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  1. 10.6 hrs • 9/15/2016 • Unabridged

    What makes a penguin a bird? Is a camel more closely related to a horse than to a giraffe? Why is a whale not a fish? Similar puzzles preoccupied Charles Darwin throughout his life. Whimsy, in the playfulness of stories for children, is a way to appreciate Darwinian histories. In Do Elephants Have Knees? Charles R. Ault Jr. uses the fanciful imagery of story to explain Darwinian thought. At the same time, he launches careful consideration of Darwin’s humanity, the origins of his curiosity, and the reach of his ideas. Ault’s approach illustrates the value of story form in learning science and provides a wealth of resources for enriching courses that focus on Darwin’s ideas. “Good storytelling mines curiosity,” Ault writes, “and exuberant playfulness enriches a disciplined study of science.”

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    Do Elephants Have Knees? and Other Stories of Darwinian Origins by Charles R. Ault Jr.
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  2. 7.6 hrs • 9/13/2016 • Unabridged

    Combining leading theories of psychology and behavior with case studies and practical advice, National Geographic’s Mind explores the question we all enjoy asking: Who am I? A companion to National Geographic’s Body and Brain, this reference explores today’s theories of personality, mixing scientific theory with an underlying message: by knowing more about your own psychology, you can have a better life. Chapters start with the anatomy, evolution, and development of the human brain, then move into such areas as intuition, creativity, motivation, faith, and ethics—all facets of a unique personality. Interesting scenarios of mental health and mental deviance make for a lively, readable narrative that combines today’s leading theories in the science of the mind and personality with life-enhancing questions, quizzes, practices, and tools for self-discovery. An entertaining book about science, Mind connects with the listener in a very personal and ultimately helpful way.

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    Mind by Patricia Daniels

    Mind

    Foreword by Todd B. Kashdan
    7.6 hrs • 9/13/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 11.0 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    The DNA Restart by world-renowned neurogeneticist and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Sharon Moalem walks you through revolutionary steps to a diet and lifestyle perfect for your individual genetic makeup. The DNA Restart plan utilizes decades of in-depth scientific research into genetics, epigenetics, nutrition, and longevity to explain the pivotal role genes play in the journey to ideal weight and health status. Dr. Moalem’s unique twenty-eight-day plan shows you how to upgrade sleep, sensory awareness, and exercise; conduct easy genetic self-tests that allow you to individualize your carbohydrate intake levels, determine your genetically optimized level of alcohol intake, and more; and genetically thrive by incorporating umami-rich recipes and oolong into your diet. Inspiring testimonials and delicious recipes with mix-and-match meal plans round out this groundbreaking diet book.

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    The DNA Restart by Sharon Moalem, MD, PhD

    The DNA Restart

    Foreword by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa
    Read by P. J. Ochlan
    11.0 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    In Origins, Frank H. T. Rhodes explores the origin and evolution of living things, the changing environments in which they have developed, and the challenges we now face on an increasingly crowded and polluted planet. Rhodes argues that the future well-being of our burgeoning population depends in no small part on our understanding of life’s past, its long and slow development, and its intricate interdependencies. The book describes the nature of the search for prehistoric life, the significance of geologic time, the origin of life, the emergence and spread of flora and fauna, the evolution of primates, and the emergence of modern humans. Origins is accessible enough for the layperson but also can be used as an entry-level text for students of evolution, paleontology, and geology.

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    Origins by Frank Harold Trevor Rhodes

    Origins

    9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 4.6 hrs • 8/30/2016 • Unabridged

    The maestro storyteller and reporter provocatively argues that what we think we know about speech and human evolution is wrong. Tom Wolfe, whose legend began in journalism, takes us on an eye-opening journey that is sure to arouse widespread debate. The Kingdom of Speech is a captivating, paradigm-shifting argument that speech—not evolution—is responsible for humanity’s complex societies and achievements. From Alfred Russel Wallace, the Englishman who beat Darwin to the theory of natural selection but later renounced it, and through the controversial work of modern-day anthropologist Daniel Everett, who defies the current wisdom that language is hard-wired in humans, Wolfe examines the solemn, long-faced, laugh-out-loud zig-zags of Darwinism, old and Neo, and finds it irrelevant here in the Kingdom of Speech.

