Andreas Wagner - Author

About the Author

Andreas Wagner is Professor at the University of Zurich's Institute of Evolutionary Biology and an award-winning science writer. He is the author of more than 150 scientific papers published in leading journals, including Nature and Science, and this is the first book popularising his new evolutionary systems research. He lives in Zurich.

Featured books by Andreas Wagner

Arrival of the Fittest Solving Evolution's Greatest Puzzle

Arrival of the Fittest Solving Evolution's Greatest Puzzle

Author: Andreas Wagner Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/07/2015

Darwin's theory of natural selection was a monumental step in our understanding of evolution, explaining how useful adaptations are preserved over generations. However, Darwin's great idea didn't - and couldn't - tell us how those adaptations arise in the first place. On its own, can random mutation really be responsible for all the creative marvels in nature? Renowned evolutionary biologist Andreas Wagner presents the missing piece of Darwin's theory. Using cutting-edge experimental technologies, he has found that adaptations are driven by a set of laws which allow nature to discover new molecules and mechanisms in a fraction of the time that random variation would take.

Other books by Andreas Wagner

Exploring Occupant Behavior in Buildings Methods and Challenges

Exploring Occupant Behavior in Buildings Methods and Challenges

Author: Andreas Wagner Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/11/2017

This book is the first to comprehensively cover research methods for building occupant behavior. As this is of growing importance for building design and for building performance optimization, the book aims to provide a sound scientific basis for experimental studies in this field. It introduces the reader to fundamental questions about the topic and unfolds the different fields related to occupant actions and comfort. This is followed by more general questions about developing an appropriate research method and experimental design. A comprehensive overview of sensors for monitoring environmental and also behavioral and action-related quantities helps to set up an experiment. In this context, different experimental environments and data collection methods (in-situ, laboratories, surveys) are introduced and discussed in terms of their suitability for the respective research question. Furthermore, data management and reporting is addressed. The book concludes with fundamental challenges in conducting occupant studies, with chapters on ground truth, ethics and privacy.

Arrival of the Fittest Solving Evolution's Greatest Puzzle

Arrival of the Fittest Solving Evolution's Greatest Puzzle

Author: Andreas Wagner Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/07/2015

Darwin's theory of natural selection was a monumental step in our understanding of evolution, explaining how useful adaptations are preserved over generations. However, Darwin's great idea didn't - and couldn't - tell us how those adaptations arise in the first place. On its own, can random mutation really be responsible for all the creative marvels in nature? Renowned evolutionary biologist Andreas Wagner presents the missing piece of Darwin's theory. Using cutting-edge experimental technologies, he has found that adaptations are driven by a set of laws which allow nature to discover new molecules and mechanisms in a fraction of the time that random variation would take.

Arrival of the Fittest Solving Evolution's Greatest Puzzle

Arrival of the Fittest Solving Evolution's Greatest Puzzle

Author: Andreas Wagner Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/11/2014

The power of Darwin's theory of natural selection is beyond doubt, it explains how useful adaptations are preserved over generations. But evolution's biggest mystery eluded Darwin: how those adaptations arise in the first place. Can random mutations over a 3.8 billion years be solely responsible for wings, eyeballs, knees, photosynthesis, and the rest of nature's creative marvels? And by calling these mutations `random', are we not just admitting our own ignorance? What if we could now uncover the wellspring of all biological innovation? Renowned evolutionary biologist Andreas Wagner presents the missing piece in Darwin's theory. Using cutting-edge experimental and computational technologies, he has found that adaptations are in fact driven by a set of laws that allow nature to discover new molecules and mechanisms in a fraction of the time that random variation would take. Consider the Arctic cod, a fish that lives in waters cold enough to turn the internal fluids of most organisms into ice crystals. And yet the Arctic cod survives by producing `natural anti-freeze', proteins that lower the freezing temperature of its body fluids. The invention of those proteins is an archetypal example of nature's enormous powers of creativity. Meticulously researched, carefully argued, and full of fascinating examples from the animal kingdom, Arrival of the Fittest offers up the final puzzle piece in the mystery of life's rich diversity.

