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Oxygen: The Molecule That Made the World

Oxygen: The Molecule That Made the World

Escrito por Nick Lane

Narrado por Nigel Patterson


Oxygen: The Molecule That Made the World

Escrito por Nick Lane

Narrado por Nigel Patterson

avaliações:
4/5 (14 avaliações)
Comprimento:
16 horas
Editora:
Lançado em:
Apr 14, 2020
ISBN:
9781494546601
Formato:
Audiolivro

Descrição

Three hundred million years ago, in Carboniferous times, dragonflies grew as big as seagulls, with wingspans of nearly a meter. Researchers claim they could have flown only if the air had contained more oxygen than today—probably as much as thirty-five percent. Giant spiders, tree-ferns, marine rock formations, and fossil charcoals all tell the same story. High oxygen levels may also explain the global firestorm that contributed to the demise 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 book sets out to answer. Oxygen is a toxic gas. Divers breathing pure oxygen at depth suffer from convulsions and lung injury. Fruit flies raised at twice normal atmospheric levels of oxygen live half as long as their siblings. Reactive forms of oxygen, known as free radicals, are thought to cause aging in people. Yet if atmospheric oxygen reached thirty-five percent in the Carboniferous, why did it promote exuberant growth, instead of rapid aging and death?

Oxygen takes the listener on an enthralling journey, as gripping as a thriller, as it unravels the unexpected ways in which oxygen spurred the evolution of life and death.

Editora:
Lançado em:
Apr 14, 2020
ISBN:
9781494546601
Formato:
Audiolivro


Sobre o autor


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4.2
14 avaliações / 7 Análises
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Avaliações de leitores

  • (3/5)
    It was way dryer than the author's more recent book on mitochondria ("Power, sex and suicide"), which I recommend instead, and that treats many of the same subjects, and actually updates or corrects some stuff. Otherwise, this book was well written and narrated.
  • (5/5)
    Really great story telling about the evolutionary view of oxygen on life itself, and the quality of our lives.
  • (4/5)
    Exiting survey of how oxygen effects us at the biological level.
  • (5/5)
    In Oxygen, Nick Lane takes the reader on an enthralling journey as he unravels the unexpected ways in which oxygen spurred the evolution of life and death. He 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 aging 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 to molecular medicine. The result is a captivating vision of contemporary science and a humane synthesis of our place in nature. This remarkable book will redefine the way we think about the world.
  • (5/5)
    This book can be treated as the bible of Oxygen. I enjoyed the author's style of writing about O2 and various related topics. This is a book on the chemistry of Oxygen and how it influenced the formation of life on our planet.
  • (5/5)

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

    A very mind expanding and thought provoking book.There is a lot more here than you might be expecting even from the title. What you get are new perspectives on life and death, why we age and what we might be able to do about it.Two main themes are the evolution of life and the various health claims surrounding vitamin C and anti-oxidants. Regarding this later theme you shouldn't be surprised to hear that the actual science is very different from the version of it you may have gathered from either the popular press or from those trying to sell you vitamin C or other products with anti-oxidant properties.Almost as a casual aside we find out about how and why there is sex, how life made earth liveable and the likely cause of many diseases.This chap likes to argue rationally and he certainly follows the evidence, but what I also like about him is that he is prepared to look just a little bit further and speculate sensibly about how he thinks things may be found to be in the near future. Science writing at its best.A great book from a great author. Read all his stuff .

    1 pessoa achou isso útil

  • (2/5)
    Oxygen is slowly killing me! I didn't realise it was so toxic. Unfortunately, a rudimentary knowledge of biochemistry prevented any real enjoyment of this book.