Oxygen by Nick Lane audiobook

Oxygen: The molecule that made the world

By Nick Lane
Read by Nigel Patterson

Tantor Audio 9780198508038
16.59 Hours 1
Format : CD (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9798200275311

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Three hundred million years ago, in Carboniferous times, dragonflies grew as big as seagulls, with wingspans of nearly a meter. Researchers claim they could have flown only if the air had contained more oxygen than today—probably as much as thirty-five percent. Giant spiders, tree-ferns, marine rock formations, and fossil charcoals all tell the same story. High oxygen levels may also explain the global firestorm that contributed to the demise of the dinosaurs after the asteroid impact. The strange and profound effects that oxygen has had on the evolution of life pose a riddle, which this book sets out to answer. Oxygen is a toxic gas. Divers breathing pure oxygen at depth suffer from convulsions and lung injury. Fruit flies raised at twice normal atmospheric levels of oxygen live half as long as their siblings. Reactive forms of oxygen, known as free radicals, are thought to cause aging in people. Yet if atmospheric oxygen reached thirty-five percent in the Carboniferous, why did it promote exuberant growth, instead of rapid aging and death? Oxygen takes the listener on an enthralling journey, as gripping as a thriller, as it unravels the unexpected ways in which oxygen spurred the evolution of life and death.

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Summary

Summary

Three hundred million years ago, in Carboniferous times, dragonflies grew as big as seagulls, with wingspans of nearly a meter. Researchers claim they could have flown only if the air had contained more oxygen than today—probably as much as thirty-five percent. Giant spiders, tree-ferns, marine rock formations, and fossil charcoals all tell the same story. High oxygen levels may also explain the global firestorm that contributed to the demise of the dinosaurs after the asteroid impact.

The strange and profound effects that oxygen has had on the evolution of life pose a riddle, which this book sets out to answer. Oxygen is a toxic gas. Divers breathing pure oxygen at depth suffer from convulsions and lung injury. Fruit flies raised at twice normal atmospheric levels of oxygen live half as long as their siblings. Reactive forms of oxygen, known as free radicals, are thought to cause aging in people. Yet if atmospheric oxygen reached thirty-five percent in the Carboniferous, why did it promote exuberant growth, instead of rapid aging and death?

Oxygen takes the listener on an enthralling journey, as gripping as a thriller, as it unravels the unexpected ways in which oxygen spurred the evolution of life and death.

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Author

Author Bio: Nick Lane

Author Bio: Nick Lane

Nick Lane is a British biochemist and writer. He was awarded the first Provost’s Venture Research Prize in the Department of Genetics, Evolution, and Environment at University College London, where he is now Professor of Evolutionary Biochemistry. Professor Lane’s research deals with evolutionary biochemistry and bioenergetics, focusing on the origin of life and the evolution of complex cells. He was a founding member of the UCL Consortium for Mitochondrial Research, and is leading the UCL Research Frontiers Origins of Life program. He was awarded the 2011 BMC Research Award for Genetics, Genomics, Bioinformatics and Evolution, and the 2015 Biochemical Society Award for his sustained and diverse contribution to the molecular life sciences and the public understanding of science. His books include Oxygen: The Molecule that Made the World.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Science
Runtime: 16.59
Audience: Adult
Language: English