Paradoxical Life Meaning, Matter, and the Power of Human Choice

Paradoxical Life Meaning, Matter, and the Power of Human Choice

Author: Andreas Wagner Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/06/2011

What can a fingernail tell us about the mysteries of creation? In one sense, a nail is merely a hunk of mute matter, yet in another, it's an information superhighway quite literally at our fingertips. Every moment, streams of molecular signals direct our cells to move, flatten, swell, shrink, divide, or die. Andreas Wagner's ambitious new book explores this hidden web of unimaginably complex interactions in every living being. In the process, he unveils a host of paradoxes underpinning our understanding of modern biology, contradictions he considers gatekeepers at the frontiers of knowledge. Though we tend to think of concepts in such mutually exclusive pairs as mind-matter, self-other, and nature-nurture, Wagner argues that these opposing ideas are not actually separate. Indeed, they are as inextricably connected as the two sides of a coin. Through a tour of modern biological marvels, Wagner illustrates how this paradoxical tension has a profound effect on the way we define the world around us. Paradoxical Life is thus not only a unique account of modern biology. It ultimately serves a radical-and optimistic-outlook for humans and the world we help create.

Paradoxical Life

Paradoxical Life

Author: Andreas Wagner Format: eBook Release Date: 01/09/2009

What can a fingernail tell us about the mysteries of creation? In one sense, a nail is merely a hunk of mute matter, yet in another, its an information superhighway quite literally at our fingertips. Every moment, streams of molecular signals direct our cells to move, flatten, swell, shrink, divide, or die. Andreas Wagners ambitious new book explores this hidden web of unimaginably complex interactions in every living being. In the process, he unveils a host of paradoxes underpinning our understanding of modern biology, contradictions he considers gatekeepers at the frontiers of knowledge.Though we tend to think of concepts in such mutually exclusive pairs as mind-matter, self-other, and nature-nurture, Wagner argues that these opposing ideas are not actually separate. Indeed, they are as inextricably connected as the two sides of a coin. Through a tour of modern biological marvels, Wagner illustrates how this paradoxical tension has a profound effect on the way we define the world around us. Paradoxical Life is thus not only a unique account of modern biology. It ultimately serves a radicaland optimisticoutlook for humans and the world we help create.

Robustness and Evolvability in Living Systems

Robustness and Evolvability in Living Systems

Author: Andreas Wagner Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/07/2007

All living things are remarkably complex, yet their DNA is unstable, undergoing countless random mutations over generations. Despite this instability, most animals do not grow two heads or die, plants continue to thrive, and bacteria continue to divide. Robustness and Evolvability in Living Systems tackles this perplexing paradox. The book explores why genetic changes do not cause organisms to fail catastrophically and how evolution shapes organisms' robustness. Andreas Wagner looks at this problem from the ground up, starting with the alphabet of DNA, the genetic code, RNA, and protein molecules, moving on to genetic networks and embryonic development, and working his way up to whole organisms. He then develops an evolutionary explanation for robustness. Wagner shows how evolution by natural selection preferentially finds and favors robust solutions to the problems organisms face in surviving and reproducing. Such robustness, he argues, also enhances the potential for future evolutionary innovation. Wagner also argues that robustness has less to do with organisms having plenty of spare parts (the redundancy theory that has been popular) and more to do with the reality that mutations can change organisms in ways that do not substantively affect their fitness. Unparalleled in its field, this book offers the most detailed analysis available of all facets of robustness within organisms. It will appeal not only to biologists but also to engineers interested in the design of robust systems and to social scientists concerned with robustness in human communities and populations.

Primare und sekundare Religion als Kategorie der Religionsgeschichte des Alten Testaments

Primare und sekundare Religion als Kategorie der Religionsgeschichte des Alten Testaments

Author: Andreas Wagner Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/11/2006

The change in the type of religion in ancient Israel from the time of Exile to the post-exilic period, which was paralleled by and connected with the creation of a canon, has been the subject of various research studies in religious history. It is the purpose of the present volume of collected papers to examine whether and how the categories of Primary and secondary religion developed by T. Sundermeier and J. Assmann can be used to describe this change. The volume combines contributions from various disciplines (Theology/Old Testament Studies, Egyptology, Ancient Oriental Studies, Classical Studies and Religious Studies).

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