Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. SapolskyAs both a neurobiologist and a primatologist, author Robert Sapolsky can confidently state that human behavior is...complicated. To understand why we do what we do, he asserts, one must take an interdisciplinary approach. In Behave, Sapolsky explores the best and worst of human behavior by taking a single (re)action and examining what's going on in the brain and body in the seconds, minutes, hours, days, and even years before it occurs. It's an unusual but fascinating approach that will make you reconsider your own behavior.
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson"America's most approachable astrophysicist" (Kirkus Reviews) offers readers a concise and conversational introduction to cosmology. In 12 engaging chapters, Neil deGrasse Tyson explains, in straightforward and mostly jargon-free prose, the composition of the universe and the laws that govern it. Covering topics ranging from the Big Bang to general relativity to dark matter, he also describes what we don't yet know about the universe. While some science background is always useful when confronting astrophysics, it's not essential to enjoy this book.
The Greatest Story Ever Told--So Far: Why Are We Here?
by Lawrence M. Krauss
An award-winning theoretical physicist and best-selling author of A Universe from Nothing traces the dramatic discovery of the counterintuitive world of reality, explaining how readers can shift their perspectives to gain greater understandings of our individual roles in the universe.
Anatomies: A Cultural History of the Human Body by Hugh Aldersey-WilliamsIs the human body a territory to be mapped? A machine to be maintained? A canvas to be decorated? No matter what metaphor one prefers, it's clear that the body is more than the sum of its parts and that anatomy is just one lens through which we view ourselves. As he did in Periodic Tales, science writer Hugh Aldersey-Williams draws as much from art and history as he does from science and medicine in this engaging head-to-toe examination of the human body.
The Wild Life of Our Bodies: Predators, Parasites, and Partners that Shape Who We... by Rob DunnIn this accessible look at evolutionary ecology, biologist Rob Dunn argues that human evolution is intimately connected to that of other species and the environment. Positing that the presence of venomous snakes may have led to enhanced color vision in primates, and that ticks and lice might have played a role in rendering humans nearly hairless, Dunn examines how our species' interactions with the natural world influenced our genetic code. However, there's a downside: as human survival becomes easier, human susceptibility to disease increases.
The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease by Daniel E. LiebermanYou'd think that after six million years of evolution, humans would be less vulnerable to disease. However, as biologist Daniel Lieberman explains, we didn't evolve for optimal health, but rather to produce viable offspring in challenging environments. What's more, cultural evolution creates mismatches between the bodies we inherited from our ancestors and the environments we create and transform for ourselves and our descendants. This thought-provoking book uses our evolutionary history to examine the challenges we currently face in staying alive.
We Have the Technology: How Biohackers, Foodies, Physicians, and Scientists Are... by Kara PlatoniAnnoyed by the limitations of the human body? You're not alone. As science writer Kara Platoni demonstrates, there's a growing community of "citizen scientists" whose members are pushing the boundaries of human perception -- often by experimenting on themselves. Understanding what these "biohackers" are doing requires knowledge of both sensory science and metasensory perception (how we experience time, pain, or memories) and Platoni provides readers with an overview of the science while introducing them to the eccentric individuals bent on upgrading our basic hardware.
Curious Behavior: Yawning, Laughing, Hiccupping, and Beyond by Robert R. ProvineIn this follow-up to Laughter: A Scientific Investigation, neuroscientist Robert Provine explains the evolutionary reasons behind the everyday behaviors we take for granted -- such as yawning, sneezing, crying, hiccups, and more. Accessible and full of intriguing examples, this engaging book is perfect for readers who have always wondered why we can't tickle ourselves or why yawning is often contagious.
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