Unnatural Selection

Author: Emily Monosson
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1610914996
Format: PDF, ePub
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Gonorrhea. Bed bugs. Weeds. Salamanders. People. All are evolving, some surprisingly rapidly, in response to our chemical age. In Unnatural Selection, Emily Monosson shows how our drugs, pesticides, and pollution are exerting intense selection pressure on all manner of species. And we humans might not like the result. Monosson reveals that the very code of life is more fluid than once imagined. When our powerful chemicals put the pressure on to evolve or die, beneficial traits can sweep rapidly through a population. Species with explosive population growth--the bugs, bacteria, and weeds--tend to thrive, while bigger, slower-to-reproduce creatures, like ourselves, are more likely to succumb. Unnatural Selection is eye-opening and more than a little disquieting. But it also suggests how we might lessen our impact: manage pests without creating super bugs; protect individuals from disease without inviting epidemics; and benefit from technology without threatening the health of our children.

Evolution in a Toxic World

Author: Emily Monosson
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 159726976X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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With BPA in baby bottles, mercury in fish, and lead in computer monitors, the world has become a toxic place. But as Emily Monosson demonstrates in her groundbreaking new book, it has always been toxic. When oxygen first developed in Earth's atmosphere, it threatened the very existence of life: now we literally can't live without it. According to Monosson, examining how life adapted to such early threats can teach us a great deal about today's (and tomorrow's) most dangerous contaminants. While the study of evolution has advanced many other sciences, from conservation biology to medicine, the field of toxicology has yet to embrace this critical approach. In Evolution in a Toxic World, Monosson seeks to change that. She traces the development of life's defense systems—the mechanisms that transform, excrete, and stow away potentially harmful chemicals—from more than three billion years ago to today. Beginning with our earliest ancestors' response to ultraviolet radiation, Monosson explores the evolution of chemical defenses such as antioxidants, metal binding proteins, detoxification, and cell death. As we alter the world's chemistry, these defenses often become overwhelmed faster than our bodies can adapt. But studying how our complex internal defense network currently operates, and how it came to be that way, may allow us to predict how it will react to novel and existing chemicals. This understanding could lead to not only better management and preventative measures, but possibly treatment of current diseases. Development of that knowledge starts with this pioneering book.

Natural Defense

Author: Emily Monosson
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1610917200
Format: PDF
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For more than a century, we have relied on chemical cures to keep our bodies free from disease and our farms free from bugs and weeds. We rarely consider human and agricultural health together, but both are based on the same ecology, and both are being threatened by organisms that have evolved to resist our antibiotics and pesticides. Patients suffer fromC.diff, a painful, potentially lethal gut infection associated with multiple rounds of antibiotics; orange groves rot from insect-borne bacteria; and the blight responsible for the Irish potato famine outmaneuvers fungicides. Our chemicals are failing us. Fortunately, scientists are finding new solutions that work with, rather than against, nature. Emily Monosson explores science's most innovative strategies, from high-tech gene editing to the ancient practice of fecal transplants. There are viruses that infect and bust apart bacteria; vaccines engineered to better provoke our natural defenses; and insect pheromones that throw crop-destroying moths into a misguided sexual frenzy. Some technologies will ultimately fizzle; others may hold the key to abundant food and unprecedented health. Each represents a growing understanding of how to employ ecology for our own protection. Monosson gives readers a peek into the fascinating and hopeful world of natural defenses. Her book is full of optimism, not simply for particular cures, but for a sustainable approach to human welfare that will benefit generations to come.

