that covers most, if not all, topics concerned with dinosaurs. Well put-together, beautifully illustrated, and written by today's top paleontologists, the Encyclopedia is well worth the price. Although it doesn't get too technical, this book is not for the uninformed. A must have for any serious dino-enthusiast - believe me, it will answer your questions, and lead you to ask more! 5 stars may not be enough for this one! (Plus it's massive enough to knock some sense into the not-so-dino-loving loved one or associate in your life!)

5-0 out of 5 stars This definitely belongs on the shelf of any dino-lover.
When I first received this book for Christmas, I was shocked! The book was the size and weight of a telephone book! It's packed with skeletal drawings, cladograms, paintings... You name it, it's in the text.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice work!
This is really a good book, with much nice information and artwork (although more art plates may have been a good idea). The numerous articles are written by specialists and that makes the book more up-to-date and interesting than many others. However, articles are very short, so that people will quickly become interested to get more informations. This is possible with references given at the end of each entry.

However, I think this book is a bit too technical for the basal concepts it describes; the style *The Complete Dinosaur* is, I think, more approprite.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, up to date information on dinosaurs!
We've all read the bylines: the public loves dinosaurs. And it's true. But we're also not all that discriminating. As a result, many dinosaur books are very out of date. The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs is a notable exception to this. Each topic is written not only by a paleontologist, but by a dinosaur paleontologist who specializes in that particular subject. The result? A compendium of information that could otherwise be obtained only by attending perfessional meetings for years. And of course, at professional meetings technical laguage is the norm. Anyone want to decipher "the relevance of the arctometatarsilian pes to the phylogenetic analysis of coelurosaurian theropods"..? The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs is written plainly and clearly. Any interested adult or teenager could master the knowledge within much easier than, say, highschool algerbra. As a student of paleontology, and someone who has attended numerous professional meetings, I can say with confidence that this book will equip any aspiring paleontologist with the knowledge needed to reach the "next leve" of understanding of the dinosaurs. ... Read more


84. Paleoecology: Concepts and Applications, 2nd Edition
by James R. Dodd, Robert J. Stanton
list price: $300.00
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Asin: 0471857114
Catlog: Book (1990-03-07)
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Sales Rank: 809393
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Book Description

Revised and updated, it reflects the recent developments and changing emphasis in the field of paleoecology. While the basic organization remains the same as the original edition, there are several major changes, including an extensive reorganization and shortening of Chapter 2, focusing now on environmental parameters rather than individual taxonomic groups; greater use of tables with references to pertinent literature; inclusion of a new chapter on taphonomy; elimination of the chapter on skeletons as sedimentary particles; removal of many of the recurring examples from the Neogene of the Kettlemen Hills; and inclusion of new references on all topics. Older references have been kept and will serve to blend the historical and important milestones in the development of paleoecology with the most current research. ... Read more


85. Calculations for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: A Guide to Mathematics in the Laboratory
by Frank H. Stephenson
list price: $44.95
our price: $44.95
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Asin: 0126657513
Catlog: Book (2003-05)
Publisher: Academic Press
Sales Rank: 78954
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Calculations in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: A Guide to Mathematics in the Laboratory is the first comprehensive guide devoted exclusively to calculations encountered in the genetic engineering laboratory. Mathematics, as a vital component of the successful design and interpretation of basic research, is used daily in laboratory work. This guide, written for students, technicians, and scientists, provides example calculations for the most frequently confronted problems encountered in gene discovery and analysis.The text and sample calculations are written in an easy-to-follow format. It is the perfect laboratory companion for anyone working in DNA manipulation and analysis.

*A comprehensive guide to calculations for a wide variety of problems encountered in the basic research laboratory.
* Example calculations are worked through from start to finish in easy-to-follow steps
* Key chapters devoted to calculations encountered when working with bacteria, phage, PCR, radioisotopes, recombinant DNA, centrifugation, oligonucleotides, protein, and forensic science.
*Written for students and laboratory technicians but a useful reference for the more experienced researcher.
*A valuable teaching resource.
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Calculator and This Book on Every Lab Bench
.
For most of my entry-level biotechnology students, it's not the science, it's the math.

Adults and students in my three-year biotechnology pathway (San Mateo Biotechnology Career Pathway) have weak, incomplete or dated math backgrounds. Dr. Stephenson's "Calculations for Molecular Biology anf Biotechnology" quickly and clearly explains and demonstrates how to make the most common calculations done in biotechnology research and manufacturing.

In a conversational way, that puts users of all levels at ease, the book does a particularly good job of presenting text in small, digestible amounts with practice problems and answers directly following.

For my program, Chapter 1 (Scientific Notation and Metric Prefixes) and Chapter 2 (Solutions, Mixtures, and Media) are excellent reviews and remediation of calculations taught in the first semester's standard lab training.

Other chapters include several sections that are used or could be used as reference for my second and third year students. Some of these include bacterial growth curves and cell culture concentrations (Chapter 3), DNA Quantitation using spectrophotometers and gels (Chapter 5), PCR reactants concentration and preparation (Chapter 8), Protein Quantitation using spectrophotometry (Chapter 10), and Data Analysis (Chapter 12).

One of the things I like best about the book is that there are so many topics presented that my students have proposed several new research ideas utilizing the techniques and calculations presented.

I recommend this book as a reference for technicians, researchers, students, and teachers who work or are training to work in biotechnology labs or manufacturing facilities. ... Read more


86. Short Protocols in Molecular Biology (Short Protocols in Molecular Biology)
list price: $169.00
our price: $152.10
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Asin: 0471250929
Catlog: Book (2002-10-18)
Publisher: Current Protocols
Sales Rank: 94327
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Recently expanded to 2 volumes, Short Protocols in Molecular Biology, Fifth Edition, provides condensed descriptions of more than 700 methods compiled from Current Protocols in Molecular Biology. Includes new chapters on chromatin assembly and analysis, nucleic acid arrays, generation and use of combinatorial libraries, discovery and analysis of differentially expressed genes in single cells and cell populations.

The book is specifically designed to provide quick access to step-by-step instructions for the essential methods used in every major area of molecular biological research

Short Protocols in Molecular Biology, Fifth Edition is an authoritative and indispensable guide for all life scientists, researchers, and students at the graduate and advanced undergraduate level

Expanded to 2 volumes.
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Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars an excellent brief reference book
This is a well-organized, clear, short reference work. Well done

4-0 out of 5 stars The (little) Red book...
Here is the little red bok.
If the big one is too expensive for you, you can always buy this. You'll find inside all the important protocols and data for molecular biology.It's up to date, and clearly presented.
Try it, and then buy the big one!

