On a desert island in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago, where Darwin received his first inklings of the theory of evolution, two scientists, Peter and Rosemary Grant, have spent twenty years proving that Darwin did not know the strength of his own theory. For among the finches of Daphne Major, natural selection is neither rare nor slow: it is taking place by the hour, and we can watch.In this dramatic story of groundbreaking scientific research, Jonathan Weiner follows these scientists as they watch Darwin's finches and come up with a new understanding of life itself. The Beak of the Finch is an elegantly written and compelling masterpiece of theory and explication in the tradition of Stephen Jay Gould.<P><P> Winner of the Pulitzer Prize<P> Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
The Best American series has been the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction since 1915. Each volume's series editor selects notable works from hundreds of periodicals. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the very best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected -- and most popular -- of its kind. The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2005 includes pieces by Natalie Angier, Jared Diamond, Timothy Ferris, Malcolm Gladwell, Jerome Groopman, Bill McKibben, Sherwin B. Nuland, Jeffrey M. O'Brien, Oliver Sacks, Michael J. Sandel, William Speed Weed, and others.
Stephen Heywood was twenty-nine years old when he learned that he was dying of ALS -- Lou Gehrig's disease. Almost overnight his older brother, Jamie, turned himself into a genetic engineer in a quixotic race to cure the incurable. His Brother's Keeper is a powerful account of their story, as they travel together to the edge of medicine. The book brings home for all of us the hopes and fears of the new biology. In this dramatic and suspenseful narrative, Jonathan Weiner gives us a remarkable portrait of science and medicine today. We learn about gene therapy, stem cells, brain vaccines, and other novel treatments for such nerve-death diseases as ALS, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's -- diseases that afflict millions, and touch the lives of many more. "The Heywoods' story taught me many things about the nature of healing in the new millennium," Weiner writes. "They also taught me about what has not changed since the time of the ancients and may never change as long as there are human beings -- about what Lucretius calls 'the ever-living wound of love.'"This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Beak of the Finch" comes a book about the new biology and how it touches a defiant family-in-crisis fighting an incurable disease.
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Jonathan Weiner comes a fast-paced and astonishing scientific adventure story: has the long-sought secret of eternal youth at last been found? In recent years, the dream of eternal youth has started to look like more than just a dream. In the twentieth century alone, life expectancy increased by more than thirty years-almost as much time as humans have gained in the whole span of human existence. Today a motley array of scientists, researchers, and entrepreneurs believe that another, bigger leap is at hand-that human immortality is not only possible, but attainable in our own time. Is there genius or folly in the dreams of these charismatic but eccentric thinkers? In Long for This World, Jonathan Weiner, a natural storyteller and an intrepid reporter with a gift for making cutting-edge science understandable, takes the reader on a whirlwind intellectual quest to find out. From Berkeley to the Bronx, from Cambridge University to Dante's tomb in Ravenna, Weiner meets the leading intellectuals in the field and delves into the mind-blowing science behind the latest research. He traces the centuries-old, fascinating history of the quest for longevity in art, science, and literature, from Gilgamesh to Shakespeare, Doctor Faustus to "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." And he tells the dramatic story of how aging could be conquered once and for all, focusing on the ideas of those who believe aging is a curable disease. Chief among them is the extraordinary Aubrey de Grey, a garrulous Englishman who bears more than a passing resemblance to Methuselah (at 969 years, the oldest man in the Bible) and who is perhaps immortality's most radical and engaging true believer. A rollicking scientific adventure story in the grand manner of Oliver Sacks, Long for This World is science writing of the highest order and with the highest stakes. Could we live forever? And if we could...would we want to?
When Nadia is chosen to be a flower girl in Auntie Laila's traditional Pakistani wedding, her hands are decorated with beautiful designs made with mehndi, and she comes to understand the rich culture she has inherited.
A detailed but non-technical analysis of the state of the planet today and during the next century by the author of Planet Earth.
"A fascinating history--. Literate and authoritative--.Marvelously exciting." --The New York Times Book ReviewJonathan Weiner, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Beak of the Finch, brings his brilliant reporting skills to the story of Seymour Benzer, the Brooklyn-born maverick scientist whose study of genetics and experiments with fruit fly genes has helped revolutionize or knowledge of the connections between DNA and behavior both animal and human.How much of our fate is decided before we are born? Which of our characteristics is inscribed in our DNA? Weiner brings us into Benzer's Fly Rooms at the California Institute of Technology, where Benzer, and his asssociates are in the process of finding answers, often astonishing ones, to these questions. Part biography, part thrilling scientific detective story, Time, Love, Memory forcefully demonstrates how Benzer's studies are changing our world view--and even our lives.
Jonathan Weiner brings his skills to the story of Benzer, the Brooklyn-born maverick scientist whose study of genetics and experiments with fruit fly genes has helped revolutionize the connections between DNA and behavior both animal and human.