Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution

Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution

A renowned biochemist draws on cutting-edge scientific findings to construct the mosaic of life’s astounding history.

How did life invent itself? Where did DNA come from? How did consciousness develop? Powerful new research methods are providing vivid insights into the makeup of life. Comparing gene sequences, examining atomic structures of proteins, and looking into the geochemistry of rocks have helped explain evolution in more detail than ever before. Nick Lane expertly reconstructs the history of life by describing the ten greatest inventions of evolution (including DNA, photosynthesis, sex, and sight), based on their historical impact, role in organisms today, and relevance to current controversies. Who would have guessed that eyes started off as light-sensitive spots used to calibrate photosynthesis in algae? Or that DNA’s building blocks form spontaneously in hydrothermal vents? Lane gives a gripping, lucid account of nature’s ingenuity, and the result is a work of essential reading for anyone who has ever pondered or questioned the science underlying evolution’s greatest gifts to man.

Title:Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780393065961
Format Type:

    Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution Reviews

  • Gendou

    I had a lot of fun reading this book up until the end, when I started to worry about the author's propensity towards exaggeration and speculation.For anyone who wants to learn about cutting edge specu...

  • Lois Bujold

    Excellent pop science writing, as absorbing as a novel (I read it in two days). The author has a knack for compelling narrative flow that seems both natural, and accumulating to some sense of Getting ...

  • R Nair

    An excellent book that really delves into the biochemical reasons for things being as they are in nature. From the origin of life in alkaline vents surrounded by sea water creating organic compounds t...

  • Jennifer

    I found this to be a mixed bag. I found some chapters such as Complex Cells and Hot Blood fascinating and others such as Movement and Consciousness quite tedious. The author does a good job of reducin...

  • Charlene

    This was one of the best books I have ever had the pleasure to read. If you like a book that delves deep into every tiny detail, this is the book for you. If things like ATP, leaky mitochondria, bacte...

  • Ram

    A well written description of the (in the authors opinion) ten greatest "inventions" of evolutionThese includethe origin of life itself, DNA, photosynthesis, the eukaryotes, sex, movement, sight, warm...

  • Bettie

    (view spoiler)[ Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)]...

  • Sne

    Before reading Nick Lane I have never had interest in Biology. I didn't even watch Animal Planet. And for a month now I can't stop talking about mitochondria, DNA, evolution, etc.His books are fascina...

  • Radiantflux

    38th book for 2018.This book confirms that my opinion that the very best science writing is inevitably done by active and opinionated scientists. This is a wonderful book that covers everything from t...

  • Courtney Johnston

    How do I love this book? Let me count the ways ...I love Nick Lane's tone, which manages to balance wit and clarity without overusing the analogy button:Thermodynamics is one of those words best avoid...