In this book the author, a Harvard evolutionary biologist presents an account of how the human body has evolved over millions of years, examining how an increasing disparity between the needs of Stone Age bodies and the realities of the modern world are fueling a paradox of greater longevity and chronic disease. It illuminates the major transformations that contributed key adaptations to the body: the rise of bipedalism; the shift to a non-fruit-based diet; the advent of hunting and gathering, leading to our superlative endurance athleticism; the development of a very large brain; and the incipience of cultural proficiencies. The author also elucidates how cultural evolution differs from biological evolution, and how our bodies were further transformed during the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions. While these ongoing changes have brought about many benefits, they have also created conditions to which our bodies are not entirely adapted, the author argues, resulting in the growing incidence of obesity and new but avoidable diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. The author proposes that many of these chronic illnesses persist and in some cases are intensifying because of 'dysevolution,' a pernicious dynamic whereby only the symptoms rather than the causes of these maladies are treated. And finally, he advocates the use of evolutionary information to help nudge, push, and sometimes even compel us to create a more salubrious environment. -- From publisher's web site.
In this landmark book of popular science, Daniel E. Lieberman—chair of the department of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University and a leader in the field—gives us a lucid and engaging account of how the human body evolved over millions of years, even as it shows how the increasing disparity between the jumble of adaptations in our Stone Age bodies and advancements in the modern world is occasioning this paradox: greater longevity but increased chronic disease. The Story of the Human Body brilliantly illuminates as never before the major transformations that contributed key adaptations to the body: the rise of bipedalism; the shift to a non-fruit-based diet; the advent of hunting and gathering, leading to our superlative endurance athleticism; the development of a very large brain; and the incipience of cultural proficiencies. Lieberman also elucidates how cultural evolution differs from biological evolution, and how our bodies were further transformed during the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions. While these ongoing changes have brought about many benefits, they have also created conditions to which our bodies are not entirely adapted, Lieberman argues, resulting in the growing incidence of obesity and new but avoidable diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Lieberman proposes that many of these chronic illnesses persist and in some cases are intensifying because of “dysevolution,” a pernicious dynamic whereby only the symptoms rather than the causes of these maladies are treated. And finally—provocatively—he advocates the use of evolutionary information to help nudge, push, and sometimes even compel us to create a more salubrious environment. (With charts and line drawings throughout.)
Story of the Human Body explores how the way we use our bodies is all wrong. From an evolutionary perspective, if normal is defined as what most people have done for millions of years, then it's normal to walk and run 9 -15 kilometers a day to hunt and gather fresh food which is high in fibre, low in sugar, and barely processed. It's also normal to spend much of your time nursing, napping, making stone tools, and gossiping with a small band of people. Our 21st-century lifestyles, argues Dan Lieberman, are out of synch with our stone-age bodies. Never have we been so healthy and long-lived - but never, too, have we been so prone to a slew of problems that were, until recently, rare or unknown, from asthma, to diabetes, to - scariest of all - overpopulation. Story of the Human Body asks how our bodies got to be the way they are, and considers how that evolutionary history - both ancient and recent - can help us evaluate how we use our bodies. How is the present-day state of the human body related to the past? And what is the human body's future? Daniel Lieberman is the Chair of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard and a leader in the field. He has written nearly 100 articles, many appearing in the journals Nature and Science, and his cover story on barefoot running in Nature was picked up by major media the world over. His research and discoveries have been highlighted in newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Discover, and National Geographic.
Dan Lieberman has written an innovative, exhaustively researched and carefully argued book dealing with the evolution of the human head. In it he addresses three interrelated questions. First, why does the human head look the way it does? Second, why did these transformations occur? And third, how is something as complex and vital as the head so variable and evolvable? This book addresses these questions in three sections. The first set of chapters review how human and ape heads grow, both in terms of individual parts (organs and regions) and as an integrated whole. The second section reviews how the head performs its major functions: housing the brain, chewing, swallowing, breathing, vocalizing, thermoregulating, seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and balancing during locomotion. The final set of chapters review the fossil evidence for major transformations of the head during human evolution from the divergence of the human and ape lineages through the origins of Homo sapiens. These chapters use developmental and functional insights from the first two sections to speculate on the developmental and selective bases for these transformations.
Combining science, history, and culture, explores every aspect of human anatomy from ancient body art to modern plastic surgery, discussing why some people are left-handed and why some cultures think the soul resides in the liver.
An “invaluable [and] highly readable” account of the quest to map our DNA, the blueprint for life—and what it means for our future ( The Philadelphia Inquirer). Genome tells the story of the most ambitious scientific adventure of our time. By gradually isolating and identifying all the genes in the human body—the blueprint for life—scientists are closing in on the ability to effectively treat and prevent nearly every disease that strikes man, from muscular dystrophy, diabetes, and cancer to heart ailments, alcoholism, and even mental illness. Such discoveries will change the course of human life. At the same time, they raise profound ethical questions that have tremendous implications: Can insurance companies demand genetic tests to determine who poses a health risk? Should parents be able to choose their baby’s sex or eye color? Will employers screen out potential employees who are genetically susceptible to occupational health problems? An exciting true tale of discovery that is revolutionizing our world, Genome helps us understand our future.
