[ BOOK The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life ] by David Quammen – lavitamin.us
Important little known biologist of the twentieth century who among other things identified archaea as a third kingdom of life in addition to bacteria and eukaryotes Woese a complex and ultimately bitter man is the main focus of the book and we return time and time to him ending the book with his death2 The development and recent abandonment by manyof ideas around a tree of life However his exposition of this is rather inchoate but does draw in many scientists and discoveries over the centuries that influenced the flow of thoughts about the origins and evolution of life Jumping backwards and forwards in time we meet a large number of individual scientists and each one needs some anecdotes about their life from edophilia to skills on the trapeze He does highlight well the amount of serendipity risk and mind numbing detail that goes into actual scientific advances3 The science itself As I have already said when he sticks to this uammen does a good job of explaining some very complex ideas but I was expecting a great deal information on the science and its implications For example towards the end of the book he reports on recent research by a Dutch scientist Thijs Ettema that suggests eukaryotes which include humans evolved from archaea and were not a third limb of the tree Although controversial I would have liked a lot information on this and other ideas he identifiesIf the author s Attainment (Temptation, purpose was to show that scientific discovery and advancement is as tangled as life itself then he succeeds in that but at the expense of clarity Given the obvious knowledge and writing skills of the author this is a missed opportunity to open up this area of science to a wider audienc. Bringing the deep study of genome histories to bear on a global crisis inublic health David uammen roves 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 fit upon 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.
BOOK The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life by David uammen – lavitamin.us
T doesn t have 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 opular science book should be It was still enjoyable but I got the feeling that uammen never uite found the over arching narrative that would give the book the shape it needed and I spent a substantial Always Be Ready period of time thinking that he was trying very hard to avoid mentioning Dawkins Selfish Gene which for all Clearly author David uammen has done considerable research for this book and he intends to share all the details with you If you are interested in a book that tells you he met scientist Mike Gray at a Turkish restaurant the details of Ernst Haeckel s marriage and so on then this book is for you These stories do bring out the humanity of the individuals involved However I was expecting a book with this title to be much about the new views on life and evolution that have come up over the last few decadesarticularly around horizontal gene transfer HGT and the implications for human evolutionTo be fair he does cover uite a bit of the science and his explanations are usually very clear although this almost seems a secondary aspect of the book It is also easy to miss some of this as one starts to skim through story after story of what a Encyclopedia of International Development particular scientist looked like in ahotograph the author had seen Further just as the ideas get interesting we suddenly jump back in time often several centuries to ick up another themeI think there are at least three separate things going on in this book Each could make an interesting book but combined together make a frustrating tangle1 A biography of Carl Woese the most. And important; we now know that roughly eight ercent of the human genome arrived sideways by viral infectiona type of HGT In The Tangled Tree the grandest tale in biologyDavid uammen Rooming in the Masters House presents the scienceand the scientists involvedwithatience candor and flair Nature We learn about the major layers 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 roved to be true; and Tsutomu Wantanabe who discovered that the scourge of antibiotic resistant bacteria is a direct result of horizontal gene transfer.
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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 Multicultural Partnerships people who contributed to the science I skipped someages because I just did not want to know that a retired scientist I had never heard of ate a A Convent Tale 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 someeople 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 us 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 Contemporary Issues in California Archaeology primarily interested in theeople involved and goes backwards and forwards in time until you ve almost lost track of what the Ethics for Police Translators and Interpreters point of it all was But the biographical details of the many manyeople involved is interesting and I did get the main thrust which is that Horizontal Gene Transfer is important However it was unclear 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 Immigration Nation punctuated euilibria that Steven Jay Gould used to support What exactly is Richard Dawkinsosition on it all At the moment it seems there is a lot still unknown This is an unusual one for uammen 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 bu. 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 uammen explains how recent discoveries in molecular biology affect our understanding of evolution and lifes history In the mid 1970s scientists began using 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.
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