4-0 out of 5 stars A very good reference manual
This book is an essential tool for people in the scientific field such as Molecular Biology (obviously), Biochemistry, and Neuroscience. It is comprehensive and up-to-date as far as the techniques are concerned. It is good value in a sense that you don't have to buy the whole "Current Protocols Series" which costs an arm and a leg if you do. Although nowadays, a lot of "kits" are commercially available, the techniques found in this book explain principles and provide different alternatives suited for your needs. Molecular Cloning by Maniatis et al., although needs updating, is still a helpful reference in my opinion and it complements this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have for any Molecular Biologist...
I originally bought this book as a secondary source of information (Maniatis has ben my bible now for a few years...) but as time has progressed I have found myself using this book more and more. The protocols are easy to follow, logically placed, give enough information so you understand what it is you are doing, are up to date, and are all in one volume. Yes, this has effectively replaced my copy of Molecular Cloning (which is in desperate need of an update). Great job! ... Read more


87. Life on Earth: A Natural History
by David Attenborough
list price: $40.00
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Asin: 0316057452
Catlog: Book (1981-10-01)
Publisher: Little Brown & Co (T)
Sales Rank: 99024
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
A really interesting and informative book by a wonderful author, who has a real talent in writing. I found it simple and easy, (in a good way) and was sad to turn the last pages. It also has beautiful pictures.

5-0 out of 5 stars ambitious, panoramic view of life on our planet
Thirteen chapters matching the thirteen programs of the BBC series on which it was based. Follows the evolution of life on earth, presenting fascinating observations about the likely functional reasons life unfolded as it has. Offers the grand sweep of life in an engaging and integrated presentation, with a very readable and even charming tone, and including more than 100 excellent color photos. TOC:
1 the infinite variety
2 building bodies
3 the first forests
4 the swarming hordes
5 the conquest of the waters
6 the invasion fo the land
7 a watertight skin
8 lords of the air
9 eggs, pouches, and placentas
10 theme and variation
11 the hunters and the hunted
12 a life in the trees
13 the compulsive communicators
... Read more


88. Speciation
by JERRY A. COYNE, H. ALLEN. ORR, H. Allen Orr
list price: $54.95
our price: $54.95
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Asin: 0878930892
Catlog: Book (2004-05)
Publisher: Sinauer Associates
Sales Rank: 26041
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Book Description

Over the last two decades, the study of speciation has expanded from a modest backwater of evolutionary biology into a large and vigorous discipline. Thus, the literature on speciation, as well as the number of researchers and students working in this area, has grown explosively. Despite these developments, there has been no book-length treatment of speciation in many years. As a result, both the seasoned scholar and the newcomer to evolutionary biology had no ready guide to the recent literature on speciation—a body of work that is enormous, scattered, and increasingly technical. Although several excellent symposium volumes have recently appeared, these collections do not provide a unified, critical, and up-to-date overview of the field. Speciation is designed to fill this gap.

Aimed at professional biologists, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates, Speciation covers both plants and animals (the first book on this subject to do so), and deals with all relevant areas of research, including biogeography, field work, systematics, theory, and genetic and molecular studies. It gives special emphasis to topics that are either controversial or the subject of active research, including sympatric speciation, reinforcement, the role of hybridization in speciation, the search for genes causing reproductive isolation, and mounting evidence for the role of natural and sexual selection in the origin of species. The authors do not hesitate to take stands on these and other controversial issues. This critical and scholarly book will be invaluable to researchers in evolutionary biology and is also ideal for a graduate-level course on speciation. ... Read more


89. Genes VII
by Benjamin Lewin
list price: $49.50
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Asin: 019879276X
Catlog: Book (1999-12-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 286612
Average Customer Review: 3.81 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Oxford University Press is proud to present GENES VII--the latest edition of Benjamin Lewin's best-selling textbook. This authoritative work provides an integrated account of the structure and function of genes and incorporates all the latest research in the field.

THE MOST SIGNIFICANT REORGANIZATION TO DATE

The power of direct analysis of the genome has made a significant difference in the approach of GENES VII. In a departure from previous editions, which started with a traditional analysis of formal genetics, the new edition begins with the molecular properties of the gene itself. The text is now reorganized to begin with the concept of genes as a segment of DNA coding for protein, and then proceeds directly to the characterization of the genome in terms of its content of genes.

INTEGRATED APPROACH

GENES VII first explains the structure and function of the gene as a means to revealing the operation of the genome as a whole, and offers an integrated approach to prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The gene is considered from all aspects, including:

* Basic forms

* The numbers and relationships among genes in a genome

* Their packaging into chromosomes

* The process of gene expression from transcription through translation

* The reproduction and safeguarding of the gene structure

* Aspects of the overall circuitry through which genotype determines phenotype

STREAMLINED, FULL-COLOR DESIGN

GENES VII has been considerably restructured and reorganized to highlight the latest research and technology. It contains more that 800 full color illustrations that are extremely useful in teaching the key concepts presented in the book.

GENES VII CONTAINS NEW, GROUNDBREAKING INFORMATION ON:

* New technologies that count and compare expressed genes

* Accessory proteins (chaperones)

* The role of the proteasome

* Licensing

* Reverse translocation

* Connections between repair and recombination systems and human diseases

* Connections between the structure of chromosomal material and control of gene expression in eukaryotes

* The process of X chromosome inactivation

* Imprinting

* Control of gene expression by epigenetic changes

* The enzymatic activities that control chromatin structure and affect the regulatory process

* Archeael enzymes

* The mechanism of RNA editing in lower eukaryotes

* The role of RAG genes

* Interactions within and between pathways

* The use of protein degradation to control passage through the cell cycle

* Programmed cell death

* Telomerase and its role in carcinogenesis. And much more! ... Read more

Reviews (21)

4-0 out of 5 stars It's earned a spot on my bookshelf
Although many of my college textbooks have been packed away into neat little boxes and shoved into an attic, this one sits on my shelf and will be called into duty in the future. In an ideal world, the author would have written just for me: reordered the chapters, gone into greater detail for some topics and less for others, and inserted images that pertained to the level of detail I needed. However, the world isn't ideal. The book comes as close as any text can to meeting the needs of readers who need the book as a fundamental learning aid and as a reference guide. However, although it's jam-packed with information, it's a little tedious reading through the elementary text to get to what you need. Perhaps he needs to split the book into two texts: an Introductory Genes (Green Genes?) and an advanced text. Overall, worth the money.

2-0 out of 5 stars Thumbs down from a frustrated professor
Lewin's Genes series has dominated the market in Molecular Biology textbooks ... Unfortunately, its monopoly status seems to have insulated Lewin, his illustrators, and his editors from the corrective influences of a competitive market...so far.

I am in my second year of teaching from this book and I find it very frustrating. Lewin's writing style is unclear, difficult and distracting. Tangential ideas and subjects appear out of nowhere in the middle of chapters for no logical reason. As I write this, I should be preparing my lecture for Chapter 26 (Signal transduction). Why does this chapter start with a discussion of transporters? Later parts contain sentences that are almost unreadable and way too much detail about the alphabet soup of different kinases.

Although it is much better than some earlier editions, Genes VII still contains a variety of major and minor errors, including serious problems in explaining how lagging strand DNA synthesis is coordinated in the replication fork - several experts tell me that the model in figure 13.16 is simply wrong. The holoenyme does not lose one of its catalytic subunits with each cycle of Okazaki fragment synthesis. The clamp simply lets go and the clamp loader grabs the next fragment with a new clamp. I realized this semester that I had been ignoring the book and teaching what I knew from seminars.

