Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Oxygen: The molecule that made the world (Popular Science) by Nick Lane

A very mind expanding and thought provoking book.

There is a lot more here than you might be expecting even from the title.  What you get are new perspectives on life and death, why we age and what we might be able to do about it.

Two main themes are the evolution of life and the various health claims surrounding vitamin C and anti-oxidants.  Regarding this later theme you shouldn't be surprised to hear that the actual science is very different from the version of it you may have gathered from either the popular press or from those trying to sell you vitamin C or other products with anti-oxidant properties.

Almost as a casual aside we find out about how and why there is sex, how life made earth liveable and the likely cause of many diseases.

This chap likes to argue rationally and he certainly follows the evidence, but what I also like about him is that he is prepared to look just  a little bit further and speculate sensibly about how he thinks things may be found to be in the near future.

Science writing at its best.

A great book from a great author.  Read all his stuff .

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