Book number: 92284 Product format: Paperback Author: STEVE JONES

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Bibliophile price £4.00
Published price £10.99

If Professor Brian Cox says this is 'illuminating' we pay attention. The book is a masterclass in clear and captivating writing, dense with ideas and stories. Our Sun drives the weather, forms the landscape, feeds and fuels, but sometimes destroys the creatures that live upon it, controls their activity patterns, mixes chemicals in the skin that cheer up those that bask in its rays, and for the ancients was the seat of divine authority. Steve Jones shows how life on Earth is fuelled by our nearest star. His book is filled with unexpected connections - between the need to stay cool and man's ability to stand upright, between the power of memory and the onset of darkness, between the flow of solar energy through the plants and animals, and of the wealth of society, and between Joseph Goebbel's 1938 scheme to make Edinburgh the summer capital of a defeated Britain and the widening gap in the life expectancy of Scottish men compared to that of other European men brought on by that nation's cloudy climate. The author charts some of his own research in hot places and cold across the globe on the genetic and evolutionary effects of sunlight on snails, fruit flies and people. He braids in gripping storylines on conditions linked to lack of sunlight such as the bone disease rickets, the interplay between night, day and sleep, and throwaway gems from primates urinating on themselves to stay cool to the boiling-porridge turbulence of convection on the solar surface. Witty and insightful from this popular science writer. 360pp, paperback with colour images.

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ISBN 9780349143378

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