“How did life begin? How is it changing? How are human beings related to other forms of life? What are the ethical implications of studying or altering life?”
—From the introduction to the new edition
This new edition of our popular biology anthology features updated content, bringing the most contemporary scientific writing to a wide readership. The nine readings in Volume 1 cover a range of topics, from pesticides to DNA; the nine readings in Volume 2 cover a range of topics, from evolution to genome editing; together they illustrate the dynamism and interconnectedness of the life sciences.
Together, the two volumes of The Nature of Life: New Edition offer insights into the variety and scope of developments in biology and prompt questions about the future direction of life sciences. Inside, you’ll find the work of major scientists, accompanied by thought-provoking questions and discussion prompts that aim to explore universal questions about the nature of life as we know it.
"Even the best textbooks can feel removed from the process of science. Reading essays from the scientists doing the discovery and debating the ideas helps ground students in the idea that science is an ongoing process of inquiry—which allows them to see themselves in the process."
Biology Instructor, Oak Park and River Forest High School, Oak Park, Illinois
Readings and Questions
- Volume 1
- Experiments in Plant Hybridization (excerpt)
- Silent Spring (excerpt)
- The Double Helix (excerpt)
- Why Big Fierce Animals Are Rare
- The Selfish Gene (excerpt)
- The Human Microbiome
- Collective Wisdom of Ants
- The Wholly Different Aqueous World
- Unified Theory of Evolution
- On the Origin of Species (excerpt)
- An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (excerpt)
- The Snout
- Ecce Homo!
- Just in the Middle
- Life from Scum
- Why Science Needs Poetry: Fitting New Metaphors to Nature When Old Cliches Fail
- My Whirlwind Year with CRISPR
- Adolescence; or, Dude, Where's My Frontal Cortex?