A first-year medical student describes an anatomy class during which she studied the donated body of a cadaver dubbed "Eve," an experience that profoundly influenced her subsequent studies and understanding of the human form.
The Sunday Times Science Book of the Year, Anatomies by Hugh Aldersey-Williams, author of bestseller Periodic Tales, is a splendidly entertaining journey through the art, science, literature and history of the human body. 'Magnificent, inspired. He writes like a latter-day Montaigne. Stimulating scientific hypotheses, bold philosophic theories, illuminating quotations and curious facts. I recommend it to all' Telegraph ***** 'Splendid, highly entertaining, chock-full of insights ... It inserts fascinating scientific snippets and anecdotes about our organs into the wider history of our changing understanding of our bodies' Sunday Times 'A relentlessly entertaining cultural history of the human body ... brims with fascinating details, infectious enthusiasm ... the terrain he covers is so richly brought to life' Guardian 'Elegant and informative ... For Aldersey-Williams, [the body] is a thing of wonder and a repository of fascinating facts' Mail on Sunday **** In Anatomies, bestselling author Hugh Aldersey-Williams investigates that marvellous, mysterious form: the human body. Providing a treasure trove of surprising facts, remarkable stories and startling information drawn from across history, science, art and literature - from finger-prints to angel physiology, from Isaac Newton's death-mask to the afterlife of Einstein's brain - he explores our relationship with our bodies and investigates our changing attitudes to the extraordinary physical shell we inhabit. 'More than a science book - it's also history, biography and autobiography - Anatomies is writing at its most refined, regardless of genre' Sunday Times Praise for Periodic Tales: 'Science writing at its best ... fascinating and beautiful ... if only chemistry had been like this at school ... to meander through the periodic table with him ... is like going round a zoo with Gerald Durrell ... a rich compilation of delicious tales, but it offers greater rewards, too' Matt Ridley 'Immensely engaging and continually makes one sit up in surprise' Sunday Times 'Splendid ... enjoyable and polished' Observer 'Full of good stories and he knows how to tell them well ... an agreeable jumble of anecdote, reflection and information' Sunday Telegraph 'Great fun to read and an endless fund of unlikely and improbable anecdotes ... sharp and often witty' Financial Times Hugh Aldersey-Williams studied natural sciences at Cambridge. He is the author of several books exploring science, design and architecture and has curated exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Wellcome Collection. His previous book Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements was a Sunday Times bestseller and has been published in many languages around the world. He lives in Norfolk with his wife and son.
From the first unicellular life on Earth, living things have had the capacity tosense heat and cold and to avoid extreme temperatures. With the development of a bigger brain and aconstant body temperature, mammals were able to change their habitats. The interplay betweenbehavior, body temperature, and ambient temperature may have played a crucial role in humanevolution. In this book Carl Gisolfi and Francisco Mora tell the evolutionary story of the brain andthermoregulation, with an emphasis on modern humans. The book first traces thestory of the brain throughout evolution and shows how the control of body temperature as a survivalmechanism was achieved. It then goes on to discuss the mechanisms of our environmental independence,why a body temperature of 37° C (only five degrees from death) is essential for humans and howthis narrow temperature range is defended. It describes how we cope with environmental extremes, thefunction of fevers, and why thermoregulation is best understood through a combination ofphysiological and cognitive approaches. It also addresses such questions as "Can we cool the brain?"and "Is the elevation in brain temperature (a hot brain) the reason we stop exercising?"
Sunday Times bestseller We have a lifetime's association with our bodies, but for many of us they remain uncharted territory. In Adventures in Human Being, Gavin Francis leads the reader on a journey through health and illness, offering insights on everything from the ribbed surface of the brain to the secret workings of the heart and the womb; from the pulse of life at the wrist to the unique engineering of the foot. Drawing on his own experiences as a doctor and GP, he blends first-hand case studies with reflections on the way the body has been imagined and portrayed over the millennia. If the body is a foreign country, then to practise medicine is to explore new territory: Francis leads the reader on an adventure through what it means to be human. Both a user's guide to the body and a celebration of its elegance, this book will transform the way you think about being alive, whether in sickness or in health. Published in association with the Wellcome Collection. WELLCOME COLLECTION Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library that aims to challenge how we think and feel about health. Inspired by the medical objects and curiosities collected by Henry Wellcome, it connects science, medicine, life and art. Wellcome Collection exhibitions, events and books explore a diverse range of subjects, including consciousness, forensic medicine, emotions, sexology, identity and death. Wellcome Collection is part of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation that exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive, funding over 14,000 researchers and projects in more than 70 countries. wellcomecollection.org
"A platoon of young men and one woman soldier leaves Italy for one of the most dangerous places on earth. Forward Operating Base (FOB) in the Gulistan district of Afghanistan is nothing but an exposed sandpit scorched by inescapable sunlight and deadly mortar fire. Each member in the platoon manages the toxic mix of boredom and fear that is life at the FOB in his own way. When a much-debated mission goes devastatingly awry, their lives are changed in an instant"--
Shows the inside of the human digestive and respiratory tracts and explains how the immune system works
Living with the Stars describes the many fascinating connections between the universe and the human body, which range from the makeup of DNA and human cells, growth and aging, to stellar evolution and the beginning of the universe. This popular science book should be of interest to anyone who wonders about the processes going on in our human bodies that connect us to our environment on Earth, to the Solar System, to the stars in our Galaxy, and even tothe origin of the universe.
