Life's Ratchet

Life's Ratchet

Life's Ratchet: How Molecular Machines Extract Order from Chaos by Peter M Hoffmann
Basic Books | 2012 | ISBN: 0465022537 | EPUB | 1.57MB


Life is an enduring mystery. Yet, science tells us that living beings are merely sophisticated structures of lifeless molecules. If this view is correct, where do the seemingly purposeful motions of cells and organisms originate? In Life’s Ratchet, physicist Peter M. Hoffmann locates the answer to this age-old question at the nanoscale.


Below the calm, ordered exterior of a living organism lies microscopic chaos, or what Hoffmann calls the molecular storm - specialized molecules immersed in a whirlwind of colliding water molecules. Our cells are filled with molecular machines, which, like tiny ratchets, transform random motion into ordered activity, and create the "purpose" that is the hallmark of life. Tiny electrical motors turn electrical voltage into motion, nanoscale factories custom-build other molecular machines, and mechanical machines twist, untwist, separate and package strands of DNA. The cell is like a city - an unfathomable, complex collection of molecular workers working together to create something greater than themselves.


Life, Hoffman argues, emerges from the random motions of atoms filtered through these sophisticated structures of our evolved machinery. We are agglomerations of interacting nanoscale machines more amazing than anything in science fiction. Rather than relying on some mysterious "life force" to drive them - as people believed for centuries - life’s ratchets harness instead the second law of thermodynamics and the disorder of the molecular storm.


Grounded in Hoffmann’s own cutting-edge research, Life’s Ratchet reveals the incredible findings of modern nanotechnology to tell the story of how the noisy world of atoms gives rise to life itself.


Blood and Guts: A History of Surgery

Blood and Guts: A History of Surgery

Blood and Guts: A History of Surgery by Richard Hollingham
BBC Books | 2009 | ISBN: 1407024531 | EPUB | 4.26MB


Today, astonishing surgical breakthroughs are making limb transplants, face transplants, and a host of other previously un dreamed of operations possible. But getting here has not been a simple story of medical progress. In Blood and Guts, veteran science writer Richard Hollingham weaves a compelling narrative from the key moments in surgical history. We have a ringside seat in the operating theater of University College Hospital in London as world-renowned Victorian surgeon Robert Liston performs a remarkable amputation in thirty seconds-from first cut to final stitch. Innovations such as Joseph Lister's antiseptic technique, the first open-heart surgery, and Walter Freeman's lobotomy operations, among other breakthroughs, are brought to life in these pages in vivid detail. This is popular science writing at it's best.


Erasing Death

Erasing Death

Erasing Death: The Science That Is Rewriting the Boundaries Between Life and Death by Josh Young, Sam Parnia
HarperOne | 2013 | ISBN: 0062080601 | EPUB | 969.77KB


Erasing Death: The Science That Is Rewriting the Boundaries Between Life and Death reveals that death is not a moment in time. Death, rather, is a process—a process that can be interrupted well after it has begun. Innovative techniques have proven to be effective in revitalizing both the body and mind, but they are only employed in approximately half of the hospitals throughout the United States and Europe.


Dr. Sam Parnia, Director of the AWARE Study (AWAreness during REsuscitation) and one of the world’s leading experts on the scientific study of death and near-death experiences (NDE), presents cutting-edge research from the front lines of critical care and resuscitation medicine while also shedding light on the ultimate mystery: What happens to human consciousness during and after death? Dr. Parnia reveals how some form of “afterlife” may be uniquely ours, as evidenced by the continuation of the human mind and psyche after the brain stops functioning.


With physicians such as Dr. Parnia at the forefront, we are on the verge of discovering a new universal science of consciousness that reveals the nature of mind and a future where death is not the final defeat, but is, in fact, reversible.


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