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Plant Evolution

Author: Karl J. Niklas
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022634228X
Size: 24.82 MB
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Although plants comprise more than 90% of all visible life, and land plants and algae collectively make up the most morphologically, physiologically, and ecologically diverse group of organisms on earth, books on evolution instead tend to focus on animals. This organismal bias has led to an incomplete and often erroneous understanding of evolutionary theory. Because plants grow and reproduce differently than animals, they have evolved differently, and generally accepted evolutionary views—as, for example, the standard models of speciation—often fail to hold when applied to them. Tapping such wide-ranging topics as genetics, gene regulatory networks, phenotype mapping, and multicellularity, as well as paleobotany, Karl J. Niklas’s Plant Evolution offers fresh insight into these differences. Following up on his landmark book The Evolutionary Biology of Plants—in which he drew on cutting-edge computer simulations that used plants as models to illuminate key evolutionary theories—Niklas incorporates data from more than a decade of new research in the flourishing field of molecular biology, conveying not only why the study of evolution is so important, but also why the study of plants is essential to our understanding of evolutionary processes. Niklas shows us that investigating the intricacies of plant development, the diversification of early vascular land plants, and larger patterns in plant evolution is not just a botanical pursuit: it is vital to our comprehension of the history of all life on this green planet.

The Triumph Of Seeds

Author: Thor Hanson
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465048722
Size: 47.74 MB
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"The genius of Hanson's fascinating, inspiring, and entertaining book stems from the fact that it is not about how all kinds of things grow from seeds; it is about the seeds themselves." --Mark Kurlansky, New York Times Book Review We live in a world of seeds. From our morning toast to the cotton in our clothes, they are quite literally the stuff and staff of life: supporting diets, economies, and civilizations around the globe. Just as the search for nutmeg and pepper drove the Age of Discovery, coffee beans fueled the Enlightenment and cottonseed sparked the Industrial Revolution. Seeds are fundamental objects of beauty, evolutionary wonders, and simple fascinations. Yet, despite their importance, seeds are often seen as commonplace, their extraordinary natural and human histories overlooked. Thanks to this stunning new book, they can be overlooked no more. This is a book of knowledge, adventure, and wonder, spun by an award-winning writer with both the charm of a fireside story-teller and the hard-won expertise of a field biologist. A fascinating scientific adventure, it is essential reading for anyone who loves to see a plant grow.

Wisdom Of The Plant Devas

Author: Thea Summer Deer
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1591439418
Size: 50.79 MB
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Consulting plant spirits for spiritual and psychological guidance and healing • Reveals how, by communing with the deva or spirit of a plant, we can call forth its medicine without even needing to ingest it • Includes wisdom from the devas of 13 herbs, such as rosemary, datura, and uva ursi • Empowers readers with the tools to develop their own inner resources for healing in relationship with the plant devas around them Each plant has a story to share with us, a healing story to guide us in trying times, a spirit medicine for the New Earth that is presently unfolding. Herbs are some of the most powerful allies we have for these transitional times--we just need to learn how to listen as they share their knowledge with us. In Wisdom of the Plant Devas, Thea Summer Deer reveals a new dimension of herbal medicine, one where the plant’s spirit is consulted for guidance and healing beyond the physical. Examining the botany, modern and traditional uses, history, and folklore of 13 special herbs, such as rosemary, uva ursi, and datura, she shares divinations and messages from their devas, or plant spirits, explaining how these stories carry the herbs into our lives, letting them work their magic on us. Exploring herbal medicine from an energetic perspective, she reveals that by communing with the deva of a plant, we can call on the plant’s physical, psychological, and spiritual medicine and guidance--without ingesting it or even being in its presence. Detailing the sacred space of a Medicine Wheel Garden, whether in a backyard or our imaginations, she connects us with the devas and empowers us to seek our own answers with their much-needed spiritual guidance and divinatory advice. Creating a bridge between botanical medicine and plant spirit medicine, she shows how by coming into community with the devas and co-creating with the world of nature, we can gain tremendous insights to help heal our hearts, our minds, and our spirits and consciously evolve as together we birth the New Earth.