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    The Kingdom of Speech

    4.6 hrs • 8/30/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 9.9 hrs • 8/9/2016 • Unabridged

    A groundbreaking, wondrously informative, and vastly entertaining examination of the most significant revolution in biology since Darwin—a “microbe’s-eye view” of the world that reveals a marvelous, radically reconceived picture of life on earth. Every animal, whether human, squid, or wasp, is home to millions of bacteria and other microbes. Many people think of microbes as germs to be eradicated, but those that live with us—the microbiome—build our bodies, protect our health, shape our identities, and grant us incredible abilities. In this astonishing book, Ed Yong takes us on a grand tour through our microbial partners, and introduces us to the scientists on the front lines of discovery. Yong, whose humor is as evident as his erudition, prompts us to look at ourselves and our animal companions in a new light—less as individuals and more as the interconnected, interdependent multitudes we assuredly are. The microbes in our bodies are part of our immune systems and protect us from disease. Those in cows and termites digest the plants they eat. In the deep oceans, mysterious creatures without mouths or guts depend on microbes for all their energy. Bacteria provide squids with invisibility cloaks, help beetles to bring down forests, and allow worms to cause diseases that afflict millions of people. I Contain Multitudes is the story of these extraordinary partnerships between the creatures we are familiar with and those we are not. It reveals how we humans are disrupting these partnerships and how we might manipulate them for our own good. It will change both our view of nature and our sense of where we belong in it.

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    I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong

    I Contain Multitudes

    9.9 hrs • 8/9/16 • Unabridged
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  7. 6.6 hrs • 8/9/2016 • Unabridged

    A thrilling tale of encounters with nature’s masters of biochemistry In Venomous, the molecular biologist Christie Wilcox investigates venoms and the animals that use them, revealing how they work, what they do to the human body, and how they can revolutionize biochemistry and medicine today. Wilcox takes us from the coast of Indonesia to the rainforests of Peru in search of the secrets of these mysterious animals. We encounter jellyfish that release microscopic venom-packed darts known to kill humans in just two minutes, a two-inch caterpillar with toxic bristles that trigger hemorrhaging throughout the body, and a stunning blue-ringed octopus with saliva capable of inducing total paralysis. How could an animal as simple as a jellyfish evolve such an intricate, deadly poison? And how can a snake possess enzymes that tear through tissue yet leave its own body unscathed? Wilcox meets the fearless scientists who often risk their lives studying these lethal beasts to find out, and puts her own life on the line to examine these species up close. Drawing on her own research on venom chemistry and evolution, she also shows how venom is helping us untangle the complex mechanisms of some of our most devastating diseases. Venomous reveals that the animals we fear the most actually hold the keys to a deeper understanding of evolution, adaptation, and immunity. Thrilling and surprising at every turn, Venomous will change the way you think about our natural world.

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    Venomous

    6.6 hrs • 8/9/16 • Unabridged
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  8. 10.6 hrs • 8/1/2016 • Unabridged

    A brilliantly engaging guide to the reproductive habits of creatures great and small, based on the author’s popular web series Wild Sex, which has received over fourteen million views Birds do it, bees do it―every member of the animal kingdom does it, from fruit flies to blue whales. But if you think humans have a tough time dating, try having to do it while being hunted down by predators against a backdrop of unpredictable and life-threatening conditions. The animal kingdom is a wild place—and it’s got mating habits to match. The sex lives of our animal cousins are fiendishly difficult, infinitely varied, often incredibly violent—and absolutely fascinating. In Wild Sex, Dr. Carin Bondar takes listeners on an enthralling tour of the animal kingdom as she explores the diverse world of sex in the wild. She looks at the evolution of sexual organs (and how they’ve shaped social hierarchies), tactics of seduction, and the mechanics of sex. She investigates a wide range of topics, from whether animals experience pleasure from sex to what happens when females hold the reproductive power. Along the way, she encounters razor-sharp penises, murderous carnal cannibals, and spontaneous chemical warfare in an epic battle between the sexes. The resulting book is titillating, exhilarating, amusing, petrifying, alluring―and absolutely guaranteed to make you think about sex in a whole new way.

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    Wild Sex by Dr. Carin Bondar

    Wild Sex

    10.6 hrs • 8/1/16 • Unabridged
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  9. 10.3 hrs • 7/12/2016 • Unabridged

    The origin of asthma, autism, Alzheimer’s, allergies, cancer, heart disease, obesity, and even some kinds of depression is now clear. Award-winning researcher on the microbiome, professor Rodney Dietert presents a new paradigm in human biology that has emerged in the midst of the ongoing global epidemic of noncommunicable diseases. The Human Superorganism makes a sweeping, paradigm-shifting argument. It demolishes two fundamental beliefs that have blinkered all medical thinking until very recently: 1) Humans are better off as pure organisms free of foreign microbes; and 2) the human genome is the key to future medical advances. The microorganisms that we have sought to eliminate have been there for centuries supporting our ancestors. They comprise 90 percent of the cells in and on our bodies—a staggering percentage! More than a thousand species of them live inside us, on our skin, and on our very eyelashes. Yet we have now significantly reduced their power and in doing so have sparked an epidemic of noncommunicable diseases—which now account for 63 percent of all human deaths. Ultimately, this book is not just about microbes; it is about a different way to view humans. The story that Dietert tells of where the new biology comes from, how it works, and the ways in which it affects your life is fascinating, authoritative, and revolutionary. Dietert identifies foods that best serve you, the superorganism; not new fad foods but ancient foods that have made sense for millennia. He explains protective measures against unsafe chemicals and drugs. He offers an empowering self-care guide and the blueprint for a revolution in public health. We are not what we have been taught. Each of us is a superorganism. The best path to a healthy life is through recognizing that profound truth.