Even when the content they describe is basically correct, figures in Genes VII can be astonishingly bad. Homologous recombination is illustrated with DNA strands that are only color coded and where the 5' and 3' ends are not labeled (Chapter 14). Unlabeled spliceosomal proteins change their color codes in the middle of the pathway - transesterification to form the lariat also seems to change U2 into U1 (Figure 22.10).

I am hoping that one of the newer competitors for Genes VII will prove to be a suitable replacement. I am examining Robert Weaver's Molecular Biology - I like what I've read so far - and should get a review copy of T.A. Brown's Genomes soon. ...Disclaimer - I have no financial interest in the success of any of these. All of them are available on Amazon.

By the way, I do have a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology. I'm not an expert in all of the material covered by Genes VII, but I was trained in labs whose work is cited in Genes VII.

5-0 out of 5 stars the best book
In my opinion it is the best book i have partly read by far and every time when i have a free time i intrestingly like to read this book. In fact, i have found it very usefull to undrestand basic meaning of celular and molecular phenomenons and genes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
This book is well written and provides an excellent introduction to the subject matter. It's a comprehensive text for anyone who wishes to gain a thorough exposure to the genes, genomes and gene regulation. However, this book does have it's drawbacks. Recent advances in genomics maybe covered on a later textbook. Perfect for an undergraduate or a beginning grad student. I suggest this book as a companion for a more comprehesive text such MBOC by alberts et al. If you are faced with a choice of either alberts or Genes VII, I suggest alberts. For the seasoned molecular biologist I urge you to look elsewhere.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good
This book is useful but if your new to genetics and want a nice reference book that is easy to read I recommend "Concepts of Genetics" by Klug and Cummings. I have the 6th version and even though it is not as popular as Lewin's texts it reads well and has great pictures. ... Read more


90. Climate Crash: Abrupt Climate Change And What It Means For Our Future
by John D. Cox
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
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Asin: 0309093120
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Joseph Henry Press
Sales Rank: 22689
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Book Description

Watch out for natural climate change. From warm to cold, wet to dry, it doesn't behave the way scientists thought it did. A drastic climate shift more sudden and troublesome than we'd ever imagined could already be underway.

As scientists carefully search for clues in the sun and storm patterns from our distant past, they are gradually writing a new history of Earth's climate. Layers extracted from cores drilled into glaciers and ice sheets, sediments collected from the shores of lakes and oceans, and growth rings exposed in ancient corals and trees all tell the same surprising story.

It is now apparent that alterations in our climate can happen quickly and dramatically. Physical evidence reveals that centuries of slow, creeping climate variations have actually been punctuated by far more rapid changes. While this new paradigm represents a significant shift in our picture of Earth's past, the real question is what it means for our future.

Many researchers are now quietly abandoning the traditional vision of a long, slow waltz of slumbering ice ages and more temperate periods of interglacial warming. While they've long recognized the threats posed by global warming, they must now consider that the natural behavior of our climate is perhaps a greater threat than we'd imagined. And though there is no need for immediate alarm, the fact that changes in our climate can happen much more quickly than we'd originally thought—perhaps in the course of a human lifetime—makes it clear that science has a lot of questions to answer in this area.

What are the mechanisms for triggering a significant climate change? In what ways should we expect this change to manifest itself? When will it likely happen? Climate Crash seeks to answer these questions, breaking the story of rapid climate change to a general public that is already intensely curious about what science has to say on the topic. ... Read more


91. Queueing Networks: Customers, Signals and Product Form Solutions
by XiuliChao, MasakiyoMiyazawa, MichaelPinedo
list price: $176.00
our price: $176.00
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Asin: 0471983098
Catlog: Book (1999-09-15)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 1415315
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Book Description

Wiley-Interscience Series in Systems and Optimization Queueing Networks Customers, Signals and Product Form Solutions Xiuli Chao, New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA Masakiyo Miyazawa, Science University of Tokyo, Japan Michael Pinedo, New York University, USA 'Mathematically beautiful and elegant yet has much practical application' - Professor Richard Weber The first mathematical analysis of a queueing problem concerned the use of early telephone switches. Since then, emerging technologies such as those in telecommunications and the manufacturing industry have prompted considerable interest and activity in the field. Much of the current research has been enabled by recent, rapid advances in computer technology making large scale simulations and complex approximations possible. Today, queueing systems play an integral role in the performance evaluation and optimization of computer, communication. manufacturing and transportation systems. Includes:
* Discussion on the fundamental structures of queueing network models
* The latest developments in the field
* Thorough examination of numerous applications
* Exercises at the end of each chapter
* Coverage of queueing networks with signals
* Discussion of future research developments
With the advances in information technology, many networks have, in addition to conventional jobs, signals and messages circulating throughout the system. A signal carries information and instructions and may trigger complex simultaneous events. The objective of this book is to present, in a unified framework, the latest developments in queueing networks with signals, After introducing the foundations in the first four chapters, Chapters 5 through to 8 cover a number of different queueing network models with various features. Chapters 9 to 11 focus on more fundamental structures of queueing networks and Chapter 12 presents a framework for discrete time queueing network models. The text is illustrated throughout with numerous examples. Graduate students in operations research, computer science, electrical engineering and applied mathematics will find this text accessible and invaluable. An essential reference for operation researchers and computer scientists working on queueing problems in computing, manufacturing and communications networks.
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92. A Short History of Nearly Everything
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
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Asin: 0739302949
Catlog: Book (2003-05)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 2904
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

One of the world’s most beloved and bestselling writers takes his ultimate journey -- into the most intriguing and intractable questions that science seeks to answer.

In A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson trekked the Appalachian Trail -- well, most of it. In In A Sunburned Country, he confronted some of the most lethal wildlife Australia has to offer. Now, in his biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand -- and, if possible, answer -- the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world’s most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, travelling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their powerful minds. A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Reviews (236)

4-0 out of 5 stars Just like on PBS
I like Bill Bryson's writing style. This is a book one wishes they read as a teenager. It really brings science alive. One feels like they are witnessing events as they occur in the first person. I like how Bryson takes scientific topics and makes them simple too understand. Bryson puts numbers in perspective and helps the reader understand the spatial enormity or complexity of the elements, atom, planets, and stars. Its easy to retell a Bryson story because they have good imagination well connect ideas that flow into an interesting story without sounding too intellectual. Like, "What is it like to be inside of an Cell? How do cells work? Who discovered DNA and why?" Question like these.

I think reading "A Short History of Nearly Everything" is a great introduction to science, astronomy, biology, and geology. Bryson keeps the narrative down to earth, terminology to a minimum, and brings out interesting viewpoints on the birth of the cosmos, the self-repairing DNA, life on planet earth, and the composition of the earth.

Bryson did a job not boring the reader with the mysteries of science. Its entertaining reading and not difficult material to understand. Bryson presents thought provoking material that makes one want to read many other published books by Bryson.