The most comprehensive book on giraffes to appear in the last fifty years, this volume presents a magnificent portrait of a group of animals who, in spite of their legendary elegance and astonishing gentleness, may not entirely survive this century. Dale Peterson’s text provides a natural and cultural history of the world’s tallest and second-biggest land animals, describing in detail their biology and behavior. He offers a new perspective on the giraffes’ place in our world, and argues for the stronger protection of these imposing yet endangered creatures and their elusive forest relatives, the okapis. Some 120 stunning photographs by award-winning wildlife photographer Karl Ammann capture the grace and elegance of Giraffa camelopardalis. Both beautiful and informative, the images document giraffes’ complex interactions with each other and their environment.
"An exploration of the objects that scientists and tinkerers throughout history have invented to protect, repair, or improve our bodies."--
Tells the story of human development from egg to adult, showing how the understanding of how human beings come to be has been transformed in recent years.
From one of our finest and most popular science writers, the best-selling author of Your Inner Fish, comes the answer to a scientific mystery story as big as the world itself: How have astronomical events that took place millions of years ago created the unique qualities of the human species? In his last book, Neil Shubin delved into the amazing connections between human anatomy—our hands, our jaws—and the structures in the fish that first took over land 375 million years ago. Now, with his trademark clarity and exuberance, he takes an even more expansive approach to the question of why we are the way we are. Starting once again with fossils, Shubin turns his gaze skyward. He shows how the entirety of the universe's 14-billion-year history can be seen in our bodies. From our very molecular composition (a result of stellar events at the origin of our solar system), he makes clear, through the working of our eyes, how the evolution of the cosmos has had profound effects on the development of human life on earth. From the Hardcover edition.
What teeth can teach us about the evolution of the human species Whether we realize it or not, we carry in our mouths the legacy of our evolution. Our teeth are like living fossils that can be studied and compared to those of our ancestors to teach us how we became human. In Evolution's Bite, noted paleoanthropologist Peter Ungar brings together for the first time cutting-edge advances in understanding human evolution and climate change with new approaches to uncovering dietary clues from fossil teeth to present a remarkable investigation into the ways that teeth—their shape, chemistry, and wear—reveal how we came to be. Ungar describes how a tooth's "foodprints"—distinctive patterns of microscopic wear and tear—provide telltale details about what an animal actually ate in the past. These clues, combined with groundbreaking research in paleoclimatology, demonstrate how a changing climate altered the food options available to our ancestors, what Ungar calls the biospheric buffet. When diets change, species change, and Ungar traces how diet and an unpredictable climate determined who among our ancestors was winnowed out and who survived, as well as why we transitioned from the role of forager to farmer. By sifting through the evidence—and the scars on our teeth—Ungar makes the important case for what might or might not be the most natural diet for humans. Traveling the four corners of the globe and combining scientific breakthroughs with vivid narrative, Evolution's Bite presents a unique dental perspective on our astonishing human development.
Dripping with blood and gold, fetishized and tortured, gateway to earthly delights and point of contact with the divine, forcibly divided and powerful even beyond death, there was no territory more contested than the body in the medieval world. In Medieval Bodies, art historian Jack Hartnell uncovers the complex and fascinating ways in which the people of the Middle Ages thought about, explored and experienced their physical selves. In paintings and reliquaries that celebrated the - sometimes bizarre - martyrdoms of saints, the sacred dimension of the physical left its mark on their environment. In literature and politics, hearts and heads became powerful metaphors that shaped governance and society in ways that are still visible today. And doctors and natural philosophers were at the centre of a collision between centuries of sophisticated medical knowledge, and an ignorance of physiology as profound as its results were gruesome. Like a medieval pageant, this striking and unusual history brings together medicine, art, poetry, music, politics, cultural and social history and philosophy to reveal what life was really like for the men and women who lived and died in the Middle Ages. Medieval Bodies is published in association with Wellcome Collection.
Long, long ago, ancient Egyptians thought that all of our ideas and personalities came from our hearts—boy, were they wrong! Debunking old (and sometimes silly) myths about the human body, this new addition to the Boy, Were We Wrong series shows how we discovered modern biology and medicine. From healing by applying leeches, to the ancient practice of acupuncture, to the discovery and study of DNA, this is the story of what we know about our bodies and how we still have lots to learn. A perfect selection for Common Core or STEM collections