Developmental Biology A Very Short Introduction

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Developmental Biology A Very Short Introduction

Author : Lewis Wolpert
ISBN : 9780199601196
Genre : Science
File Size : 78.47 MB
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"A concise account of what we know about development discusses the first vital steps of growth and explores one of the liveliest areas of scientific research."--P. [2] of cover.
Category: Science

Molecular Biology A Very Short Introduction

Author : Aysha Divan
ISBN : 9780191035814
Genre : Science
File Size : 73.63 MB
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Molecular Biology is the story of the molecules of life, their relationships, and how these interactions are controlled. It is an expanding field in life sciences, and its applications are wide and growing. We can now harness the power of molecular biology to treat diseases, solve crimes, map human history, and produce genetically modified organisms and crops, and these applications have sparked a multitude of fascinating legal and ethical debates. In this Very Short Introduction, Aysha Divan and Janice Royds examine the history, present, and future of Molecular Biology. Starting with the building blocks established by Darwin, Wallace and Mendel, and the discovery of the structure of DNA in 1953, they consider the wide range of applications for Molecular Biology today, including the development of new drugs, and forensic science. They also look forward to two key areas of evolving research such as personalised medicine and synthetic biology. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Science

Human Evolution A Very Short Introduction

Author : Bernard Wood
ISBN : 9780192803603
Genre : Science
File Size : 26.17 MB
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This introduction traces the history of paleoanthropology from its beginnings in the 18th century to the latest fossil finds. It concentrates on the fossil evidence for human evolution, making reference to the relevant archaeological evidence when appropriate.
Category: Science

Philosophy Of Biology A Very Short Introduction

Author : Samir Okasha
ISBN : 9780192533654
Genre : Science
File Size : 69.1 MB
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Over the last forty years the philosophy of biology has emerged as an important sub-discipline of the philosophy of science. Covering some of science's most divisive topics, such as philosophical issues in genetics, it also encompasses areas where modern biology has increasingly impinged on traditional philosophical questions, such as free will, essentialism, and nature vs nurture. In this Very Short Introduction Samir Okasha outlines the core issues with which contemporary philosophy of biology is engaged. Offering a whistle-stop tour of the history of biology, he explores key ideas and paradigm shifts throughout the centuries, including areas such as the theory of evolution by natural selection; the concepts of function and design; biological individuality; and the debate over adaptationism. Throughout Okasha makes clear the relevance of biology for understanding human beings, human society, and our place in the natural world, and the importance of engaging with these issues. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Science

Marine Biology A Very Short Introduction

Author : Philip V. Mladenov
ISBN : 9780191654350
Genre : Science
File Size : 72.25 MB
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The marine environment is the largest, most important, and yet most mysterious habitat on our planet. It contains more than 99% of the world's living space; produces half of its oxygen; plays a critical role in regulating its climate; and supports a remarkably diverse and exquisitely adapted array of life forms, from microscopic viruses, bacteria, and plankton to the largest existing animals. As the 21st century progresses human activities, such as overfishing, coastal development, plastic pollution, oil spills, nutrient pollution, the spread of exotic species, and the emission of climate changing greenhouse gases are posing a significant threat to the marine environment and to many of its life forms. In this unique Very Short Introduction, Philip Mladenov provides a comprehensive overview of marine biology, providing a tour of marine life and marine processes that ranges from the polar oceans to tropical coral reefs; and from the intertidal to the hydrothermal vents of the deep sea. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Science

Hormones A Very Short Introduction

Author : Martin Luck
ISBN : 9780191653551
Genre : Science
File Size : 72.77 MB
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Hormones play an integral part in the balance and workings of the body. While many people are broadly aware of their existence, there are many misconceptions and few are aware of the nature and importance of the endocrine system. In this Very Short Introduction, Martin Luck explains what hormones are, what they do, where they come from, and how they work. He explains how the endocrine system operates, highlighting the importance of hormones in the regulation of water and salt in the body, how they affect reproduction and our appetites, and how they help us adjust to different environments, such as travel across time zones. In this fresh and modern treatment, Luck also touches on the ethical and moral issues surrounding research methods, testing on animals, and hormone misuse. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Science

Iran A Very Short Introduction

Author : Ali Ansari
ISBN : 9780191648069
Genre : History
File Size : 87.12 MB
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Iran has rarely been out of the headlines. Yet media interest and extensive coverage has tended to hinder rather than help our understanding of Iran as an idea, an identity, and a people, leading to a superficial understanding of what is a complex and nuanced political culture and civilization. This Very Short Introduction presents a radical reinterpretation of Iranian history and politics, placing the Islamic Revolution in the context of a century of political change and social transformation. By considering the various factors that have contributed towards the construction of the idea of Iran and the complex identity of Iranians themselves, Ali Ansari steers a clear path towards a more realistic understanding for us all. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: History

