By Isaac Asimov

ISBN-10: 0313225834

ISBN-13: 9780313225833

In four hundred B.C., while Hippocrates wrote a publication claiming that epilepsy, the “sacred disease,” used to be a traditional affliction and never a visitation of demons, the technological know-how if biology should be stated to have started. considering that then, curious naturalists have studied animals and plans, medical professionals hae sought solutions to very useful questions. The technological know-how of biology has grown—slowly firstly, preventing and beginning back, and development within the final century to a crescendo that has now not but reached its peak.

This concise, authoritative publication lines the fascinating improvement of the technology of lifestyles, from the traditional Greeks throughout the enormous fulfillment of Charles Darwin to the explosive progress of molecular biology that's leading to today’s nice breakthroughs in genetics and drugs. Written by means of Isaac Asimov, affiliate Professor of Biochemistry at Boston college and writer of various books on technology, this can be a hugely readable, bright advent to the background and ideas of biology.

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In any listing of even a limited is number of species, it very tempting to group similar species together. Al- most anyone would naturally group the two elephants, for instance. To grouping tens of thousands of species in suit biologists generally is no easy matter, species of method of a manner to and the first find a systematic A SHORT HISTORY OF BIOLOGY 36 make to a naturalist, major attempt in this direction was an English John Ray (1628-1705). Between 1686 and 1704, he published a three-volume life in which he described 18,600 species.

Circulation of the Blood Rather more subtle than the matter of the appearance and arrangement of the component parts of the body, which is the subject matter of anatomy, is the study of the normal functioning of those parts. iology. The Greeks had made little The latter is phys- progress in physiology and most of their conclusions were wrong. In particular, they were wrong about the functioning of the heart. The heart is clearly a pump; it squirts blood. But where does the blood come from, and where does it go?

The latter comes about through the Lavoisier's forms, too, for in combination of the carbon contained the oxygen in the air in the substance When all or almost within the bell jar is of the candle with the oxygen. the candle goes out and will no longer burn. all consumed, A SHORT HISTORY OF BIOLOGY 48 The situation a bell jar latter is similar for animal life. A mouse under consumes oxygen and forms carbon dioxide; the through the combination of the carbon in its tissue substance with oxygen. As the oxygen level in the air and dies.

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A Short History of Biology by Isaac Asimov

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