5-0 out of 5 stars He Really Does Cover Nearly Everything
Bill Bryson is one of those rare non-fiction writers who can combine anecdote, humor and actual information, all in one book. Here he covers the history of the earth, starting with the big bang and covering all sorts of ground since then, including why you should be really afraid of meteors (by the time we spot the big one it'll be too late) and why you should think twice about that next visit to Yellowstone (the big one is about due).

As with most of his books it's clear he's done a lot of research, and the book is larded with the kind of stories about Famous Scientists that you've probably never heard...but also full of the sort of survey scientific information that will leave you thinking you've learned something really interesting.

Definitely worth picking up.

Who will like it: lovers of pop science, lovers of Bill Bryson, people willing to read a thick book from start to finish.

Who won't like it: people bored by pop science or any science at all.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rediscover what you learned in school and forgot
This book is aimed at people who either know very little about science, or who studied it in school and then forgot it all (my case). I read some of the reviews here and was shocked at how people criticize Bryson, especially saying he got scientific terms mixed up or had errors in his book. He is not a scientist and in my opinion that makes this book that much more impressive! Bryson devoted years of his life to learn this material, and to think we can take it all in by reading a book.. well it just doesn't seem fair! I was sad when I reached the end of the book, I wanted it to continue. I learned so much from this book, and it's interesting how many times the subject material in this book comes up in every day conversations.

Bryson approaches history from two angles: Astronomy and what we know about the universe, and Evolution and what we know about life on Earth. I learned so many things I didn't know. Fascinating facts such as that meteorites are used to date the earth with carbon dating (they're the same age). Meteorites contain proteins needed to build life. Human like species have been on Earth for 1 million years. After finishing this book, I find myself thinking about topics like these during my free time. That's how impressive this book is. If you love science, this won't be a book you just read and forget. It's a book that will teach you things you'll be thinking about for a long time.

Honestly I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If you're interested in science, it is a must read.

Michael

5-0 out of 5 stars Tabloid history of science
The book's title is very gripping but somewhat misleading - it is in fact a book of science tabloids - in a good way. It covers basic findings and histories of almost all major areas of natural sciences in a shallow but easy to follow manner. It is not intended to be introductory to science and science history (find a textbook instead), it is a fun-fact book of science and science history.

This book is full of interesting anecdotes of science and scientists behind scene, which makes the reading stimulating and gives the readers a joyful sense of "discovery". Here are just a few examples top of my mind:

- Components of your daily household cleaning powders like Comet and Ajax are made from the huge ash deposit in eastern Nebraska - they are leftover volcanic ashes from the ancient monstrous eruption of Yellowstone.

- Marie Curie, the only person to win Nobel prize in both chemistry and physics, was never elected to the French academy of sciences largely because she had an affair with a married fellow physicist after Pierre Curie died in a traffic accident. Madame Curie eventually died of leukemia and her papers and lab books (even her cookbooks) are so dangerously contaminated by radiation that those who wish to see them must wear protective clothing.

- Clair Patterson (a University of Chicago alumnus), who in 1953 gave the definitive measurement of the age of the Earth (4,550 million years - plus or minus 70 millions) by analyzing lead/uranium ratios in old rocks and meteorites, was also the leading expert in atmospheric lead poisoning and the early advocate of cleaning lead additives from manmade product. To his credit, Clean Air Act 1970 eventually led to the ban of leaded gasoline in United States in 1986. Almost immediately the blood lead level in Americans dropped 80%.

Informative tabloids like these are all over the book. Bryson did a perfect job of bringing dull facts in history of science into fun everyday life experience. He compiled a huge amount of anecdotes from otherwise hard to find sources and weaved them together seamlessly in fluid and humorous writing. It makes the reading of science fun.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best book you would be able to read in your lifetime!
By reading this book you realize how lucky you are to be here right now. To be reading this in front of your computer is an acomplishment that you may not realize. It shows how much we know about ourselves and the enviroment around us. "A Short History of Nearly Everything" explains in full detail how we became who we are, how we survived, and how impossible it is to do so. If you are interested in science and are looking for something to read, this well-written story is a great page-turner. ... Read more


93. The Red Queen : Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature
by Matt Ridley
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
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Asin: 0060556579
Catlog: Book (2003-05-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 8676
Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Referring to Lewis Carroll's Red Queen from Through the Looking-Glass, a character who has to keep running to stay in the same place, Matt Ridley demonstrates why sex is humanity's best strategy for outwitting its constantly mutating internal predators. The Red Queen answers dozens of other riddles of human nature and culture -- including why men propose marriage, the method behind our maddening notions of beauty, and the disquieting fact that a woman is more likely to conceive a child by an adulterous lover than by her husband. Brilliantly written, The Red Queen offers an extraordinary new way of interpreting the human condition and how it has evolved.

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Reviews (39)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Intro...
A fine intro, even excelllent, into the subject of "why and wherefore sex." But it does not offer a satisfying discussion of human nature, and is, I think, mistitled. Sex, says the Red Queen, is about keeping ahead and evolving a little faster than your parasites through a process that offers your offrspring a little genetic diversity with each generation.

While the book does look at how males and females approach sex, it virtually ignores the question of how sexual selection, how male and female choice, might have played in developing human nature. The only apsects of human nature discussed here are thoserelated to sex per se and not sexual selection, parenting, disply, aggression, risk, social bonds, etc. Still it does offer for a wonderful and clear overview of the history of "why sex" theories and some nifty insights into some behaviours.

My major complaint is that book does create a bit of a straw man in later chapters with respect to feminism, and, I think, unfairly characterizes the intersection of gender politics and evolutionary psychology.

Read this book first, then read Miller's The Mating Mind and Hrdy's Mother Nature for a deeper but still easy to grasp and accessible discussion of how evolution shapes human nature. Also recommended is the brilliant biologist Zuk's book, Sexual Selections--really wonderful!

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb Read
This book is absolutely filled with interesting theories on the evolution of sexual behavior and of the effects of selection preferences on the evolution of various species. I found particularly interesting the notion that gender is not a necessity for reproduction nor even necessarily a good plan for projecting one generation's genes into the future. It hardly occurs to a member of a species that places so much emphasis on sex and gender that their occurence and persistance actually need some explanaton. Ridley does this with flare, illustrating with examples from other species what is possible and mathematically what is likely to occur genetically with various approaches to reproduction. He also provides an overview of most of the theories of why gender occurs and reasons why most theories don't quite hold up when examined against what actually occurs in nature. His own theory of parasite and infectious disease resistance and an "arms race" of sorts between host and parasite seems quite plausible as an explanation for the rise of gender. He also gives a thorough account of how selection of certain noncounterfitable traits exhibiting the health of prospective mates has caused a similar Red Queen stalemate between the sexes and has led to the types of behavior seen as characteristic of male and female humans. An interesting book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, But Dense
One of the mysteries that I've been struggling with for the past few years is why so many people engage in extramarital affairs. If most people agree that it's wrong to break marriage vows, why do so many people do it. Another way of looking at the question is by asking why we are so obsessed with sex that it overcomes our better judgment.

