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By Isaac Asimov

In four hundred B.C., while Hippocrates wrote a e-book claiming that epilepsy, the “sacred disease,” was once a typical sickness and never a visitation of demons, the technology if biology can be acknowledged to have all started. in view that then, curious naturalists have studied animals and plans, medical professionals hae sought solutions to very functional questions. The technological know-how of biology has grown—slowly firstly, preventing and beginning back, and construction within the final century to a crescendo that has no longer but reached its peak.

This concise, authoritative booklet strains the fascinating improvement of the technological know-how of existence, from the traditional Greeks in the course of the enormous fulfillment of Charles Darwin to the explosive development of molecular biology that's leading to today’s nice breakthroughs in genetics and drugs. Written by way of Isaac Asimov, affiliate Professor of Biochemistry at Boston college and writer of various books on technological know-how, it is a hugely readable, shiny creation to the background and ideas of biology.

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From the over-all point of view, plants consume carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, and animals consume oxygen and produce carbon dioxide. 03 per cent) remain steady. Since a candle and an animal both produce carbon oxide and consume oxygen, di- seemed reasonable to Lavoisier to suppose that respiration was a form of combustion and that when a particular amount of oxygen was consumed, a corresponding quantity of heat was produced whether it was a candle or a mouse that was involved. His experiments in this direction were necessarily crude it (considering the measuring techniques and his results only approximate, then available) but they seemed to bear out his contention.

Instead, he divided them into three as groups: articulata joints, (shelled animals with joints, such as and Crustacea), mollusca (shelled animals without such as clams and snails), and radiata (everything insects else). These largest groups (singular, "phy- he called "phyla" lum," from a Greek word meaning "tribe"). Since Cuthe phyla have been multiplied now vier's day, some three dozen phyla of living creatures, both plant and animal, are recognized. " Again because of his interest in comparative anatomy, A SHORT HISTORY OF BIOLOGY 44 own system of classification on those which indicated relationships of structure and functioning, rather than on the superficial similarities Cuvier based his characteristics that guided Linnaeus.

Evolution fight later. The A Geological Background major diflSculty that stood in the way of all theories of evolution was the apparent slowness of species change. In the memory mankind there were no of cases of one species turning into another. If such a process did take place, therefore, it must be exceedingly slow, requiring, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of years. Yet throughout modem times, European scholars acwords of the Bible and considered the earth to be only some six thousand years old, and that left no time for an evolutionary process.

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