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This extensively illustrated, full-color textbook is divided into five sections:
discusses the key experiments and ideas in the development of molecular biology and provides an account of the development of the ideas underpinning evolutionary theory.
Origin and Diversity of Life
describes the history of life on earth from the origin of life to the evolution of humans, with emphasis on the major transitions in genetic organization, novel adaptations, and the diversity of life. The impact of molecular biology is clearly presented, with chapters that make extensive use of up - to - date insights gained from complete genome sequences and the molecular mechanisms of developmental biology.
describes the evolutionary processes that account for the diversity of life: how variation arises and how selection acts on it are considered in detail. Many examples used to illustrate the theory are drawn from molecular sources.
discusses human evolution and diversity. The benefits molecular markers have conferred on the understanding of human evolution are highlighted and integrated with paleontological evidence.
Methods and Tools
deals with techniques and models used in studying evolutionary biology, emphasizing the contribution of molecular biology and genomics to the phylogenetic reconstruction methods described.
Aim and Scope of the Book I INTRODUCTION 1 The History of Evolutionary Thinking 2 The Origin of Molecular Biology 3 The Evidence for Evolution II ORIGIN AND DIVERSIFICATION OF LIFE 4 The Origin of Life 5 The Last Universal Common Ancestor and the Tree of Life 6 Diversification of Bacteria and Archaea. I: Phylogeny and Biology 7 Diversification of Bacteria and Archaea. II: Genetics and Genomics 8 Origin and Early Evolution of Eukaryotes 9 Diversification of Plants and Animals 10 Multicellularity and the Evolution of Body Plans 11 Evolution of Developmental Programs III EVOLUTIONARY PROCESSES 12 Generation of Variation by Mutation and Recombination 13 Variation in DNA and Proteins 14 Variation in Genetically Complex Traits 15 Random Drift 16 Population Structure 17 Selection on Variation 18 The Interaction between Selection and Other Forces 19 Measuring Selection 20 Phenotypic Evolution 21 Conflict and Cooperation 22 Species and Speciation 23 Evolution of Genetic Systems 24 Evolution of Novelty IV HUMAN EVOLUTION 25 Human Evolutionary History 26 Population and Medical Genetics 27 Controversies and Speculations in Human Evolution V METHODS AND TOOLS 28 Phylogenetic Reconstruction 29 Models of Evolution Photo Credits Index
&i;"The production quality is superb in layout, composition, typesetting, colour palette, illustrations and gorgeous half-tones; and the writing is excellent, as one might expect from such a stellar cast of experts in population genetics, palaeontology, human genetics, bacterial genomics and developmental biology (respectively)".&o;
- Daniel Hartl, Nature Volume 451, January 2008.