Although I don't agree with everything in Mr. Ridley's book, it adds a dimension to the debate that I hadn't really considered, which is that almost all human behavior is driven by sexual urges and reproduction at an evolutionary level. The behaviors that lead to successful reproduction are likely to be passed to later generations, while the only trait that cannot be passed along is abstinence. From this model, people will engage in all kinds of seemingly irrational behavior when doing so is biologically advantageous.

My fundamental distress with this premise is that it diminishes the value of human reason, which is something that evolved through generations just as much as the biological drive to reproduce. While Mr. Ridley premise is that one of the main values of being smart is that it allows the brainy people to outwit their sexual competitors, I get depressed when I think of us as essentially no more than reproductive machines.

Mr. Ridley writes a good story that adds some nice twists to understanding human behavior. The writing did not move as quickly as I would have hoped, and some of the details about other species' sexual behavior dragged at times, but I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for explanations for behaviors that might not otherwise make sense.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sexy Reading
Sex sells. And so it should. Zoologists recognise sex as a major driving force in evolution. In this enthralling book, Matt Ridley turns his attention to the implications for humans. Polygamy, monogamy, infidelity, beauty, sexual jealousy; all can be understood anew in the light of evolution.

There are surprising conclusions to be drawn. For example, polygamy may not serve the interests of men, since it excludes many from sex entirely. Monogamy may be the result of the male majority competing for a slice of the sexual pie (mmm... sexual pie).

Ridley is an excellent guide in this exploration of human nature. His style is seductively easy to read, sometimes lulling you into accepting his arguments uncritically. But keep your wits about you and you will enjoy an engaging and clear - if somewhat whistle stop - tour of how sex has shaped humanity. This book can be read by anyone interested in what makes us human, from school pupils to professional scientists.

One final tip: the first section of the book concentrates on animals other than humans. This is necessary to set the scene, but for the really juicy stuff, skip to the later chapters.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you're deciding whether to buy this book...
To summarize anything I might say below - this is an incredible book. Mind-blowing. If you're reading reviews (as I do) trying to find the few people who didn't love the book so you can have an "unbiased" view, very good for you. (that's how I choose books, usually) My unbiased view is this - I *very rarely* give out fives. This is one of the few books that deserves it.

Matt Ridley explains in the epilogue of The Red Queen that half of his ideas are probably wrong, just like those of Freud, Jung, and many others. But this common-sense attitude, projected onto the evolution of reproduction, is EXACTLY what about this book makes it so incredible.

Ridley is grounded in a reality unfettered by religion, social science, social mores, or really any sort of external "moral" influence. (Not that he's the antichrist or anything - he's just not letting standard social concepts influence his ideas.) A few people who don't usually want to accept reality (ultra-conservatives) will hate this book. Fine. If you believe in creationism, go elsewhere. Otherwise, read this book! This is not a political or an ideological work - this is a scientific text on human evolution, and how it has been influenced by sex.

I have been able to RIVET people with discussions of facts and theories from this book. It's the best money I've spent on a single book in quite a long while. And in case I sound like way too much of a suck-up - I haven't read any of Ridley's other works, not because I haven't bought them, but because I looked through them in bookstores, and every one I looked at seems either uninteresting, wrong, or awful. But this one is GREAT! ... Read more


94. Forensic DNA Typing: Biology and Technology Behind STR Markers
by John M. Butler
list price: $79.95
our price: $79.95
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Asin: 012147951X
Catlog: Book (2001-02-15)
Publisher: Academic Press
Sales Rank: 268148
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Clearly, an outstanding piece of work!
While Dr. Butler's book on DNA typing is clearly based on experience and profound understanding of the subject, I was most impressed with the readability. I was thrilled to find principles illustrated by examples from current events! Students of science will find this book refreshing. Well written (and edited)!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Breakthrough in Forensics This Year! - A Must Have Book!
Dr. Butler takes a very complex subject and makes it easy enough for the novice to understand, yet is comprehensive enough for the professional research analyst. It is full of excellent research and observations on one of the most exciting and innovative technologies in DNA research that has been discovered in recent years. This book, without a doubt, will stand the test of time as being the authoritative reference on DNA forensic research. This book is packed with research and information that will enlighten you to the technological breakthroughs that are being made in forensic science. I have heard Dr. Butler speak and read several of his papers. He is without question the expert in DNA analysis with STR markers and this book has the distinction of being the best book ever written on the subject. Get this book, study it and find out why STR markers are the groundbreaking method for DNA analysis. If you are in any way involved with DNA research, you will find this book a desktop reference you will turn to again and again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Marvelous work!
This book has opened my eyes to the vast world of DNA analysis. It is an invaluable resource to those who want to understand how criminal justice will advance into the new millennium. Butler's text will be the keystone of DNA analysis in the future. I look forward to revised editions as new things arise.

5-0 out of 5 stars 6 stars is more like it . . .
Rarely are such complex subjects treated so well. Dr. Butler does a fabulous job of building the foundation behind STR Markers. This is the best a MUST READ if you're in any way involved in Forensics.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb Learning Reference
This is the best document I have yet seen that teaches the fundamentals of STR analysis. It also has the most up-to-date information about the latest available technology for STR analysis. It is well written, complete and concise, very easy to read, and even has practical anecdotes. A must have for anyone teaching or learning STR analysis. ... Read more


95. The Structure of Evolutionary Theory
by Stephen Jay Gould
list price: $45.00
our price: $29.70
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Asin: 0674006135
Catlog: Book (2002-03-01)
Publisher: Belknap Press
Sales Rank: 14137
Average Customer Review: 3.69 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The theory of evolution is regarded as one of the greatest glimmeringsof understanding humans have ever had. It is an idea of science, not ofbelief, and therefore undergoes constant scrutiny and testing byargumentative evolutionary biologists. But while Darwinists may disagreeon a great many things, they all operate within a (thus far) successfulframework of thought first set down in The Origin of Species in 1859.

In The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, a monumental labor ofacademic love, Stephen Jay Gould attempts to define and revise thatframework. Using the clear metaphors and personable style he is so wellknown for, Gould outlines the foundation of the theory and attempts touse it to show that modern evolutionary biology has lost its way. Hethen offers his own system for reconciling Darwin's "basic logicalcommitments" with the critiques of modern scientists.