Unnatural Selection

Author: Mark Roeder
Publisher: Skyhorse
ISBN: 1628724803
Format: PDF, ePub
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“Compelling . . . Technology is changing the landscape of society, and Roeder describes how humanity is changing along with it.” —Daniel H. Wilson, author of Robopocalypse Does the geek personify a distinct new phase in human evolution, as the environment shifts to favor their traits? This fascinating book examines the behavioral and genetic traits commonly associated with those who, in the past, may have been labeled or looked down upon, but have bloomed in today’s “digital greenhouse.” As an example, think of the competition between Mark Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss twins made famous in the movie The Social Network. Mark Roeder suggests that the rise of the geek is not so much the product of Darwinian natural selection as of man-made—or unnatural—selection, which allows non-neurotypicals to thrive. He explains why geeks have become so phenomenally successful in such a short time, and why the process will further accelerate in the future, driven by breakthroughs in genetic engineering, neuropharmacology, and artificial intelligence. Unnatural Selection offers a fascinating synthesis of the latest trends in these fields and predicts a twenty-first-century “cognitive arms race”—in which new technology will enable everyone to become more intelligent and “geek-like.” “A thoughtful, contemplative treatise told with wit and wisdom.” —Publishers Weekly

The Darwin Awards II

Author: Wendy Northcutt
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101218967
Format: PDF, Docs
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The hilarious New York Times bestselling phenomenon—more than 1.5 million copies sold! The Darwin Awards II: Unnatural Selection brings together a fresh collection of the hapless, the heedless, and the just plain foolhardy among us. Salute the owner of an equipment training school who demonstrates the dangers of driving a forklift by failing to survive the filming of his own safety video. Gawk at the couple who go to sleep on a sloping roof. Witness the shepherd who leaves his rifle unsecured—only to be accidentally shot by one of his own flock. With over one hundred Darwin Award Winners, Honorable Mentions, and debunked Urban Legends, plus science and safety tips for avoiding the scythe of natural selection, The Darwin Awards II proves once again how uncommon common sense can be. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Unnatural Selection

Author: Peter Healey
Publisher: Earthscan
ISBN: 1849773661
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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First Published in 2008. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Das egoistische Gen

Author: Richard Dawkins
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
ISBN: 3642553915
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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p”Ein auch heute noch bedeutsamer Klassiker“ Daily Express Sind wir Marionetten unserer Gene? Nach Richard Dawkins ́ vor über 30 Jahren entworfener und heute noch immer provozierender These steuern und dirigieren unsere von Generation zu Generation weitergegebenen Gene uns, um sich selbst zu erhalten. Alle biologischen Organismen dienen somit vor allem dem Überleben und der Unsterblichkeit der Erbanlagen und sind letztlich nur die "Einweg-Behälter" der "egoistischen" Gene. Sind wir Menschen also unserem Gen-Schicksal hilflos ausgeliefert? Dawkins bestreitet dies und macht uns Hoffnung: Seiner Meinung nach sind wir nämlich die einzige Spezies mit der Chance, gegen ihr genetisches Schicksal anzukämpfen.

Eine kurze Geschichte der Menschheit

Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Publisher: DVA
ISBN: 364110498X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Krone der Schöpfung? Vor 100 000 Jahren war der Homo sapiens noch ein unbedeutendes Tier, das unauffällig in einem abgelegenen Winkel des afrikanischen Kontinents lebte. Unsere Vorfahren teilten sich den Planeten mit mindestens fünf weiteren menschlichen Spezies, und die Rolle, die sie im Ökosystem spielten, war nicht größer als die von Gorillas, Libellen oder Quallen. Vor 70 000 Jahren dann vollzog sich ein mysteriöser und rascher Wandel mit dem Homo sapiens, und es war vor allem die Beschaffenheit seines Gehirns, die ihn zum Herren des Planeten und zum Schrecken des Ökosystems werden ließ. Bis heute hat sich diese Vorherrschaft stetig zugespitzt: Der Mensch hat die Fähigkeit zu schöpferischem und zu zerstörerischem Handeln wie kein anderes Lebewesen. Anschaulich, unterhaltsam und stellenweise hochkomisch zeichnet Yuval Harari die Geschichte des Menschen nach und zeigt alle großen, aber auch alle ambivalenten Momente unserer Menschwerdung.