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    The Human Superorganism

    10.3 hrs • 7/12/16 • Unabridged
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  10. 12.2 hrs • 6/14/2016 • Unabridged

    A revolutionary examination of why we age, what it means for humanity, and how we just might be able to fight father time. What is the function of aging? Why do most, but not all species age? Aging is generally thought of as wear and tear, but why does this process occur if there is no benefit for the individual? If the selfish gene and natural selection is at play, then why do our cells die off? In Cracking the Aging Code, theoretical biologist Joshua Mitteldorf and award-winning writer and ecological philosopher Dorion Sagan reveal that evolution and aging are even more complex and breathtaking than we originally thought. Using an in-depth and wide-ranging review of the biological record and exploring the genes that either start or stall aging the authors challenge the assumptions of neo-Darwinism and show us how aging evolved not to help ourselves and those like us, but to support the “greater good.” Our genetically pre-programmed death is ultimately a means to stabilize populations and ecosystems, which are ever-threatened by cyclic swings that can lead to extinction. This dynamic new understanding of aging opens the door to startling new means of stopping, slowing, or reversing the aging process. A controversial, idea-driven book that is at once provocative, entertaining and pioneering, Cracking the Aging Code challenges the way we understand aging, death, and just what makes us human.

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    Cracking the Aging Code

    12.2 hrs • 6/14/16 • Unabridged
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  11. 7.7 hrs • 6/7/2016 • Unabridged

    Based on her viral TED talk (3M+ views) neuroscientist and science writer Sandra Aamodt explains how the latest scientific research contradicts what you think you know about dieting and weight lossIn the US, one out of every three adults and children is overweight. We think we know the answer: cut calories. Eat less. We conclude that fat is a failure of willpower, perhaps supplemented by a quirk of genetics. But, neuroscientist and former Nature Neuroscience editor Sandra Aamodt explains why dieting not only doesn't work, but is likely to do more harm than good.   • When you diet, your brain thinks you're starving and goes into survival mode. People who have gone on extreme diets may never lose their food obsession as a result, even if they go back to eating normally.   • The long-term failure rate for losing weight by willpower dieting is between 80-98%, depending on how you define success.    • There's no evidence that dieting improves long-term health, while some research suggests that weight cycling, or dieting to lose weight and gaining it back, can be more dangerous than being overweight itself.   • It's better to be fifty pounds overweight and exercise every day than it is to be at your "target weight" but sedentary. By harnessing her knowledge of brain science and biology, the author successfully stabilized her weight at a healthy level and enjoys a better relationship with food.Combining deep research and brutal candor about her own experience as a weight cycler, Aamodt gives us several clues into the obesity epidemic based on the latest science, including new findings about gut bacteria, why bariatric surgery works (it has more to do with your brain than your stomach), and what a real alternative to dieting and weight cycling might look like.From the Hardcover edition.

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    Diets Make You Fat

    7.7 hrs • 6/7/16 • Unabridged
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  12. 5.8 hrs • 5/17/2016 • Unabridged

    In One Wild Bird at a Time, Heinrich returns to his great love: close, day-to-day observations of individual wild birds. Heinrich’s observations lead to fascinating questions—and sometimes startling discoveries. A great crested flycatcher bringing food to the young acts surreptitiously and is attacked by the mate. Why? A pair of Northern flickers hammering their nest-hole into the side of Heinrich’s cabin delivers the opportunity to observe the feeding competition between siblings, and to make a related discovery about nest-cleaning. One of a clutch of redstart warbler babies fledges out of the nest from twenty feet above the ground, and lands on the grass below. It can’t fly. What will happen next?