Gould's massive opus begs a new look at natural selection with the fullweight of history behind it. His opponents will find much to criticize,and orthodox, reductionist Darwinists might feel that Gould has giventhem short shrift. But as an opening monologue for the new century'sbiological debates, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory sets amountainous precedent in exhaustive scholarship, careful logic, andsheer reading pleasure. --Therese Littleton ... Read more

Reviews (52)

5-0 out of 5 stars The most important book on evolutionary theory since Darwin
Gould's Structure must surely rank as one of the most important contributions to evolutionary theory since the publication of Origin of Species. In brief, this massive book consists of two parts, the first being an extensive historical review of theories of evolution beginning even before Darwin and extending up to the Modern Synthesis in the 1960s, and the second a critique of key elements in evolutionary theory as formulated by Darwin and codified in the Modern Synthesis. Theoretical controversies introduced in the historical section are shown to persist even in today's discussions. Incidentally, in the first chapter there is a 40 page "abstract" which is an excellent chapter by chapter summary of the book's major points.
Some of the key Darwinian conceptions and Gould's counterproposals are as follows:
1) Darwin: natural selection at the level of the individual organism is the sole, or at least by far the most important, contributor to evolution.
Gould: There is a hierarchy of natural selection, with selection at the species level, not the organismal level, as the most important for macroevolution.
2) Darwin: natural selection operating on (hereditable)variation is by far the most dominant factor in causing evolution.
Gould: constraints on hereditable variation imposed by developmental mechanisms play a very important evolutionary role (this is where Gould gives a superb discussion of some of the recent advances in evolutionary developmental biology ("evo-devo") integrated into evolutionary theory.)
3) Darwin: Gradual transformation over geological time spans leads to the development of new species.
Gould: In fact, the paleontological evidence is that the vast majority of species develop with great rapidity (in geological terms) and then remain stable before extinction and/or replacement by a new species (punctuated equilibrium). Additionally, global catastrophic events such as the meteorite hit at the end of the Cretaceous era cause massive, sudden, and unpredictable changes in evolution.
I really can't praise this book highly enough. Yes it is long, but Gould's keen analytic abilities and his penchant for introducing interesting analogies (such as spandrels, and their classification into "franklins" and "miltons") kept my attention throughout. This is not a conventional "textbook" of evolution; you won't find here a systematic survey of how and when various different animal groups evolved. But it is an absolutely masterful survey of the theory behind evolution, buttressed by numerous in-depth examples. However, I would strongly suggest to those without much of a background in these matters reading an introductory book like Carl Zimmer's Evolution before attempting to tackle Structure.

3-0 out of 5 stars More of the same
Gould is famous for his writings in Natural History Magazine, and he has many volumes of reprints. Over the 25 years of producing these volumes his style has changed. Originally, he 'taught' evolution, including the enormously valuable historical perspective that simply was not available elsewhere. It was wonderful reading. Gould really shines here.

But over time his style changed; his articles spent more and more column inches trying to demonstrate that his personal ideas in evolutionary theory must be true since he could find so many examples in other fields of human endeavor. Architecture is a favorite. It's not that architecture isn't interesting; I even think spandrels are interesting mathematically, too. The structural origins of spandrels really doesn't contribute as much to evolutionary thought as the presentation would suggest. His recent writing simply go too far out of the way to demonstrate that he can take any field of human knowledge (those in which he has an interest, and numerous they are) and find some connection with evolution. But, as a friend of mine says, "The juice isn't worth the squeeze."

Gould's 'big idea' has been Punctuated Equilibrium. It is an insightful view of the evolutionary record, and an important contribution to the field. It stands shoulder to shoulder with the idea of Population Thinking; how to view the world through the eyes of a biologist.

I think Gould wasn't very happy with the modest reception his big idea received. Many of his later publications, along with those of Eldredge, were more pleading than persuasive. It was A big idea, but not THE big idea. It was not a revolution in evolutionary theory; it is consistent with the modern synthesis.

Gould opens this book by telling us that it, too, is 'one long argument', as Darwin referred to his own "Origin of Species". It is also the title of a recent book by Ernst Mayr. This is an on-going, perhaps unconscious, effort of Gould's to be more Mayr-like in his writing. In many ways "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory" is an attempt to replicate Mayr's "Growth of Biological Thought" and "Towards a New Philosophy of Biology".

In fact, this book begins with almost one hundred pages that seem to be a book within the book; I think Gould finished his 'big book' early and then felt compelled to write an 80 page 'paperback' introduction to it. Feel free to skip these and go right to the meat. Still, the meat is tough.

Reading Gould, the prose always seemed to get in the way of the content. TO a great extent, it still does. If you put in the effort, you will find some great ideas to think about.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting book....but long-winded and bloated
As a non-biologist I found this book tough to read. First, at nearly 1,400 pages the book suffers from a complete lack of editing or even clear sense of organization. SET does not really flow, but, rather, vomits forth sections and subsections in an unending torrent of seemingly ill-planned and overly huge chapters. Second, the book was filled with duplication, uneeded "I'm-so-smart" self-congratulation, and varied in how readable it was. It often went from being a broad conceputal overview focusing on clear theoretical argumentation -- the justification for species-level selection, for instance -- to (me at least) mind-numbing excursions into jargon-filled technical studies. The result was that Gould ended up writing a book ill suited for laymen or experts in the field -- a mish-mash resulting from writing for too broad an audience.

On the plus side, there is a hell of a lot of stuff in there. I feel I now have a fairly good grasp, for an interested layman, of evolutionary theory, especially the drawbacks of "conventional" Darwinian natural selection, and how Gould's suggested theoretical "fixes" -- punctuated equilibrium, hierarchical selection, and species selection -- improves upon Darwin. The deep historical detail Gould goes into when discussing the history of Darwinian thought is also nice, especially for an outsider with little knowledge of evolutionary theory. I also enjoyed Gould's take on "Galton's Polyhedron", explanation of "spandrels", and the connection he draws between structural constraint and selective forces -- concepts I can use when thinking about outcomes in my field, the social sciences.

On the whole, I would say SET is very rich in detail, informaton, and explanation, but gets low marks for exposition. The book could clearly benefit from further editing which is why I give it only 3 stars.

1-0 out of 5 stars Gould fails to get out of his own way
I agree wholeheartedly with the review by "A reader from Vic, Australia." This book is a classic example of what happens when an author gets too big for his editor. The notion that he even had one must be taken as a matter of blind faith, as there is no empirical evidence for it.

Gould might well have had something important to say in this book; certainly, that was my hope when I bought it. Unfortunately, however, he was too busy stringing together endless chains of metaphors and inventing analogies -- many of which are dead ends -- to tell us what it was.

2-0 out of 5 stars For hardcore enthusiasts only
This is a massive book and a fitting final achievement for the immensely popular intellectual. I would recommend it to people who are interested in a deep understanding of Gould's point of view. Gould was undoubtedly a great thinker and his view of evolution is more complex and sophisticated than that of the vast majority of biologists. His most notable real achievement may have been counteracting certain misconceptions about Darwinism, although it is not entirely clear that anyone ever held the misconceptions he claims to have dispelled.

So, why the two stars?

1. His writing is appalling: pretentious, long-winded and cluttered with irrelevent and misleading literary and sporting analogies. For people who want to understand the arguments, rather than admire florid prose and elegant historical rambles, this is very irritating. The Chronicle quotes Gould as saying: "If I'm competent in anything, it's writing." He couldn't be more wrong.

2. The book is desperately in need of a good editor, not just to correct (1) above, but to eliminate a massive amount of repetition. Gould had no tolerance for editing, never redrafted and composed solely on a typewriter, and that shows very painfully. As Library Journal put it - "bloated, redundant and self-indulgent".