Minerals A Very Short Introduction

Author : David Vaughan
ISBN : 9780191505331
Genre : Science
File Size : 89.43 MB
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Minerals existed long before any forms of life, playing a key role in the origin and evolution of life; an interaction with biological systems that we are only now beginning to understand. Exploring the traditional strand of mineralogy, which emphasises the important mineral families, the well-established analytical methods (optical microscopy and X-ray diffraction) and the dramatic developments made in techniques over recent decades, David Vaughan also introduces the modern strand of mineralogy, which explores the role minerals play in the plate tectonic cycle and how they interact with the living world. Demonstrating how minerals can be critical for human health and illness by providing essential nutrients and releasing poisons, Vaughan explores the multitude of ways in which minerals have aided our understanding of the world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Science

The Middle Ages A Very Short Introduction

Author : Miri Rubin
ISBN : 9780191019555
Genre : History
File Size : 73.39 MB
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The Middle Ages is a term coined around 1450 to describe a thousand years of European History. In this Very Short Introduction, Miri Rubin provides an exploration of the variety, change, dynamism, and sheer complexity that the period covers. From the provinces of the Roman Empire, which became Barbarian kingdoms after c.450-650, to the northern and eastern regions that became increasingly integrated into Europe, Rubin explores the emergence of a truly global system of communication, conquest, and trade by the end of the era. Presenting an insight into the challenges of life in Europe between 500-1500 — at all levels of society — Rubin looks at kingship and family, agriculture and trade, groups and individuals. Conveying the variety of European experiences, while providing a sense of the communication, cooperation, and shared values of the pervasive Christian culture, Rubin looks at the legacies they left behind. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: History

Sport A Very Short Introduction

Author : Mike Cronin
ISBN : 9780191512742
Genre : History
File Size : 88.50 MB
Format : PDF
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Sport is big business; international in nature and the focus of much media and cultural attention. In this Very Short Introduction, Mike Cronin charts the history of sport, from its traditional origins in folk football and cock fighting to its position as a global phenomenon today. Looking at a variety of sports from team games such as rugby, cricket, and football to games for individuals such as golf, tennis, and skiing, he considers how these first emerged and captivated the interest of ordinary people, and how sport has been transformed within our daily lives. Exploring the relationship between sport and class, gender, commerce, identity, and ethics, Cronin considers some of the central issues in sport today, including the high pay of professional footballers and the glamour of sports women, as well as fair play standards. Charting sport through the ages and around the world, this is a short guide to the history, development, and place of sport in contemporary global society. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: History

Towards A Theory Of Development

Author : Alessandro Minelli
ISBN : 9780191651182
Genre : Science
File Size : 66.53 MB
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Is it possible to explain and predict the development of living things? What is development? Articulate answers to these seemingly innocuous questions are far from straightforward. To date, no systematic, targeted effort has been made to construct a unifying theory of development. This novel work offers a unique exploration of the foundations of ontogeny by asking how the development of living things should be understood. It explores the key concepts of developmental biology, asks whether general principles of development can be discovered, and examines the role of models and theories. The two editors (one a biologist with long interest in the theoretical aspects of his discipline, the other a philosopher of science who has mainly worked on biological systems) have assembled a team of leading contributors who are representative of the scientific and philosophical community within which a diversity of thoughts are growing, and out of which a theory of development may eventually emerge. They analyse a wealth of approaches to concepts, models and theories of development, such as gene regulatory networks, accounts based on systems biology and on physics of soft matter, the different articulations of evolution and development, symbiont-induced development, as well as the widely discussed concepts of positional information and morphogenetic field, the idea of a 'programme' of development and its critiques, and the long-standing opposition between preformationist and epigenetic conceptions of development. Towards a Theory of Development is primarily aimed at students and researchers in the fields of 'evo-devo', developmental biology, theoretical biology, systems biology, biophysics, and the philosophy of science.
Category: Science

Development A Very Short Introduction

Author : Ian Goldin
ISBN : 9780191055843
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 26.90 MB
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What do we mean by development? How can citizens, governments and the international community foster development? The process by which nations escape poverty and achieve economic and social progress has been the subject of extensive examination for hundreds of years.The notion of development itself has evolved from an original preoccupation with incomes and economic growth to a much broader understanding of development. In this Very Short Introduction Ian Goldin considers the contributions that education, health, gender, equity, and other dimensions of human well-being make to development, and discusses why it is also necessary to include the role of institutions and the rule of law as well as sustainability and environmental concerns. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Business & Economics

Human Evolution

Author : Bernard Wood
ISBN : 9780198831747
Genre : Fossil hominids
File Size : 20.6 MB
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The study of human evolution is advancing rapidly. Newly discovered fossil evidence is adding ever more pieces to the puzzle of our past, whilst revolutionary technological advances in the study of ancient DNA are completely reshaping theories of early human populations and migrations.In this Very Short Introduction Bernard Wood traces the history of paleoanthropology from its beginnings in the eighteenth century to the very latest fossil finds. In this new edition he discusses how Ancient DNA studies have revolutionized how we view the recent (post-550 ka) human evolution, andthe process of speciation. The combination of ancient and modern human DNA has contributed to discoveries of new taxa, as well as the suggestion of "ghost" taxa whose fossil records still remain to be discovered. Considering the contributions of related sciences such as paleoclimatology,geochronology, systematics, genetics, and developmental biology, Wood explores our latest understandings of our own evolution.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Fossil hominids

