The Tangled Tree, by David Quammen

The Tangled Tree, by David Quammen

€25.00 Sale price

Our understanding of the ‘tree of life’, with powerful implications for human genetics, human health and our own human nature, has recently completely changed.

This book is about a new method of telling the story of life on earth – through molecular phylogenetics. It involves a fairly simple method – the reading of the deep history of life by looking at the variation in protein molecules found in living organisms.

In The Tangled Tree, science writer David Quammen chronicles these discoveries through the lives of the researchers who made them – such as Carl Woese, the most important little-known biologist of the twentieth century; Lynn Margulis, the notorious maverick whose wild ideas about ‘mosaic’ creatures proved to be true; and Tsutomu Wantanabe, who discovered that the scourge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a direct result of horizontal gene transfer, bringing the deep study of genome histories to bear on a global crisis in public health.

Quammen explains how molecular studies of evolution have brought startling recognitions about the tangled tree of life – including where we humans fit into it. The Tangled Tree is a brilliant exploration of our transformed understanding of evolution and of life’s history itself.

“In The Tangled Tree, celebrated science writer David Quammen tells perhaps the grandest tale in biology … He presents the science – and the scientists involved – with patience, candour and flair.” - Nature

 “[Quammen] is our greatest living chronicler of the natural world … There are vivacious descriptions on almost every page.” - New York Times