The Tangled Tree
A Radical New History of Life
Recent research has fundamentally challenged the view that genes are passed down vertically, from generation to generation, evolving slowly over time. This account describes the lives and discoveries of scientists including Carl Woese, Lynn Margulis and Tsutomu Watanabe, who have demonstrated that genes can move horizontally across species by viral infection, with significant implications for genetics, public health and our understanding of how the human race has evolved.
The Cosmic Serpent
DNA and the Origins of Knowledge
While undertaking anthropological fieldwork in the Pichis Valley of the Peruvian Amazon, Narby became intrigued by the local community’s claim that they received their phenomenal biochemical knowledge under the influence of hallucinogens. Here he reports how further investigation dispelled his scepticism and led him to conclude both that such transmission is possible and that indigenous peoples have known for millennia about the double helix structure of DNA.
The Telomerase Revolution
The Enzyme That Holds the Key to Human Aging... and Will Soon Lead to Longer, Healthier Lives
Why does growing old lead to so many forms of illness? Recent advances in the study of human cells have revealed that the key to answering this question lies in the telomeres – the tips of chromosomes – which shorten every time a cell reproduces. As he explains these insights, Fossel highlights the ability of the enzyme telomerase to re-lengthen the telomeres and discusses its potential as a means of treating age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s.