3. It's said that the book was written with the intention of establishing Gould in the popular imagination as Darwin's successor. With this aim he pulls a lot of dirty tricks on the reader, ranging from misleading metaphors, to straw men, to selective quotations. These are cleverly structured and stated with great authority, making them very difficult for the non-expert to pick.

4. Just because his view is sophisticated, complex, historical, and rich in literary allusion, doesn't mean it's correct. In fact, the vast majority of evolutionary biologists remain skeptical of Gould's claims, for good reasons that he does not explain.

In summary, the book may be worth reading for evolutionary biologists. It is a terrible book for the laypeople who are Gould's main readers. In contrast, Richard Dawkin's books are highly accessible, enjoyable, and convey core concepts very clearly. ... Read more


96. Mouse Development: Patterning, Morphogenesis, and Organogenesis
by Patrick P. Tam
list price: $188.95
our price: $188.95
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Asin: 0125979517
Catlog: Book (2002-03-01)
Publisher: Academic Press
Sales Rank: 244935
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Book Description

This book represents a classic compilation of current knowledge about mouse development and its correlates to research in cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, and neuroscience. Emphasis is placed on the research strategy, experimental design, and critical analysis of the data, disguishing this from other books that only focus on protocols for mouse developmental research. Selected chapters are indexed to electronic databases such as GeneBank, GenBank, Electronic Mouse Atlas, and Transgenic/Knockout, further increasing the utility of this book as a reference.

*Broad-based overview of mouse development from fundamental to specialist levels
*Extensive coverage of a wide range of developmental mutations of the mouse
*Excellent benchmark illustrations of brain, craniofacial, gut and heart development
*In-depth experiment-based assessment of concepts in mammalian development
*Focus on models of specific relevance to human development
*Comprehensive reference to key literature and electronic databases related to mouse development
*High-quality full-color production
... Read more


97. Bioinformatics: Sequence and Genome Analysis
by David W. Mount
list price: $75.00
our price: $75.00
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Asin: 0879696087
Catlog: Book (2001-03-15)
Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Sales Rank: 213515
Average Customer Review: 3.21 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The application of computational methods to DNA and protein science is a new and exciting development in biology. Bioinformatics: Sequence and Genome Analysis is a comprehensive introduction to this emerging field of study. The book has many unique and valuable features:

It is written for any biologist who wants to understand methods of sequence and structure analysis and how the necessary computer programs work

Sequence alignment, structure prediction, phylogenetic and gene prediction, database searching, and genome analysis are clearly explained and amply illustrated

Underlying algorithms and assumptions are clearly explained for the non-specialist

Examples are presented in simple numerical terms rather than complex formulas and notation

Theoretical underpinnings are linked to biological problems and their solutions

Extensive tables provide descriptions and Web sources for a broad range of publicly available software

Based on the author's extensive experience as a molecular geneticist and bioinformaticist at the University of Arizona, this is a uniquely educational book, ideal as a laboratory reference for investigators and also as teaching reference for graduate and undergraduate students studying this fast-changing discipline. ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars good for computational biologist
If you are a biologist and just want to know some background information of how to apply bioinformatics to your research, do not read this book. My recommendation for you is "developing bioinformatics computer skills" and some other books like that.
If you are a student or scientist who study bioinformatics, this book is an excellent book and really worthy to read. This books gives very detailed information on algorithm to help us understand how the software such as BLAST and FASTA are designed. The illustrations are easy to understand compared with other books I have read, especially for the statistics part of any algorithm.
One weak point is that the book focus on nucleic acid sequence analysis while talk little about protein.

1-0 out of 5 stars Horrible. A lot better books should be available nowadays
In short, the author does not have enough writing skill to write this text book.

I purchased this book a while ago. At that time, the book was really difficult to read. I thought that it is because I do not have enough knowledge to understand the material. So I stopped reading this book and studied bioinformatics by other means.

After gaining enough knowledge in bioinformatics, I re-opened this book, and it is funny to find that I still have the same amount of difficulty in understanding what the author wrote about topics that I have already built good understanding. Reading this book will only deteriorate one's understanding.

Several years ago, only just a few books were available on the market, so one needed to purchase this book. These days, there are lots of varieties to choose, and any choice is likely to be better than this book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Horrible
While this book may, and I stress the word may, contain useful information, it is so badly written that it is incomprehensible. Dr. Mount seems to believe that ten words are better than one, making "Bioinformatics" very tedious to read. After awhile I felt like I was reading a Victorian novel.
Despite being wordy, the explanations are too brief and not clear. If you don't know what he is talking about before hand, you will never understand what he is explaining. He uses an excess of words, and rarely provides a clear, concise example of what he is referring to (or if he does it is in another chapter in the book).
It also appears that the book was never edited. For example, when trying to define "ortholog" and "homolog," he writes two opposing definitions for ortholog and none for homolog. Clearly this is a mistake and Dr. Mount accidentally used the word ortholog twice while meaning to use ortholog once and homolog the other time (pg 56). While it can be argued that this mistake is unimportant and the reader can look up the definitions, it makes me wonder what else in the book is wrong that I have no way of detecting (until I waste a bunch of time doing something incorrectly).

4-0 out of 5 stars Strong foundation builder
This book will give you very strong foundations in
the basics of computation in the bio world. Though
this book does not give details of the computation
methods, it does give a very clear picture of math-
ematics and the science involved.

This book has a good coverage of FASTA and
BLAST. (Though a little bit short)

The programming techniques coverd are bare. Though
concepts like searching sequences using dynamic p-
rogramming are covered, you are better off reading
something like Proteome Research by wilkins et al.

I am yet to find a good book that deals only with
the technical and programming aspects of bio informatics
if you do find some thing interesting lemme know.

On the whole this book helped me understand a lot
about sequencing, alignment and prediction. The illustrations
and pictures provided are good and the text to the point.

If you are reading this review pls understand that I am
primarily a programmer trying to get into the
bio informatics business. I do not have any schooling
or degree or even experience in the bio informatics world.

Hope this helps

Santy

3-0 out of 5 stars whatever
Decent qualitative overview. Some discussions of algorithms are so superficial that they are misleading. Slick presentation. Used at Stanford's intro to methods course - a good recommendation.

