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Oxygen: the molecule that made the world

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If water is the cradle of life, then oxygen is its engine. Without oxygen, life on Earth could not have advanced beyond a slime in the oceans, and would probably have ended its days in the ostensible sterility of Mars or Venus. With oxygen, life flourished in all its wonderful variety. Withit, too, came the evolution of ageing and death.This book is about life, death and oxygen: about how and why life produced and adapted to oxygen; about the evolutionary past and future of life on Earth; about energy and health, disease and death, sex and regeneration, and about ourselves.Life's adaptations to oxygen began nearly four billion years ago, and are still written into our innermost constitution. Adaptations to the opportunities and challenges posed by oxygen link the extremes of the living world, from bacterial tolerance to cosmic radiation to the organisation of our ownbodies. Thinking about life through the prism of oxygen explains conundrums like the evolution of photosynthesis, the sudden appearance of large animals in the Cambrian explosion, the flight of dragonflies as big as hawks, the origin of two sexes, the accelerated ageing of cloned animals like Dollythe sheep, and the long lives of bats and birds.Oxygen takes a panoramic view of life on Earth. Drawing on fields as diverse as geology, cosmology, chemistry, biology and medicine, it explains why oxygen bridges the gap between the two great facets of life, metabolism and reproduction. Oxygen is shown to be a primordial sensor of health andvitality, which still orchestrates our defences against physiological stresses such as radiation and infection.This unusual perspective offers striking insights into the nature of ageing, disease and death, culminating in a new synthesis, the Double Agent Theory of ageing. We see why neither the Human Genome Project nor dietary antioxidant supplements can solve the problems of old age, and why infectiousdiseases and the emerging field of mitochondrial medicine might lead to cures for heart disease, cancer and dementia. The result is an entertaining and thought-provoking read that challenges key assumptions underlying modern medical research.
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ISBN:
9780198607830
9781280594502
9781541441255
9780191639074
9780191500695
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Grouped Work ID313ada92-53e7-d478-4b77-bf314e6483bf
Grouping Titleoxygen the molecule that made the world
Grouping Authorlane nick
Grouping Categorybook
Last Grouping Update2020-07-11 01:14:19AM
Last Indexed2020-07-12 04:19:06AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value0
accelerated_reader_reading_level0
auth_author2Patterson, Nigel.
authorLane, Nick, 1967-
author2-rolePatterson, Nigel.|Narrator
Tantor Media.
hoopla digital.
author_displayLane, Nick
available_at_englewoodEnglewood Public Library
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display_descriptionOxygen has had extraordinary effects on life. Three hundred million years ago, in Carboniferous times, dragonflies grew as big as seagulls, with wingspans ofnearly a metre. Researchers claim they could have flown only if the air had contained more oxygen than today -probably as much as 35 per cent. Giant spiders, tree-ferns, marine rock formations and fossil charcoalsall tell the same story. High oxygen levels may also explain the global firestorm that contributed to thedemise of the dinosaurs after the asteroid impact. The strange and profound effects that oxygen has had on the evolution of life pose a riddle, which this booksets out to answer. Oxygen is a toxic gas. Divers breathing pure oxygen at depth suffer from convulsionsand lung injury. Fruit flies raised at twice normal atmospheric levels of oxygen live half as long as theirsiblings. Reactive forms of oxygen, known as free radicals, are thought to cause ageing in people. Yet ifatmospheric oxygen reached 35 per cent in the Carboniferous, why did it promote exuberant growth, instead of rapid ageing and death?Oxygen takes the reader on an enthralling journey, as gripping as a thriller, as it unravels the unexpectedways in which oxygen spurred the evolution of life and death. The book explains far more than the size ofancient insects: it shows how oxygen underpins the origin of biological complexity, the birth of photosynthesis, the sudden evolution of animals, the need for two sexes, the accelerated ageing of cloned animals like Dolly the sheep, and the surprisingly long lives of bats and birds. Drawing on this grand evolutionary canvas, Oxygen offers fresh perspectives on our own lives and deaths, explaining modern killer diseases, why we age, and what we can do about it. Advancing revelatory new ideas, following chains of evidence, the book ranges through many disciplines, from environmental sciences tomolecular medicine. The result is a captivating vision of contemporary science and a humane synthesis of ourplace in nature. This remarkable book will redefine the way we think about the world.
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subject_facetAging
Audiobooks
Biogeochemical cycles
Biogeochemical cycles -- Popular works
Downloadable audio books
Electronic books
Oxygen
Oxygen -- Evolution -- Popular works
Oxygen -- Physiological effect
Oxygen -- Popular works
Oxygen in the body
Oxygen in the body -- Popular works
Popular works
SCIENCE -- Life Sciences -- Biochemistry
SCIENCE / General
Science
title_displayOxygen : the molecule that made the world
title_fullOxygen : the molecule that made the world / Nick Lane
Oxygen : the molecule that made the world [electronic resource] / Nick Lane
Oxygen [electronic resource] : the molecule that made the world / Nick Lane
title_shortOxygen
title_subthe molecule that made the world
topic_facetAging
Biochemistry
Biogeochemical cycles
Evolution
Life Sciences
Oxygen
Oxygen in the body
Physiological effect
SCIENCE
SCIENCE / General
Science