Oxygen: The molecule that made the world (Popular Science) and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
£7.99
  • RRP: £9.99
  • You Save: £2.00 (20%)
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10.
Only 8 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Trade in your item
Get a £1.63
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Oxygen: The molecule that made the world (Popular Science) Paperback – 25 Sep 2003


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£7.99
£4.41 £4.41

Trade In Promotion


Frequently Bought Together

Oxygen: The molecule that made the world (Popular Science) + Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the meaning of life + Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution
Price For All Three: £22.97

Buy the selected items together


Trade In this Item for up to £1.63
Trade in Oxygen: The molecule that made the world (Popular Science) for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £1.63, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; New Ed edition (25 Sep 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198607830
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198607830
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 2.8 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Nick Lane is a biochemist and writer. He is Reader in Evolutionary Biochemistry in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College London. His research focuses on the role of bioenergetics in the origin of life and the evolution of cells. Nick was awarded the first UCL Provost's Venture Research Prize in 2009 and will receive the 2015 Biochemical Society Award. He has published three critically acclaimed books, which have been translated into 20 languages. The latest, Life Ascending, won the 2010 Royal Society Prize for Science Books. His books have been shortlisted for two other literary prizes and named a book of the year by the Economist, the Independent, the Times, the Sunday Times and New Scientist. He was described by Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek as "a writer who is not afraid to think big - and think hard." For more information, visit www.nick-lane.net

Product Description

Review

'. . . popular science writing at its very best - clear yet challenging, speculative yet rigorous. The book is a (Bernard Dixon)

'. . . a breathtaking, broad vision of the role of a single gas in our life, from the origin of organisms, through the emergence of creatures, and to their deaths . . . packed full of interesting life-and-death stories...A wonderful read.' (Peter Atkins)

'. . . one of the most thought-provoking books I have ever read.' (John Emsley)

Nick Lane's chapters are dispatches from the frontiers of research into Earth and life history, but they contain nothing that will lose the patient reader and much that will reward. (The Guardian Review)

a brisk revelatory study (Christopher Hirst, The Independent)

. . . Nick Lane marshals an impressive array of evidence - [an] ambitious narrative . . . This is science writing at its best. (Jerome Burne, The Financial Times)

From the Back Cover

'...popular science writing at its very best - clear yet challenging, speculative yet rigorous. The book is a tour de force which orchestrates a seamless story out of both venerable ideas and very recent discoveries in several disparate fields.'
Bernard Dixon

'... a breathtaking, broad vision of the role of a single gas in our life, from the origin of organisms, through the emergence of creatures, and to their deaths ... packed full of interesting life- and death-stories .... A wonderful read.'
Peter Atkins

'... one of the most thought-provoking books I have ever read.'
John Emsley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
OXYGEN DEFIES EASY CLASSIFICATION. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Oct 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book gives a very broad and thoughtful perspective on the importance of oxygen in the development of life on Earth. The chain of reasoning is long and brings to contact discoveries from a series of disciplines otherwise apparently unrelated to each other. In this aspect lies one of the greatest strengths of this book, as it shows, as few have been able to shown, how important it is to have a broad perspective and an open mind to undertake a scientific research program. Besides, the author is most critic to the current trends in medical research, most of them can be traced back to such problems as over-specialisation, and lack of knowledge from nearby research fields. The huge amounts of data accumulating every day leaving no time to reduce it properly and put it coherently in a workable body of knowledge does not help either.
What does this book deal with? Oxygen is an all-important molecule, which is fundamental to life, however it is also a threatening and toxic element as well. Through this book, Nick Lane explains the importance oxygen had in the evolution of life. How it is inferred that our Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) possessed already a series of genes and proteins that lasted until our present days. How these have developed in response to oxidation stress from the environment. How the responses are similar to an organism's reaction to an infectious disease. How this is related to diseases such as Alzheimer, cancer and diabetes. How this can give clues to unravel the secrets of ageing in organisms and the search for better ways to extend a person's life span.
The book covers the early biological, atmospheric, and geological evolution of the Earth. It presents basic biochemical reaction mechanisms. It covers biology and medical research.
Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Justin Credible on 11 Jan 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The truly fascinating story of how oxygen shaped our world and ourselves. Without oxygen and the life it made possible, the Earth today would look like Mars; we need oxygen to survive, yet it causes our bodies to deteriorate and eventually succumb to disease. If nothing else kills you, just breathing will!

Writing objectively and entertainingly about science is a challenge that Nick Lane pulls off brilliantly in this book. Lay readers like me should be grateful that the author has resisted the temptation to over-simplify, for mass market consumption, such a richly complex subject area as this. Consequently one does need to concentrate in order to follow the plot, but Lane's way of connecting scientific ideas through their evolutionary history provides a sure thread - a thread strung with many pearls. Time after time, through painstaking research and brilliant insights, scientific notions arrive and have their day, only to be demolished by new evidence and replaced by a new paradigm. The chapters unfold like detective stories, with sub-plots, twists and turns in mankind's long struggle to understand. By the end one feels as well informed as anyone else on the planet and ready to explore the side-avenues of knowledge lying wait in the many literature sources cited.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By silverhazel on 20 July 2011
Format: Paperback
Absolutely loved this book, although it took me a month to get through. Having studied biochemistry at university I found that many of the concepts in the book were familiar to me (such as respiration, photosynthesis, and oxygen free radicals), but perhaps a reader with a more casual interest in science might struggle in places. Half of the book dwells heavily upon a very detailed history of the evolution of early life forms on the planet- perhaps for a bit too long really- but remains readable and interesting throughout. However, for me the second half was more exciting, with its discussion of antioxidants and the 'darker side' to Vitamin C, some revelations about the strong link between the fecundity and the longevity of a species, and how oxidative stress underlies all age-related diseases.
This book will make you feel an awful lot more well-informed about aging and about the evolution of life, and is reassuringly optimistic about the former, stating that: "aging is neither programmed nor inevitable".
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By brother-juniper on 3 Aug 2006
Format: Paperback
This book sets out the complex relationship between oxygen and life. In particular Lane discusses how organisms have adapted to using oxygen for respiration despite the inevitable production of damaging free radicals. These leads on to the role of anti-oxidants and ageing.

The concepts are introduced thick and fast. By the end you will be an expert on the differences between the Dispoable Soma and Antagonistic Pleitropy theories of ageing! However, the use of diagrams and illustrations is sparing and a general reader will find several chapters a struggle. Some sections read like a biochemistry text book and it is also unclear when he deviates from mainstream thinking into more controversial theories.

A readable account, but this belies the level of difficulty of some of the concepts and pushes it somewhat beyond the popular science genre.
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Popular Science Fan on 24 Jun 2011
Format: Paperback
I found this book pretty hard going with a lot of information about changing climates at the beginning of the book which was a bit boring to be honest. Once it started to talk more about the oxygen molecule it got more interesting but I found it not easy to read and that's coming from someone with a science background!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback