Tag biology

Jenny Diski: On Babyface

Jenny Diski— The great advantage over real live creatures that my Three Bears had in common with Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse, aside from not needing to be fed or produce droppings, was neoteny. Mickey and my ursine family looked only glancingly like a mouse or brown bears, and much more like babies.

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Has Culture Replaced Natural Selection?

Scott Solomon— In today’s world, it’s easy to imagine that the evolutionary forces that gave rise to our species are no longer at work. Nature may be “red in tooth and claw,” as Tennyson observed, but the callous forces of nature seem hardly to affect us when we live in

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The Origins of Sex

In the landmark 1986 book Origins of Sex, biologist Lynn Margulis and science writer Dorion Sagan trace the first appearance of sex back billions of years, to bacteria. Here, they describe the complex evolutionary history that their book will seek to untangle. The following is an excerpt from the introduction.

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Artificial Sweeteners, Diabetes, and the Bacteria Inside of Us

Benny Shilo— Traditional science regards the body as a collection of cells all carrying identical genetic information. The body cells generate specialized tissues that orchestrate the activity of an entire body. This view has been recently challenged, with new scientific findings showing that the microorganisms we carry in and on

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May Goodreads Giveaways

This month, we’re giving away three books on Goodreads – Michael S. Roth‘s Beyond The University, Linda R. Wires‘ The Double-Crested Cormorant and Becoming Freud, by Adam Phillips. Whether you’re hoping to read about American intellectual history, conservation biology, the art of biography and psychoanalysis, or just something fascinating and altogether different, we’ve got plenty of books

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May Theme: Life-times

The world comes alive again each spring: the bloom of nature and the return of busy outdoor activities. We’re inviting readers of the Yale University Press list to further explore our offering of titles on biology, nature, and biography to help us celebrate the renewal and span of life throughout

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Biology’s “Original Sin”

Follow @yaleSCIbooks In the epigram to Christian de Duve’s Genetics of Original Sin: The Impact of Natural Selection on the Future of Humanity we find a verse from the book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible where “the woman” eats the forbidden fruit of the tree, then gives it to the

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The Origins of Novelty

Conventional narratives of evolution emphasize that organisms have evolved over time through the gradual accumulation of many genetic mutations, but for some researchers, this approach does not satisfactorily explain true biological novelty. This view, explored by Dr. Marc W. Kirschner and Dr. John C. Gerhart in The Plausibility of Life,

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The Art of Frederick Sommer

The Art of Frederick Sommer, winner of the 2005 Golden Light Award, Book of the Year, continues to receive accolades and enthusiastic reviews in publications across the country. American Photo (Jan/Feb 2006) includes the book among the “Best Photo Books of the Year,” and says, “This hefty retrospective of Sommer’s

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The Plausibility of Life

All eight members up for re-election to the Dover, Pennsylvania school board who instated the teaching of intelligent design in biology classrooms were swept out of office. (Read the article in the New York Times.) That same day in Kansas however, Board of Education members voted 6-4 to allow intelligent

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