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Life Ascending: Book summary and reviews of Life Ascending by Nick Lane

Life Ascending

The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution

by Nick Lane

Life Ascending by Nick Lane X
Life Ascending by Nick Lane
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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. While each of Lane's 10 subjects deserves a book of its own, they come together to form an elegant, fully satisfying whole." - Publishers Weekly

"A lucid introduction to complex concepts of evolution." - Kirkus Reviews

This information about Life Ascending was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Nick Lane

Nick Lane is a biochemist and honorary reader at University College London, where he lives. His previous book, Power, Sex, Suicide, was named an Economist book of the year and was short-listed for the Aventis Science Book Prize.

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