Physics & Astronomy

So Simple a Beginning: How Four Physical Principles Shape Our Living World

    Narrator
  • Anand Jagatia

This audiobook narrated by Anand Jagatia reveals the hidden unity behind nature’s breathtaking complexity

Audio

ISBN:
Published:
Feb 8, 2022
2022
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The form and function of a sprinting cheetah are quite unlike those of a rooted tree. A human being is very different from a bacterium or a zebra. The living world is a realm of dazzling variety, yet a shared set of physical principles shapes the forms and behaviors of every creature in it. So Simple a Beginning shows how the emerging new science of biophysics is transforming our understanding of life on Earth and enabling potentially lifesaving but controversial technologies such as gene editing, artificial organ growth, and ecosystem engineering.

Raghuveer Parthasarathy explains how four basic principles—self-assembly, regulatory circuits, predictable randomness, and scaling—shape the machinery of life on scales ranging from microscopic molecules to gigantic elephants. He describes how biophysics is helping to unlock the secrets of a host of natural phenomena, such as how your limbs know to form at the proper places, and why humans need lungs but ants do not. Parthasarathy explores how the cutting-edge biotechnologies of tomorrow could enable us to alter living things in ways both subtle and profound.

This sweeping tour of biophysics offers astonishing new perspectives on how the wonders of life can arise from so simple a beginning.