Download (The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life)
Download (The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life)
Science through the lives of the scientists who made the discoveries in estion In many ways the book is as much a book on the history of science as it is on the science itself Personally and as someone who has training in both biology and in the history of science I love this particular angle Hot Seduction (Hotshot Heroes uammen takes but others might value a straightforward approach That said the book is highly readable full of surprising facts and superbly written I recommend this book highly to anyone interested in life genetics and the history of one of science s important developments in recent years Five starsammen s extraordinary book The Tangled Tree chronicles the fascinating history of our nderstanding of the evolution of life on Earth and especially how humans fit into it ammen s path through this history is narrated through the lives of scientists past and present with strikingly personal respectful sympathetic and intelligent interviews with them their families and their colleaguesUsing this detailed research gleaned over 4 years of travel study and interviews Babys Watch / A Hero of Her Own uammen guidess from Darwin s early theories of evolution in which life branched like a tree to the latest discoveries suggesting a appropriate analogy of The Web of Life He explains in meticulous detail how molecular biology and phylogenics have pieced together the evolution of simple single cell prokaryotes into complex multi celled eukaryotes and even suggests how the primeval chemical mix combined to form amino acids to create RNA the basis of all life on EarthAnd some of his revelations are truly stunning Such as the discovery of endosymbiosis the implications of which make Desire Island - The Niece us humans wonder exactly what and who we are Especially when learning that 8% one twelfth of the human genome is from retrovirusesThis complex subject is explained with such clarity and enthusiasm that I could not put the book down And I didn t want to finish it Inreservedly recommend The Tangled Tree if you read and absorb this book you will know about the origins and evolution of life than 99999% of the world s population If there were than 5 stars I would award them Some will criticize this book because of its subtitle makes a bold claim A radical new history of life A reviewer in the Wall Street Journal for example was a little grumpy and took pains to reiterate that Darwin s theory of natural selection safely remains the central pillar of biology thank you very muchWell OK but saying evolution by natural selection is sort of like saying Super Bowl via playoffs It may outline the process of competition and elimination but it doesn t tell you anything about the strategy that got the team to the Super Bowl It only diverts your attention away from all the interesting detailsWhat is just now coming to the surface arguably 20 years late is the immensely sophisticated systems that drive evolutionary change as discovered by people like Carl Woese Lynn Margulis and Barbara McClintockThe story focuses on the late Carl Woese in fact it s very nearly a full biography of the man So why should anyone care about Carl Woese And why should anyone even give consideration to the suggestion that he was as great a scientist as DarwinThe answer is that Woese flipped Darwin s tree of life 90 degrees in 1977 Any time someone introduces that large of a conceptual revolution to a field that person is a titan Woese showed that inheritance is a vast interconnected web and that Darwin s cherished tree metaphor has not minor but major fai. And important; we now know that roughly eight percent of the human genome arrived sideways by viral infectiona type of HGT In The Tangled Tree the grandest tale in biologyDavid ammen presents the scienceand the scientists involvedwith patience candor and flair Nature We learn about the major players such as Carl Woese the most important little known biologist of the twentieth century; Lynn Margulis the notorious maverick whose wild ideas about mosaic creatures proved to be true; and Tsutomu Wantanabe who discovered that the scourge of antibiotic resistant bacteria is a direct result of horizontal gene transfer.
I wanted to read the science of the evolution of life and how horizontal gene transfer works Well there was some but there was about the people who contributed to the science I skipped some pages because I just did not want to know that a retired scientist I had never heard of ate a pizza with nothing hot in it I advised a friend not to bother with the book I would have given a lower star rating but some people might want the biography I am tempted to give this three star but since the biographical research is so good I m giving it four I was drawn in to read this book because of the blurb which insinuated that I would be told of recent work taking s back to LUCAThis is really a book around two main themes a man Carl Woese and a field of study Horizontal Gene Transfer It gives very little technical detai lbut is primarily interested in the people involved and goes backwards and forwards in time The Rancher and the City Girl until you ve almost lost track of what the point of it all was But the biographical details of the many many people involved is interesting and I did get the main thrust which is that Horizontal Gene Transfer is important However it wasnclear at the end as to how important this is to evolutionary theory ie is is 90% or 10% I suspect the answer is we just don t know i wonder if it relates to the ideas of punctuated euilibria that Steven Jay Gould Ice Wolves (Elementals, used to support What exactly is Richard Dawkins position on it all At the moment it seems there is a lot stillnknown This is an Some Like It Hotter unusual one forammen in that it features far less travel and getting out in the field which you may or may not miss It contains his trademark levity and enjoyment of a good scientific shit storm but doesn t have More Than a Convenient Bride (Texas Cattlemans Club: After the Storm uite the same focus that his better works have Song of the Dodo remains his genre bending masterpiece and Outbreak the epitome of what a good popular science book should be It was still enjoyable but I got the feeling thatammen never Marrying Well uite found the over arching narrative that would give the book the shape it needed and I spent a substantial period of time thinking that he was trying very hard to avoid mentioning Dawkins Selfish Gene which for all Dawkins later idiocies did provide aseful reminder that selection happens on many levels and which starts to Tavern Wench unpick some of the claimed inconsistencies of horizontal gene transferThis review sounds negative than the book deserves It s still very readable and full of thesual surprising facts but doesn t scale the heights that And the Winner - Weds! uammen is capable of something that left me slightly disappointed I m not new toammen s work His Song of the Dodo is to me one of the great masterpieces of modern science writing and as a writer myself Manhattan Heat uammen s work is a standard to which I hope I will only one day meet It goes without saying then that I came to The Tangled Tree with high expectations and I am pleased to say they have been exceeded The book is a fascinating and compelling account of ournderstanding of the tree of life and as the title suggests how this is much complicated and tangled than we might initially have expected In short the book tells the story of molecular phylogenetics which is a new way of reading along and tracing the tree of life It shows for instance that a sizeable percentage of the human genome comes not from traditional inheritance but sideways through infection by virusesFor many I imagine this book might be a disappointment or pleasant surprise Secrets of the Marriage Bed unlike many typical science booksammen elects to tell his. In this New York Times bestseller and longlist nominee for the National Book Award our greatest living chronicler of the natural world The New York Times David The Ruthless Italians Inexperienced Wife uammen explains how recent discoveries in molecular biology affect ournderstanding of evolution and lifes history In the mid 1970s scientists began sing DNA seuences to reexamine the history of all life Perhaps the most startling discovery to come out of this new fieldthe study of lifes diversity and relatedness at the molecular levelis horizontal gene transfer HGT or the movement of genes across species lines It turns out that HGT has been widespread.
