The Universe Inside You: The Extreme Science of the Human Body From Quantum Theory to the Mysteries of the Brain by Brian Clegg
"The Universe Inside You" is a very engaging and educational book that takes us on an exploration of science of our bodies. By using our body as a laboratory the author cleverly takes us to other realms of science and helps us gain a better understanding of the world around and in us. Popular science writer Brian Clegg, provides the reader with a fun and interesting way to learn about the peculiarities of the human body by using the most current of scientific knowledge. I enjoyed this accessible and fun science book. This 224-page book is composed of the following nine chapters: 1. In the mirror, 2. A single hair, 3. Locked up in a cell, 4. Through fresh eyes, Marching on the stomach, 6. Feeling dizzy, 7. Two by two, 8. Crowning glory, and 9. Mirror, mirror.
1. Great accessible science writing.
2. A fun science book.
3. A very engaging book, the author provides experiments and a link so that readers can test out firsthand the concepts presented.
4. Great use of converging sciences at an accessible level to explain the human body.
5. A fun-filled fact book. "A typical human head houses around 100,000 hairs, those with blonde will usually have about the average, and those with red hair rather fewer". The book is loaded with interesting factoids.
6. Human evolution...never boring.
7. A number of scientific discoveries inserted into an interesting narrative.
8. So much scientific territory was covered in such a brief book. Kudos.
9. The standard model of physics.
10. The significance of water in biology.
11. Fun with genetics. DNA, RNA, genes, epigenetics...
12. Basic quantum physics.
13. Optics for the masses...I see.
14. Cosmology for good measure.
15. Does a good job of debunking many long-held preconceptions in science.
16. Elementary chemistry.
17. Laws of thermodynamics.
18. The five key flavors detected by our taste buds.
19. A nice discussion about our senses.
20. The four forces that make it possible for our bodies to exist. Interesting.
21. Einstein's special relativity.
22. Thought-provoking ideas, time travel.
23. The fascinating world of the human brain. Memory, decision-making and so much cool stuff.
24. A very interesting look at evolution and some misconceptions.
25. An appendix that basically serves as a bibliography.
1. This book is intended for the masses. Scientists or people heavily involved in any of these fields will find the book fairly basic.
2. A couple of errors of little consequence. A repeated word, a misspell...but that was about it.
3. No links to the appendix section.
In summary, I really enjoyed this book. It's a fun science book that would make for a perfect gift for the layperson interested in science. I've read a number of science books as my further suggestions below will attest so a lot of what is presented in this book I am familiar with but I always learn something new and it also helped me better understand scientific concepts. Brian Clegg does a wonderful job of introducing readers to a number of scientific fields while using the human body as the template of the journey. A worthwhile and enlightening read for the masses, I recommend it.
Further suggestions: "50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True" by Guy P. Harrison, "Why Evolution Is True" by Jerry A. Coyne, "The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution" by Sean B. Carroll, "The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution" by Richard Dawkins, "Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body (Vintage)" by Neil Shubin, "The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths" by Michael Shermer, "Human: The Science Behind What Makes Your Brain Unique" by Michael S. Gazzaniga, "Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts" by Carol Travis and Elliot Aronson, "Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy" by Robert M. Hazen and James Trefil, and "SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable" by Bruce M. Hood.