So far, the best there is for a survey course - but for depth and accuracy in sequence analysis algorithms, go to Durbin et al or Gussfield. ... Read more


98. The Origins of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution
by Stuart A. Kauffman
list price: $49.50
our price: $39.10
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Asin: 0195079515
Catlog: Book (1993-05-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 75115
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Stuart Kauffman here presents a brilliant new paradigm for evolutionary biology, one that extends the basic concepts of Darwinian evolution to accommodate recent findings and perspectives from the fields of biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics.The book drives to the heart of the exciting debate on the origins of life and maintenance of order in complex biological systems.It focuses on the concept of self-organization: the spontaneous emergence of order that is widely observed throughout nature Kauffman argues that self-organization plays an important role in the Darwinian process of natural selection. Yet until now no systematic effort has been made to incorporate the concept of self-organization into evolutionary theory. The construction requirements which permit complex systems to adapt are poorly understood, as is the extent to which selection itself can yield systems able to adapt more successfully. This book explores these themes.It shows how complex systems, contrary to expectations, can spontaneously exhibit stunning degrees of order, and how this order, in turn, is essential for understanding the emergence and development of life on Earth.Topics include the new biotechnology of applied molecular evolution, with its important implications for developing new drugs and vaccines; the balance between order and chaos observed in many naturally occurring systems; new insights concerning the predictive power of statistical mechanics in biology; and other major issues.Indeed, the approaches investigated here may prove to be the new center around which biological science itself will evolve.The work is written for all those interested in the cutting edge of research in the life sciences. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars The science book to read. Six stars at least.
Stuart Kauffman has an MD and is a generalist. The book deals primarily with theory and understanding of computer simulations of state driven systems of large numbers of connected nodes. It examines how such systems evolve through mutation and gives a clear understanding of the limited role of natural selection in comparison to the self-organizing forces at work within such systems. It examines the meta-interaction of sub-systems of interacting states (attractor basins) that occur within a system. In English: it gives the first theoretical framework for understanding just how it is that cells which all contain identical DNA express themselves as some number of stable cell types. Normally a cell will react to a perturbation in whatever way will return it to its base stable cycle (attractor loop). One type of cell turns into another type when just the right perturbation kicks the system from one attractor basin into a different attractor basin.

This is heavier reading than his popular science book, At Home in the Universe, but preferable for anyone with the necessary tiny amount of knowledge of genetics and logic operations. There are few equations of any kind. The results apply to more than just biological systems.

The book is long because instead of just presenting a few principles that you can try to remember abstractly, he leads you through all the important steps of his research and gives you a real feel for how complex systems actually evolve and operate. The book raises more questions than it answers, as it should be for a book of such originality and importance.

When you fully grok the contents of this book you'll be so excited you'll want to rush and explain it to someone else, which will be utterly impossible, so you'll probably have to lend them your book, buy them the popular version, or face the fact that you are now relatively alone on a higher plane.

5-0 out of 5 stars New paradigm shift in biology
The Origins of Order will be viewed in the future as a milestone in shifting the existing Darwinian paradigm in biology from a "survival of the fittest" (natural selection) to a new paradigm focused on explaining the "arrival of the fittest" through self-organisation.
Using a boolean (NK) network model and a extensive amount of biological facts, Stuart Kauffman demonstrates in a powerful
way the central role of self-organisation in the creative process of life. His vision that biology seems to operate
as self-organised non-linear dynamical systems at the edge of chaos will have as much influence in biology that a similar vision offered by Nobel prize winner Prigogyne in the field of thermodynamcis. The book connects a web of fundamental ideas from the fields of biology, physics, mathematics and computer sciences and requires a strong background in biology that I unfortunately did not possess. The laborious style, the lack of clarity in the writing and the (unnecessary) length of the book should not stop anyone from reading this amazing book.
Stuart Kauffman combines an intellect and a vision that only very few scientists possess. This book is a must.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not sure what the fuss is about
There are some interesting subjects in this book such as the theory that estimates the size of the attractors for NK automata. These results are non-trivial but I do not see where the grandiose claims about life living on the 'edge of chaos' come from. Maybe in a few years someone might be able to put some more flesh on his hypotheses but right now they seem to be flights of fancy extrapolated from some trivial models that don't actually do anything.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hopeful spontaneity
Kauffman believes that spontaneous self-ordering, which both simple and complex systems can exhibit, must be incorporated into evolutionary biology, along with traditional random variation and natural selection. Certain complex systems will be spontaneously self-ordering. Natural selection then tends to push such systems to the edge of chaos. In addition to advancing Kauffman's theories, this reference provides a good overview the Neo-Darwinian synthesis, a review of origin of life theories, a review of genetic regulatory theory, and a review of cell differentiation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book I ever read
It took me a whole summer to read this book in 1993 and it is still the most amazing book I have ever read. If you are computer/mathematically inclined, have an interest in biology, and have enough time to digest it, this book will blow you away. It contains the most amazing hypotheses to come out since 1859. Unfortunately, it takes a huge investment in time to really read this book, but an epiphany awaits those who get through it. ... Read more


99. The Correspondence of Charles Darwin: Volume 14, 1866 (The Correspondence of Charles Darwin)
by Charles Darwin
list price: $120.00
our price: $120.00
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Asin: 0521844592
Catlog: Book (2004-11-25)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 532451
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Book Description

Charles Darwin's health improved substantially in 1866 under a dietary and exercise regime prescribed by his physician Henry Bence Jones. With renewed vigour, he worked steadily on his manuscript of Variation of Plants and Animals under Domestication, submitting all but the final chapter to his publisher in December. He also worked on the fourth, and much revised, edition of Origin which was delivered to printers in July, and preparations were begun for a third German edition of Origin.His improved health allowed him a more active social life. At Down, Darwin entertained a number of scientific colleagues whom he had known previously only through correspondence. He also made his first appearance in London scientific society in many years, touring the Zoological Gardens at Regent's Park, and appearing at a soirée at the Royal Society. ... Read more


100. Evolution in Four Dimensions : Genetic, Epigenetic, Behavioral, and Symbolic Variation in the History of Life (Life and Mind: Philosophical Issues in Biology and Psychology)
by Eva Jablonka, Marion J. Lamb
list price: $34.95
our price: $23.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0262101076
Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
Publisher: The MIT Press
Sales Rank: 53788
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Book Description

Ideas about heredity and evolution are undergoing a revolutionary change. New findings in molecular biology challenge the gene-centered version of Darwinian theory according to which adaptation occurs only through natural selection of chance DNA variations. In Evolution in Four Dimensions, Eva Jablonka and Marion Lamb argue that there is more to heredity than genes. They trace four "dimensions" in evolution -- four inheritance systems that play a role in evolution: genetic, epigenetic (or non-DNA cellular transmission of traits), behavioral, and symbolic (transmission through language and other forms of symbolic communication). These systems, they argue, can all provide variations on which natural selection can act. Evolution in Four Dimensions offers a richer, more complex view of evolution than the gene-based, one-dimensional view held by many today. The new synthesis advanced by Jablonka and Lamb makes clear that induced and acquired changes also play a role in evolution.

After discussing each of the four inheritance systems in detail, Jablonka and Lamb "put Humpty Dumpty together again" by showing how all of these systems interact. They consider how each may have originated and guided evolutionary history and they discuss the social and philosophical implications of the four-dimensional view of evolution. Each chapter ends with a dialogue in which the authors engage the contrarieties of the fictional (and skeptical) "I.M.," or Ifcha Mistabra -- Aramaic for "the opposite conjecture" -- refining their arguments against I.M.'s vigorous counterarguments. The lucid and accessible text is accompanied by artist-physician Anna Zeligowski's lively drawings, which humorously and effectively illustrate the authors' points.
... Read more


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