Evolution Made To Order

Author: Helen Anne Curry
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022639011X
Size: 78.98 MB
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In the mid-twentieth century, American plant breeders, frustrated by their dependence on natural variation in creating new crops and flowers, eagerly sought technologies that could extend human control over nature. Their search led them to celebrate a series of strange tools: an x-ray beam directed at dormant seeds, a drop of chromosome-altering colchicine on a flower bud, and a piece of radioactive cobalt in a field of growing crops. According to scientific and popular reports of the time, these mutation-inducing methods would generate variation on demand, in turn allowing breeders to genetically engineer crops and flowers to order. Creating a new crop or flower would soon be as straightforward as innovating any other modern industrial product. In Evolution Made to Order, Helen Anne Curry traces the history of America’s pursuit of tools that could speed up evolution. It is an immersive journey through the scientific and social worlds of midcentury genetics and plant breeding and a compelling exploration of American cultures of innovation. As Curry reveals, the creation of genetic technologies was deeply entangled with other areas of technological innovation—from electromechanical to chemical to nuclear. An important study of biological research and innovation in America, Evolution Made to Order provides vital historical context for current worldwide ethical and policy debates over genetic engineering.

Plant Spirit Healing

Author: Pam Montgomery
Publisher: Inner Traditions / Bear & Co
ISBN: 1591430771
Size: 36.11 MB
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Herbalist Pam Montgomery’s triple spiral path--working through the heart to connect with the soul and gain access to the spirit--is a hands-on approach to partnering with plant spirits that promotes a profound healing, one that moves beyond mere symptomatic treatment into aligning us with the vast web of nature.

Ten Million Aliens

Author: Simon Barnes
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1476730369
Size: 30.53 MB
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“Funny, thoughtful, informative, and wise” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), this scientific foray into the animal kingdom examines how the world’s creatures—weird, wonderful, and everything in between—are inextricably linked. Life on planet earth is not weirder than we imagine. It’s weirder than we are capable of imagining. And we’re all in it together: humans, blue whales, rats, birds of paradise, beetles, mollusks the size of buses, gladiator slugs, bdelloid rotifers that haven’t had sex for millions of years, and water bears—creatures that can be boiled, frozen, and fired off into space without dying. We’re all part of the animal kingdom, appearing in what Darwin called “endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful.” In this audacious book, Simon Barnes brings together all of the world’s creatures, seeking not what sets them all apart but what unites them all. He explores arcane knowledge from the works of Darwin to James Joyce and David Attenborough to Sherlock Holmes, in addition to telling his own wild, don’t-try-this-at-home adventures in humorous and compulsively readable prose. Fascinating, entertaining, and perfect for Discovery Channel enthusiasts, Ten Million Aliens will open your eyes to the animal world through Barnes’s “unique voice, always willing to challenge conventional wisdom and look for deeper meanings” (The Sunday Telegraph).

The New Foundations Of Evolution

Author: Jan Sapp
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195388496
Size: 12.74 MB
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This book presents a history of microbial evolutionary biology from the 19th century to the present. It follows the research of molecular evolutionists who explore the origins of the genetic system and the primary life forms: three domains and multiple kingdoms, created by mechanisms very unlike those considered by Darwin and his followers.

Eating The Sun

Author: Oliver Morton
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0007163657
Size: 69.43 MB
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Wherever there is greenery, photosynthesis is working to make oxygen, release energy, and create living matter from the raw material of sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. Without photosynthesis, there would be an empty world, an empty sky, and a sun that does nothing more than warm the rocks and reflect off the sea. Eating the Sun is the story of a world in crisis; an appreciation of the importance of plants; a history of the earth and the feuds and fantasies of warring scientists; a celebration of how the smallest things, enzymes and pigments, influence the largest things, the oceans, the rainforests, and the fossil fuel economy. Oliver Morton offers a fascinating, lively, profound look at nature's greatest miracle and sounds a much-needed call to arms—illuminating a potential crisis of climatic chaos and explaining how we can change our situation, for better or for worse.