The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life
ISBN: 1476776628
EAN13: 9781476776620
Language: English
Publication Date: Aug 14, 2018
Pages: 448
Dimensions: 2" H x 9" L x 6" W
Weight: 1.74 lbs.
Format: Hardcover

The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life

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Book Overview

Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction and A New York Times Notable Book of 2018

Nonpareil science writer David Quammen explains how recent discoveries in molecular biology can change our understanding of evolution and life's history, with powerful implications for human health and even our own human nature.

In the mid-1970s, scientists began using DNA sequences to reexamine the history of all life. Perhaps the most startling discovery to come out of this new field--the study of life's diversity and relatedness at the molecular level--is horizontal gene transfer (HGT), or the movement of genes across species lines. It turns out that HGT has been widespread and important. For instance, we now know that roughly eight percent of the human genome arrived not through traditional inheritance from directly ancestral forms, but sideways by viral infection--a type of HGT.

In The Tangled Tree David Quammen, one of that rare breed of science journalists who blends exploration with a talent for synthesis and storytelling (Nature), chronicles these discoveries through the lives of the researchers who made them--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, Read More chevron_right

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