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Unnatural Selection How We Are Changing Life, Gene by Gene by Emily Monosson
  

Unnatural Selection How We Are Changing Life, Gene by Gene

Synopsis

Unnatural Selection How We Are Changing Life, Gene by Gene by Emily Monosson

In a narrative style, Emily Monosson explains how humans are driving rapid contemporary evolution through the use of toxic chemicals and what we can do about it. Gonorrhoea. Bed bugs. Weeds. Salamanders. Polar Bears. People. All are evolving, some surprisingly rapidly, in response to our chemical age. In Unnatural Selection, Emily Monosson shows how our drugs, pesticides, and In a narrative style, Emily Monosson explains how humans are driving rapid contemporary evolution through the use of toxic chemicals and what we can do about it. Gonorrhoea. Bed bugs. Weeds. Salamanders. Polar Bears. People. All are evolving, some surprisingly rapidly, in response to our chemical age. In Unnatural Selection, Emily Monosson shows how our drugs, pesticides, and pollution are exerting intense selection pressure on all manner of species. And we humans might not like the result. Monosson reveals that the very code of life is more fluid than once imagined. When our powerful chemicals put the pressure on to evolve or die, beneficial traits can sweep rapidly through a population. Species with explosive population growth, the insects, bacteria and weeds, tend to thrive, while bigger, slower-to- reproduce creatures, like ourselves, are more likely to succumb. Unnatural Selection is eye-opening and more than a little disquieting. But it also suggests how we might lesson our impact: manage pests without creating super bugs; protect individuals from disease without inviting epidemics; and benefit from technology without threatening the health of our children.

Reviews

In a world where the denial of evolution or its importance is still common, this book should convert even the most entrenched skeptics. --Andrew Hendry Professor, Redpath Museum & Department of Biology, McGill University

Prepare for the unexpected! Evolution has consequences and when we rapidly drive the process, through our profligate use of antibiotics and toxic chemicals, we should be prepared for unexpected outcomes. Monosson succinctly shows us how and why our inability to control diseases and pests and grow sufficient food to eat is an inevitable product of our anthropogenic toxification of the Earth. Eye opening and timely. --Daniel T. Blumstein Professor & Chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA

Darwin's evolutionary laboratories were far flung islands and exotic shores. Emily Monosson uncovers rapid evolution much closer to home, in our farm fields, cities and even among the microbes in our own bodies. Through personal stories and scientific discovery, this readable, accessible account explores the evolution that Darwin never knew. --Stephen R. Palumbi, Professor of Marine Science, Stanford University and author of The Evolution Explosion In a world where the denial of evolution - or its importance - is still common, this book should convert even the most entrenched skeptics. --Andrew Hendry, Professor, Redpath Museum & Department of Biology, McGill University Prepare for the unexpected! Evolution has consequences and when we rapidly drive the process, through our profligate use of antibiotics and toxic chemicals, we should be prepared for unexpected outcomes. Monosson succinctly shows us how and why our inability to control diseases and pests and grow sufficient food to eat is an inevitable product of our anthropogenic toxification of the Earth. Eye opening and timely. --Daniel T. Blumstein, Professor & Chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA If you've ever wondered why you should care about evolution, Unnatural Selection is the book for you. And if you haven't wondered that, you need to read this to find out what you're missing. Environmental toxicologist Emily Monosson, with prose that is clear, succinct, and so interesting it's hard to put the book down, explains how people are speeding up an evolutionary arms race both within and around us. And that arms race is between us, disease, pests, and many other species on Earth. A thoroughly engaging read for anyone that cares about the role of humans on our planet. --Anthony Barnosky, Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley and author of Heatstroke If you ve ever wondered why you should care about evolution, Unnatural Selection is the book for you. And if you haven t wondered that, you need to read this to find out what you re missing. Environmental toxicologist Emily Monosson, with prose that is clear, succinct, and so interesting it s hard to put the book down, explains how people are speeding up an evolutionary arms race both within and around us. And that arms race is between us, disease, pests, and many other species on Earth. A thoroughly engaging read for anyone that cares about the role of humans on our planet. --Anthony Barnosky Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley and author of Heatstroke


About the Author

Emily Monosson is an independent biochemical toxicologist, writer, consultant, and college instructor. She is an adjunct Professor at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and teaches as a visiting faculty at Mount Holyoke College. She is the author of Evolution in a Toxic World and editor of Motherhood, the Elephant in the Laboratory (Cornell, 2008).

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Book Info

Publication date

29th March 2016

Author

Emily Monosson

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Publisher

Island Press

Format

Paperback
200 pages

Categories

Evolution
Genetics (non-medical)
Ecological science, the Biosphere

ISBN

9781610914994

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