Books about science

These are the books shortlisted for this year’s Royal Society Prize for Science Books 2010:

The winner is Life Ascending, which is about the innovations of evolution. Here’s the Guardian’s review.

Lane… brings his readers up to speed on the latest scientific insights into 10 great evolutionary “inventions”, among them the origin of life itself, DNA, photosynthesis, complex cells and sight…. The [last] 30-odd years… have seen astonishing advances in our understanding of the machinery of life, not only through the sequencing of the genomes of organisms, from bacteria to worms to people, but also by comparing and contrasting their biochemical workings. These studies have revealed the deep, unambiguous relatedness of all life on Earth, and are tracing our life line much further back than the fossil record ever could – right back to the start.

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