[Free Best] Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal KingdomAuthor Sean B. Carroll – Kairafanan.co

For Over A Century, Opening The Black Box Of Embryonic Development Was The Holy Grail Of Biology Evo Devo Evolutionary Developmental Biology Is The New Science That Has Finally Cracked Open The Box Within The Pages Of His Rich And Riveting Book, Sean B Carroll Explains How We Are Discovering That Complex Life Is Ironically Much Simpler Than Anyone Ever Expected


10 thoughts on “Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom

  1. says:

    Dnf d Not because it is a bad book, boring or not well written, but because it turns out that my appetite for evolutionary biology does not extend as far as embryology I just cannot summon up the interest to concentrate and have to keep rereading and looking again and again at the illustrations Maybe this is one for the future Notes on reading Not getting on with this, I m not really fascinated that fingers might have once been 8 digits with different functions and this is how they might have looked line drawing of bones but now we have five with similar functions Maybe I ve just fallen in love with Carl Zimmer s writing and can t adjust to a drier academic style.I seem to be stuck in an evolutionary biology phase Great title, great cover, I hope the writing lives up to it.


  2. says:

    You ve heard the stories how we share 98% of genes with chimpanzees and something like 30% with daffodils This seems confusing because we don t look like we re one third daffodils Sean B Carroll s book tries to explain this conundrum to the general reader by introducing us to the new, exciting field of Evo Devo Evolutionary Developmental Biology and giving me another weapon to fight against the creationists though I don t think they are particularly interested in having a fact based debate from what I ve noticed This also explains why all embryos look so much alike, which also used to baffle me More than 95% of our DNA is non coding, it s, as Carroll calls it, dark matter and when embryology, genetics and evolutionary biology finally came together they managed to discover what some of this DNA junk does It appears it plays a crucial role in teaching old genes new tricks Scientists studying a humble fruit fly discovered a set of genes that, while not coding anything themselves, serve as switches for other genes and thus control the general layout of the fly and the growth of the correct appendages in correct places If you dick around with those switch genes, you re going to make flies grow legs on their heads and best believe those scientists did What s fascinating it seems all kinds of animals have Hox genes and they do the same thing control the layout and the growth of legs, arms, paws, wings Is your mind blown yet It is a mystery to me why anyone would want to believe in the mind numbingly boring creationist theory when the actual science is so amazingly, breathtakingly beautiful Carroll calls this kind of genes toolkit genes and he is now announcing revolution His hypothesis is that all evolution relies mostly on those genes which switch the coding genes on and off and thus produce all the endless forms most beautiful.It s a tempting and bold claim and you can hardly fault Carroll for being insanely passionate about the field he s devoted himself to and hoping it would mean nothing would ever be the same again However, despite Evo Devo producing major breakthroughs and explaining how a very rapid diversification of multicellular organisms is possible, it s probably not going to produce a paradigm shift that would justify using the word revolution It is most likely going to add another piece to the puzzle ok, maybe 10 pieces of our understanding how evolutionary changes occur But then again, it s hard to assess these things until a few decades later anyway I highly recommend this book if you have already read all the usual evolutionary primers by Dawkins and co What s refreshing here, is that Carroll doesn t speak to creationists at all This is not a book to win you over for the science cause You already must be on the science side of this debate The downside is that, unfortunately, Carroll is a great scientist but not the greatest writer And I say it in the nicest way possible He is enthusiastic and tries to convey this enthusiasm with bombastic opening paragraphs and cheesy metaphors that lull you into a false sense of security that this is going to be an easy read before hitting you with hard, hard science right in the face Because of that the book feels unbalanced but it s extremely informative, and it being pretty much the only pop book about evo devo correct me if I m wrong , you really can t be too picky.


  3. says:

    This is a fascinating book about developments in genetics and evolution in the past twenty years Sean Carroll is a leading researcher in the field his lucid writing style and lively approach make this book a must read for anybody interested in the subject Plenty of illustrations and drawings help to bring the subject to life.There are several big mysteries in genetics humans and primates share 99% of their genes, so why is their development so different The answer lies in genetic switches that are encoded in DNA But these switches have not yet been decoded they are like the dark matter in galaxies we know that it exists, but its nature is not yet been unraveled.The first half of the book focuses on how animals develop body parts Every cell in one s body contains the identical DNA, so how does an embryo know which jcells are to develop into a heart, an arm, a finger, a brain, and on and on Earlier books on evolution that I have read, simply left this as a mystery hypotheses were described, but none articulated as a real answer But, this book presents a very persuasive theory, and makes it quite understandable to the layman.In the second half of the book, Carroll conveys his sense of excitement, as molecular biologists began recently to talk with paleontologists Remarkable progress in the past decade has shown fossils in a brand new light Basically, evolution for the most part is not the development of new, mutated genes evolution is the way in which old genes learn new tricks Embryology is shown to play a key role in understanding evolutionary development For anyone interested in evolution or genetics, this is the book to read.


