[Prime] The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of LifeAutor David Quammen – Entrecielos.co

Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction and A New York Times Notable Book ofOur understanding of the tree of life , with powerful implications for human genetics, human health and our own human nature, has recently completely changed This book is about a new method of telling the story of life on earth through molecular phylogenetics It involves a fairly simple method the reading of the deep history of life by looking at the variation in protein molecules found in living organisms For instance, we now know that roughly eight per cent of the human genome arrived not through traditional inheritance from directly ancestral forms, but sideways by viral infection In The Tangled Tree, acclaimed science writer David Quammen chronicles these discoveries through the lives of the researchers who made them 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 proved to be true and Tsutomu Wantanabe, who discovered that the scourge of antibiotic resistant bacteria is a direct result of horizontal gene transfer, bringing the deep study of genome histories to bear on a global crisis in public health Quammen explains how molecular studies of evolution have brought startling recognitions about the tangled tree of life including where we humans fit into it Thanks to new technologies, we now have the ability to alter even our genetic composition through sideways insertions, as nature has long been doing The Tangled Tree is a brilliant exploration of our transformed understanding of evolution and of life s history itself

14 thoughts on “The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life

  1. H. Schneider H. Schneider says:

    Wer als biologischer Laie halbwegs auf dem Laufenden bleiben m chte, was Evolution betrifft, sollte mal in diesem Buch nachlesen was sich seit der Entwicklung der Gensequenzierung getan hat Unter der berschrift Horizontale Gentransfers sind Dinge entdeckt worden, die zur Erg nzung der Darwinschen Evolutionserkl rung zwingen Die Vererbung von Generation zu Generation und die Evolution durch zuf llige Mutationen und nat rliche Selektion sind nicht das letzte Wort.Die traditionelle Vorstellung vom Entwicklungsbaum der Lebewesen ist wohl berholungsbed rftig.Toll geschrieben ist das Buch nicht unbedingt, aber dennoch zu empfehlen.

  2. Metazonk Metazonk says:

    First off all, it needs very good knowledge of the English language to read this book I am talking English at work and at home every day, but still needed to look up the dictonary for some words I did not know.If you expect compact new information about horizontal gnee transfer which I initially did , you will be a bit dissapointed But when I accepted that the book wants to tell a story about people and their groundbreaking findings, I really started to enjoy it and read it with plessure to its end.The autor manages very well to abduct you into the world of evolutionary and genetic scientists and lets you see the world with their eyes Doing that you will discover some very new and intersting details about evolution and will experience some surprises along this way, as they did.It is a very good book, The only reason for the 4 stars is, that I had expected information and less story, but this si just a matter of personal taste.

  3. Volkan Volkan says:

    Amazingly informative Highly recommended to all intersted in life.

  4. Laszlo Nemeth Laszlo Nemeth says:

    Very recommended

  5. Fabio Bernardoni Fabio Bernardoni says:

    the book is a bit boring when spending pages on biographies of the protagonists particularly woese but also others but fantastic when discussing a topic that is very interesting and unknown to most people

  6. Katia Katia says:

    The book is too short.

  7. Doyouthinkhesaurus Doyouthinkhesaurus says:

    This is an unusual one for Quammen 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 but doesn t have quite 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 popular science book should be It was still enjoyable, but I got the feeling that Quammen never quite found the over arching narrative that would give the book the shape it needed, and I spent a substantial period of time thinking that he was trying very hard to avoid mentioning Dawkins Selfish Gene which for all Dawkins later idiocies did provide a useful reminder that selection happens on many levels and which starts to unpick some of the claimed inconsistencies of horizontal gene transfer.This review sounds negative than the book deserves It s still very readable and full of the usual surprising facts, but doesn t scale the heights that Quammen is capable of something that left me slightly disappointed.

  8. David H David H says:

    I m not new to Quammen s work His Song of the Dodo is, to me, one of the great masterpieces of modern science writing and as a writer myself Quammen s work is a standard to which I hope I will only one day meet It goes without saying, then, that I came to The Tangled Tree with high expectations and I am pleased to say they have been exceeded The book is a fascinating and compelling account of our understanding of the tree of life and, as the title suggests, how this is much complicated and tangled than we might initially have expected In short, the book tells the story of molecular phylogenetics, which is a new way of reading along and tracing the tree of life It shows, for instance, that a sizeable percentage of the human genome comes not from traditional inheritance but sideways through infection by viruses.For many, I imagine, this book might be a disappointment or pleasant surprise unlike many typical science books Quammen elects to tell his science through the lives of the scientists who made the discoveries in question In many ways the book is as much a book on the history of science as it is on the science itself Personally, and as someone who has training in both biology and in the history of science, I love this particular angle Quammen takes, but others might value a straightforward approach That said, the book is highly readable, full of surprising facts and superbly written I recommend this book highly to anyone interested in life, genetics and the history of one of science s important developments in recent years Five stars.

  9. Neil Wootten Neil Wootten says:

    Looks at the earliest trees of life, and their development throughout the centuries, until genetics really lifted the lid and gave us the tangled tree The author helps us to get to know the key players in this process, especially from the 1950 s onwards, and interviewed many of those who are still alive The book gives an insight into some of the big scientific struggles in the late 20th and early 21st century Highly recommended.

  10. Martin Meads Martin Meads says:

    Having many DQ books there is one reason why you should buy his books they are written so well unlike many other science writers he makes you want to keep reading and gets you really into the topic area without realising it Excellent use of words and consistent style throughout 6

  11. Mr. N. Clatworthy Mr. N. Clatworthy says:

    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 people who contributed to the science I skipped some pages because I just did not want to know that a retired scientist I had never heard of ate a 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 some people might want the biography.

  12. marketing-sales.co Customer marketing-sales.co Customer says:

    David uses the tree as the thread by which he describes the advances in Biology An excellent book for a student of Biology, introducing a variety of branches of Biology and many of the leading researchers in this science His empathy with Woese, who first proposed the Archaea, is evident Perhaps, Woese was correct in deploring the development of the mechanistic direction that biologists have taken, rather than attempting to understand or to postulate how Life began.

  13. Kindle Customer Kindle Customer says:

    It just gets and complicated.I would like to think there will be answers during my lifetime.Look forward to developments.

  14. Miz Miz says:

    Very interesting book Quick delivery.