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    One Wild Bird at a Time

    5.8 hrs • 5/17/16 • Unabridged
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  13. 10.6 hrs • 4/25/2016 • Unabridged

    From world-renowned biologist and primatologist Frans de Waal comes this groundbreaking work on animal intelligence destined to become a classic.What separates your mind from an animal’s? Maybe you think it’s your ability to design tools, your sense of self, or your grasp of past and future―all traits that have helped us define ourselves as the planet’s preeminent species. But in recent decades, these claims have been eroded—or even disproved outright—by a revolution in the study of animal cognition.Take the way octopuses use coconut shells as tools; elephants that classify humans by age, gender, and language; or Ayumu, the young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame. Based on research involving crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, whales, and of course chimpanzees and bonobos, Frans de Waal explores both the scope and the depth of animal intelligence. He offers a firsthand account of how science has stood traditional behaviorism on its head by revealing how smart animals really are—and how we’ve underestimated their abilities for too long.People often assume a cognitive ladder, from lower to higher forms, with our own intelligence at the top. But what if it is more like a bush, with cognition taking different, often incomparable, forms? Would you presume yourself dumber than a squirrel because you’re less adept at recalling the locations of hundreds of buried acorns? Or would you judge your perception of your surroundings as more sophisticated than that of a echolocating bat?De Waal reviews the rise and fall of the mechanistic view of animals and opens our minds to the idea that animal minds are far more intricate and complex than we have assumed. De Waal’s landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you thought you knew about animal―and human―intelligence.

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    Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal
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  14. 7.2 hrs • 4/14/2016 • Unabridged

    Every human is composed of an amazing assortment of cells and tissues that carry out myriad functions necessary for sus- taining life. In clear, concise language, Professor John K. Young of the Howard University College of Medicine takes audiences through the microscope on a fascinating journey of discovery into the world of cells and tissues, where a complex scheme of activity is taking place all the time, literally just beneath the surface.

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    The Building Blocks of Human Life

    7.2 hrs • 4/14/16 • Unabridged
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  15. 0 reviews 0 5 4.3 4 out of 5 stars 4.3/5
    11.6 hrs • 4/5/2016 • Unabridged

    An illuminating debut memoir of a woman in science; a moving portrait of a longtime collaboration, in work and in life; and a stunningly fresh look at plants that will forever change how you see and think about the natural world Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she’s studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book might have been a revelatory treatise on plant life. Lab Girl is that, but it is also so much more. Because in it, Jahren also shares with us her inspiring life story, in prose that takes your breath away. Lab Girl is a book about work, about love, and about the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s remarkable stories: about the things she’s discovered in her lab, as well as how she got there; about her childhood—hours of unfettered play in her father’s laboratory; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work “with both the heart and the hands”; about a brilliant and wounded man named Bill, who became her loyal colleague and best friend; about their adventurous, sometimes rogue research trips, which take them from the Midwest all across the United States and over the Atlantic, from the ever-light skies of the North Pole to tropical Hawaii; and about her constant striving to do and be the best she could, never allowing personal or professional obstacles to cloud her dedication to her work.

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    Lab Girl

    11.6 hrs • 4/5/16 • Unabridged
    0 reviews 0 5 4.3 4 out of 5 stars 4.3/5
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  16. 11.3 hrs • 3/22/2016 • Unabridged

    An extraordinary memoir about the cutting-edge brain therapy that dramatically changed the life and mind of John Elder Robison, the New York Times bestselling author of Look Me in the Eye Imagine spending the first forty years of your life in darkness, blind to the emotions and social signals of other people. Then imagine that someone suddenly switches the lights on. John Elder Robison’s bestselling memoir Look Me in the Eye is one of the most widely read and beloved accounts of life with autism. In Switched On, Robison shares the second part of his journey, pushing the boundaries of scientific discovery as he undergoes an experimental brain therapy known as TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation. TMS drastically changes Robison’s life. After forty years of feeling like a social misfit—either misreading other people’s emotions or missing them completely, and accepting this as his fate—Robison can suddenly sense a powerful range of emotion in others as a result of the treatments: “It was as if I’d been experiencing the world in black and white all my life, and suddenly I could see everything—and particularly other people—in brilliant, beautiful color.” The ability to connect emotionally with others for the first time brings Robison a kind of joy he has never known. And yet, Robison’s newfound insight has very real downsides. As the emotional ground shifts beneath his feet, he must find a way to move forward without losing sight of who he is, what he values, and all he has worked so hard for. Robison is our guinea pig and our guide, bravely leading us on an adventure that holds the key to new ways of understanding the mysteries of the human brain. In this real-life Flowers for Algernon, he grapples with a trade-off, the very real possibility that choosing to diminish his disability might also mean sacrificing his unique gifts and even some of his closest relationships. Switched On is a fascinating and intimate window into what it means to be neurologically different, and what happens when the world as you know it is upended overnight.

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    Switched On

    Foreword and afterword by Marcel Just
    Introduction by Alvaro Pascual-Leon
    11.3 hrs • 3/22/16 • Unabridged
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