Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year-History of the Human Body

Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year-History of the Human Body

4.2 85
by Neil Shubin
     
 

Why do we look the way we do? What does the human hand have in common with the wing of a fly? Are breasts, sweat glands, and scales connected in some way? To better understand the inner workings of our bodies and to trace the origins of many of today's most common diseases, we have to turn to unexpected sources: worms, flies, and even fish.

Neil Shubin, a

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Overview

Why do we look the way we do? What does the human hand have in common with the wing of a fly? Are breasts, sweat glands, and scales connected in some way? To better understand the inner workings of our bodies and to trace the origins of many of today's most common diseases, we have to turn to unexpected sources: worms, flies, and even fish.

Neil Shubin, a leading paleontologist and professor of anatomy who discovered Tiktaalik—the "missing link" that made headlines around the world in April 2006—tells the story of evolution by tracing the organs of the human body back millions of years, long before the first creatures walked the earth. By examining fossils and DNA, Shubin shows us that our hands actually resemble fish fins, our head is organized like that of a long-extinct jawless fish, and major parts of our genome look and function like those of worms and bacteria.

Shubin makes us see ourselves and our world in a completely new light. Your Inner Fish is science writing at its finest—enlightening, accessible, and told with irresistible enthusiasm.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375424472
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/15/2008
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
207,779
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

NEIL SHUBIN is provost of The Field Museum as well as a professor of anatomy at the University of Chicago, where he also serves as an associate dean. Educated at Columbia, Harvard, and the University of California at Berkeley, he lives in Chicago.

Table of Contents


Preface     ix
Finding Your Inner Fish     3
Getting a Grip     28
Handy Genes     44
Teeth Everywhere     60
Getting Ahead     81
The Best-Laid (Body) Plans     97
Adventures in Bodybuilding     116
Making Scents     139
Vision     148
Ears     158
The Meaning of It All     173
Epilogue     199
Notes, References, and Further Reading     203
Acknowledgments     215
Index     219

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