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10

Some that just come to mind, in random order: One cannot skip reading: Richard Dawkins - The selfish gene And, obviously: Charles Darwin - The Origin of Species And, for those interested in the evolution of the brain (and its quirks): David J Linden - The Accidental Mind Oliver Sacks - The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat Not very ...


7

I'm no thermodynamics expert, but Ill have a go at this. The energy comes from the original set up, in which you have created a low entropy state. As the diffusion of water molecules equalises their concentration across the membrane so the entropy of the system will increase. This translates to a negative free energy change. That manifests as potential ...


7

A good recollection of the early days of micro and molecular biology is "The Eighth day of Creation" It covers the early use of e. coli, the discovery of phage, transcriptional elements and the impact that DNA structure had. It's very comprehensive and really useful if you are doing molecular biology today.


5

To some degree the answer depends on your definition of what counts as a brain. Bilaterally symmetrical organisms tend to have some level of cephalization, which involves the concentration of sensory and inter-neurons at one end of the organism (the head). This aggregation of neurons at the head is typically more complex than aggregations of neurons ...


5

It doesn't have very many reviews, but The Epic History of Biology sounds like it's perfect. Flipping through the first chapter in the preview, it doesn't seem overly technical in any way, so secondary school-level knowledge is probably enough. If your associates have absolutely no biology experience, perhaps a run through a popular press book would ...


4

A fantastic book that covers the evolution of modern science since the Renaissance (including a great deal of biology) is The Scientists by John Gribbin. I found that by focusing on the people doing the science in the context of the society in which they lived, I got a much better understanding for why early scientists thought the way they did and researched ...


3

Whether you find the content interesting or not I can't say, but you might want to check out the BioNumbers database. It has a category for "Amazing bionumbers" and a "BioNumber of the Month" section.


3

By far the best book I've read on the history of biology is A Guinea Pig's History of Biology, by Jim Endersby. It tells the history of the field by focusing on experimental organisms and the contributions which were made by studying them. It has an engaging narrative style and the idea of focussing on organisms' stories is an excellent and original one. ...


3

I just came across Understanding Biotechnology. There is one very positive and one very negative review. I haven't read the book myself, but it looks that it is exactly what I was looking for: the table of content includes topics like small history overview, genetic engineering, gene therapy, pharmacogenomics, etc. It might be even useful for people with ...


2

I don't know very many books that might be referred to as the Grand History of Biology or anything like that. That's...a big topic. Really big. How about some suggestions for good Biology/Medical History books accessible to lay people: And the Band Played On, by Randy Shilts, an account of the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the U.S. The Great Influenza, ...


2

My two favorite books are Molecular Biology made simple and fun and Biotechnology for Beginners. Both are well written and fun to read. As their names suggest, the former covers the basics of biology and the latter covers the basics of biotechnology.


2

This book, although a little dated, has given me an incredible appreciation of biology that I never gained in school: What is Life? by Erwin Shrodinger I am not a biologist, but I occasionally work on mathematical-biology and have training in physics and theoretical computer science. This book was much more accessible to me that other books on biology. ...


1

Although current research has little to say about the effects of exercise on personality, there has been recent correlations demonstrated between personality and the "drive" to exercise--specifically, aggression as a personality trait has been linked to higher metabolic rate. See http://phys.org/news206006380.html for more information about this. The ...


1

There is a free video course "Modern Biology" at Carnegie-Mellon University's Open learning initiative. This is very technical and does not cover history of biology. I quite liked D.A. Sadava's non-free video course Understanding Genetics: DNA, Genes, and Their Real-World Applications. This is Genetics and Molecular Biology oriented, but also not a book. It ...



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