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It was the universe’s most elusive particle, the linchpin for everything scientists dreamed up to explain how stuff works. It had to be found. But projects as big as CERN’s Large Hadron Collider don’t happen without dealing and conniving, incredible risks and occasional skullduggery. Award-winning physicist and science popularizer Sean Carroll reveals the history-making forces of insight, rivalry, and wonder that fuelled the Higgs search and how its discovery opens a door into the mind-boggling domain of dark matter and other phenomena we never predicted. Told with unrivalled ambition, authority, and access to the teams, this is the greatest science story of our time—riveting and irresistible.
An award-winning biologist takes us on the dramatic expeditions that unearthed the history of life on our planet.
Just 150 years ago, most of our world was an unexplored wilderness. Our sense of how old it was? Vague and vastly off the mark. And our sense of our own species’ history? A set of fantastic myths and fairy tales. Fossils had been known for millennia, but they were seen as the bones of dragons and other imagined creatures.
In the tradition of The Microbe Hunters and Gods, Graves, and Scholars, Sean Carroll’s Remarkable Creatures celebrates the pioneers who replaced our fancies with the even more amazing true story of how our world evolved.
Carroll recounts the most important discoveries in two centuries of national history—from Darwin’s trip around the world to CharlesWalcott’s discovery of pre-Cambrian life in the Grand Canyon; from Louis and Mary Leakey’s investigation of our deepest past in East Africa to the trailblazers in modern laboratories who have located a time clock in our DNA. Join him in a rousing voyage of discovery, from the epic journeys of pioneering naturalists to the breakthroughs making headlines today.
For over a century, opening the black box of embryonic development was the holy grail of biology. Evo Devo—Evolutionary Developmental Biology—is the new science that has finally cracked open the box. Within the pages of his rich and riveting book, Sean B. Carroll explains how we are discovering that complex life is ironically much simpler than anyone ever expected.
Perhaps the most surprising finding of Evo Devo is the discovery that a small number of primitive genes led to the formation of fundamental organs and appendages in all animal forms. The gene that causes humans to form arms and legs is the same gene that causes birds and insects to form wings, and fish to form fins; similarly, one ancient gene has led to the creation of eyes across the animal kingdom. Changes in the way this ancient tool kit of genes is used have created all the diversity that surrounds us. …[more]