Review – Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology

by Joli
Published: Updated:

Listen up, science lovers. This one’s for you!

This book is pretty dang awesome. It talks about REALLY complicated scientific ideas, but makes them understandable. Yes, sometimes I still felt in above my head, but the things I learned from this book about particles and just the way the world works was really cool.

This book was voted an Amazon Best Science Book of 2015, and I think it’s definitely deserved. You learn so much by reading it about the tiniest, most infinitesimal particles in our world – the ones that make a huge impact on life. Overall, I enjoyed this book, but I have to admit that I had to skim a couple of the parts, because they were….well, super science-y. I give it 3.5 stars.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for the copy of this book in exchange for the review!

About the Book

Life is the most extraordinary phenomenon in the known universe; but how did it come to be? Even in an age of cloning and artificial biology, the remarkable truth remains: nobody has ever made anything living entirely out of dead material. Life remains the only way to make life. Are we still missing a vital ingredient in its creation?

Like Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene, which provided a new perspective on how evolution works, Life on the Edge alters our understanding of our world’s fundamental dynamics. Bringing together first-hand experience at the cutting edge of science with unparalleled gifts of explanation, Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe Macfadden reveal that missing ingredient to be quantum mechanics; the phenomena that lie at the heart of this most mysterious of sciences.

Drawing on recent ground-breaking experiments around the world, each chapter in Life on the Edge engages by illustrating one of life’s puzzles: How do migrating birds know where to go? How do we really smell the scent of a rose? How do our genes copy themselves with such precision? Life on the Edge accessibly reveals how quantum mechanics can answer these probing questions of the universe.

Guiding the reader through the rapidly unfolding discoveries of the last few years, Al-Khalili and McFadden communicate the excitement of the explosive new field of quantum biology and its potentially revolutionary applications, while offering insights into the biggest puzzle of all: what is life? As they brilliantly demonstrate in these groundbreaking pages, life exists on the quantum edge.

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