Genes A Very Short Introduction

Author : Jonathan Slack
ISBN : 9780191664182
Genre : Science
File Size : 53.57 MB
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In this exploration of the concept of the gene, Jonathan Slack looks at the discovery, nature, and role of genes in both evolution and development. Explaining the nature of genetic variation in the human population, how hereditary factors were identified as molecules of DNA, and how certain specific mutations can lead to disease, Slack highlights how DNA variants are used to trace human ancestry and migration, and can also used by forensic scientists to identify individuals in crime. He also explores issues such as the role of genetic heritability and IQ as well as the changes that occur in the genes of populations during evolution. An ideal guide for anyone curious about what genes are and how genetics can be put to use, this Very Short Introduction demonstrates the ways in which the gene concept has been understood and used by molecular biologists, population biologists, and social scientists around the world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Science

Teeth A Very Short Introduction

Author : Peter S. Ungar
ISBN : 9780191649547
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 30.45 MB
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Teeth are amazing - the product of half a billion years of evolution. They provide fuel for the body by breaking apart other living things; and they must do it again and again over a lifetime without themselves being broken in the process. This means that plants and animals have developed tough or hard tissues for protection, and teeth have evolved ways to sharpen or strengthen themselves to overcome those defences. And just as different jobs require different tools, animals with different diets have different shaped teeth to deal with the variety of foods that they eat. In this Very Short Introduction, Peter S. Ungar, an award-winning author and leading scientist, presents the story of teeth. Ungar outlines the key concepts, including insights into the origin of teeth and their evolution. Considering why teeth are important, he describes how they are made, and how they work, including their fundamental importance in the fossil record. Ungar finishes with a review of mammal teeth, looking at how they evolved and how recent changes to our diet are now affecting dental health. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Social Science

The Vikings A Very Short Introduction

Author : Julian D. Richards
ISBN : 019157807X
Genre : History
File Size : 52.97 MB
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The Viking reputation is of bloodthirsty seafaring warriors, repeatedly plundering the British Isles and the North Atlantic throughout the early Middle Ages. Yet Vikings were also traders, settlers, and farmers, with a complex artistic and linguistic culture, whose expansion overseas led them to cross the Atlantic for the first time in European history. Highlighting the latest archaeological evidence, Julian Richards reveals the whole Viking world: their history, society and culture, and their expansion overseas for trade, colonization, and plunder. We also look at the Viking identity, through their artistic expression, rune stones, their ships, and their religion. The Viking story is also brought up to date, by examining their legacy from the medieval Icelandic sagas to 19th Century nationalism, Wagner, and the Nazis. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: History

Jesus A Very Short Introduction

Author : Richard Bauckham
ISBN : 9780199575275
Genre : Religion
File Size : 70.54 MB
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Bauckham shows that Jesus was devoted to the God of Israel, with a special focus on God's fatherly love and compassion, and like every Jewish teacher he expounded the Torah, but did so in his own distinctive way.
Category: Religion

Geopolitics A Very Short Introduction

Author : Klaus Dodds
ISBN : 9780191664472
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 25.39 MB
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Geopolitics is a way of looking at the world: one that considers the links between political power, geography, and cultural diversity. In certain places such as Iraq, Lebanon, or Israel, moving a few feet either side of a territorial boundary can be a matter of life or death, dramatically highlighting the connections between place and politics. Even far away from these 'danger zones' - in Europe or the US for example - geopolitics remains an important part of everyday life. For a country's location and size as well as its sovereignty and resources all affect how the people that live there understand and interact with the wider world. In this new edition Klaus Dodds takes into account several world developments that have occured since original publication, including the Arab Spring, the worldwide economic crisis, and the developing role of China in international politics. Using wide-ranging examples, from historical maps to James Bond films and the rhetoric of political leaders both past and present, this Very Short Introduction shows why, for a full understanding of contemporary global politics, it is not just smart - it is essential - to be geopolitical. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Political Science

Dante A Very Short Introduction

Author : Peter Hainsworth
ISBN : 9780191507670
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 37.43 MB
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In this Very Short Introduction, Peter Hainsworth and David Robey take a different approach to Dante, by examining the main themes and issues that run through all of his work, ranging from autobiography, to understanding God and the order of the universe. In doing so, they highlight what has made Dante a vital point of reference for modern writers and readers, both inside and outside Italy. They emphasize the distinctive and dynamic interplay in Dante's writing between argument, ideas, and analysis on the one hand, and poetic imagination on the other. Dante was highly concerned with the political and intellectual issues of his time, demonstrated most powerfully in his notorious work, The Divine Comedy. Tracing the tension between the medieval and modern aspects, Hainsworth and Robey provide a clear insight into the meaning of this masterpiece of world literature. They highlight key figures and episodes in the poem, bringing out the originality and power of Dante's writing to help readers understand the problems that Dante wanted his audience to confront but often left up to the reader to resolve. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Literary Criticism