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LingsWoese showed that Horizontal Gene Transfer large sections of DNA being transferred wholesale from viruses and bacteria to other bacteria and plants and animals is a major component of evolution and in fact the history of life cannot be properly nderstood at all without itThis is as big of a deal to biology as All Night with the Boss uantum mechanics was to Newtonian physics It transforms the speed of evolution from millions of years to in some cases hours and minutesIt shows that organisms find very clever ways to incorporate very large chunks of code obtained from elsewhere into their physiology Who knew that a large stretch of code stolen from a retrovirus wassed to build the human placentaIt changes genetics It changes disease treatment It changes genetic engineering and informs our se of gene editing technologies like CRISPR It changes the whole history of evolution and alters the very definition of inheritance It even raises deep estions about how purposeful and directional evolutionary systems actually areAt the end of the book Stalker in the Shadows (Sonoma, uammen even points out that three fundamental concepts in biology have gone from sharp to blurry The definition of species Inheritance itself is not something that comes only from traditional ancestors it comes from a whole mosaic of sources There is no precise definition of gene every man woman and child supposedly knows what genes are of course but when you get right down to it it s a very suishy term There s not even a precise definition of an individual Cell for cell 90% of a human being is symbiotic bacteria Every sophisticated organism on earth is a mosaic of cells within cells organisms within organisms Chloroplasts and mitochondria are symbiotic cells living inside of our own cells They have their own DNA and Carl Woese was instrumental in proving thatuammen takess on a historical tour of the fascinating scientists who Claiming the Cowboys Heart uietly turned evolutionary theory sideways andpside down Carl Woese was resentful of Darwin and thought himself to be a superior scientist Undercover with a SEAL (Code: Warrior SEALs uammen himself doesn t go that far but there s a strong case to be made that Woese Margulis McClintock and a man named Fred Doolittle contributed vastly to ournderstanding of the detailed strategy of evolution than Darwin ever did or even could haveThis conceptual revolution has already been well known inside of biology for years but the public is only beginning to hear about it This book joins a chorus of post Neo Darwinian books Others includeDance to the Tune of Life Biological Relativity by Denis Noble COSMOSAPIENS by John Hands Evolution A View from the 21st Century by James Shapiro Purpose and Desire by J Scott Turner Acuiring Genomes by Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan Symbiogenesis A New Theory of Evolution by Boris Kozo Polyanski Lynn Margulis and Victor Fet The Music of Life by Denis Noble I Contain Multitudes by Ed YongThe book has about 100 very short chapters and is easily read in small doses You can get something out of this book in as little as 3 minutes at a time He s wrapped the often dry technical details of hard science in the bacon of storytelling about odd and fascinating science personalities including drinking parties jazz and Woese getting tossed in the bushes of his own back yardMost books on the evolution bookshelf in the typical bookstore are frankly 20 years out of date and than a little misleading The real story of evolution is far fascinating and The Tangled Tree offers a much accurate and current take on the state of the science. Bringing the deep study of genome histories to bear on a global crisis in public health David Truth or Dare (Sweet Valley University, uammen proves to be an immensely well informed guide to a complex story The Wall Street Journal In The Tangled Tree he explains how molecular studies of evolution have brought startling recognitions about the tangled tree of lifeincluding where we humans fitpon it Thanks to new technologies we now have the ability to alter even our genetic compositionthrough sideways insertions as nature has long been doing The Tangled Tree is a source of wonderuammen has written a deep and daring intellectual adventure The Boston Glo.
David uammen is the author of a dozen fiction and nonfiction books including Blood Line and The Song of the Dodo Spillover his most recent book was shortlisted for several major awards A three time National Magazine Award winner he is a contributing writer for National Geographic and has written also for Harper’s Outside Esuire The Atlantic Powder and Rolling Stone He travels widely on assignment usually to jungles mountains remote islands and swamps