  4. says:

    I don t know how many articles I ve read in the last 10 years that have tried to explain some of the discoveries about how a cell knows it should become a liver cell or a skin cell and why we don t end up with shoulder blades in our kidneys These articles got my level of understanding from I bet it s complicated to It s complicated and has something to do with HOX genes Reading this book is the first time I feel I got it , at least somewhat, but based on my own reading history I won t pretend I can explain in a couple sentences or without embarrassing myself in some way or another with various factual errors it s still complicated I will say it s amazing that scientists have figured out so much of how nature s evolutionary toolkit, used to fiddle with morphology over the eons Those HOX genes are indeed at the center of it, and the discovery that humans and fruit flies share almost exactly identical core sequences is like discovering that the Egyptian hieroglyphics describing how to use an Ikea wrench to build the pyramids Mutants, which I read last year, helped a bit too A lot of the same science with a different approach.


  5. says:

    This is staggeringly rivetting science and lovely science writing I have been looking for a work on embryology and evolution to clarify some questions about how to design evolutionary algorithms and this was it At the same time, it opens up a breathtaking vista of how evolution actually happens and how it is constrained This is one of the few cases where I can honestly say that I feel I understand a whole new set of principles and perspectives after reading that I did not before It s also an engaging and thoroughly enjoyable read Carroll is a professional in this most demanding field while at the same time being a great popular science writer I can only hope he does not holster his pen after doing this.The central realisation is shockingly simple, even if the scientific work to acquire it was bogglingly demanding Animal body plans do not do anything new, and haven t done since the pre Cambrian That s a brutal oversimplification which I will have to embellish a little All animal body plans are developed in an embryology regulated by the same, dozen or so, highly conserved genes which are common to all extant animals and remarkably well conserved That is the unmistakeable signature of something that is so important that it kills you if it varies, evolutionarily speaking Variations in the homeobox genes mean you leave no surviving offspring, and probably never even have a surviving self So how can body forms vary at all By turning on and off switches It s a concept that was almost made to be ripped off and used in software.Very early on in embryology, a set of dimensions asserts itself a geography There is an East West ordinate anterior to posterior there is a North South ordinate dorsal to ventral there is an in out ordinate proximal to distal These begin to be defined at the very first cell division based on arbitrary distribution of signalling molecules, and once established they are inscribed on the molecule by diffusion gradients Each regulatory protein describes a gradient across the embryo or its local part of the embryo, and each engages switches that turn other genes on and off Thus do the cells know whether they are at the head end or the anus end, the back or the belly, the shoulder or the fingers.The clever bit is that the switches can be multiple, of arbitrary complexity, and work in cascades without having to change the crucial regulatory third rail genes Touch em and you die Touch their switches, on the other hand, and you have a set of coordinates precise enough to divide the zones of gene expression up hundreds fold The Hox genes, tellingly, are arranged on the genome in the same order as they are expressed along the body And therein lies the second huge and simple realisation virtually all animal forms you will have seen, from yourself, O Vertebrate, to worms and butterflies, are built out of a series of segments arranged from anterior to posterior This is a simple and forceful truth of evolution The same segmented body plan is seen in most of what you see in animals Evolution proceeds from the duplication of general purpose segments to their increasing divergence and specialisation.I have conveyed sufficient of the content, as this is meant to be a review and not a pr cis Carroll has had his 15 minutes of fame, as he describes in the book, according to the capricious mandate of the media agenda of the day It s time for a further 15 hours, properly planned, for this is magnificent science writing and contains an understanding so profound that it is no exaggeration to say it deserves to be required reading for courses in biology for non professionals Perhaps even for professionals, but that s a question for them At any rate, if you want to discuss evolution you need to have read the material in this endlessly beautiful book.Comment


  6. says:

    First of all, I should clarify that I m no scientist But I do have an egghead mentality, and I ve read plenty on evolution What I hadn t read was much about developmental biology, and for me, that s where the main benefit of the book came Although sometimes I wished Carroll would have boiled some of his 30 page chapters down to two or three.Those are my disclaimers But I think I gained a lot of insight anyway.The book s excitement comes in the form of summarizing the evo devo movement, the movement in biology whereby seeing how genes express themselves in a growing embryo enables us to see into the life histories of how these genes have changed over millions of years of evolution The primary insight thereafter is that natural selection hasn t forged eyes and teeth and legs and antennae completely from scratch each time, but rather that there is a common genetic ingredient to making each eye type, as well as to the many types of appendages, hearts, etc And these common genetic ingredients must date back deep in time And further, genetic advancements and advancements in developmental biology enable us to see those changes in action.It was fun to read about how arthropod gills can stay as gills, or they become wings or lungs or other appendages And my favorite new insight might be Williston s law The parts in an organism tend toward reduction in number, with the fewer parts greatly specialized in function In other words, primitive forms are those with greater numbers of serial homologs body parts , each of which performs the same function And it s not so much that genes are changing as it is that switches which, frankly, are still genes are turning them on and off or adapting them in some other way.


  7. says:

    Subtitle The New Science of Evo Devo This cracked up my wife to no end It s branding for a new movement in biological science, about as hip sounding as Extreme Programming But let s not judge a book by its cover The author claims that this movement is Revolution 3 , on par with the Darwinian discovery of evolution by natural selection, and Mendel s discovery of genetics Is it hype Yes Is it justified MaybeOne thing s for sure if you like seeing pictures of a lamb born with only one eye in the center of its forehead , flies with legs where there should be antennae, and x rays of seven toed baby humans, this is your book.The problem with proclaiming revolutions significance while they are happening, is that by the nature of revolutions they are unpredictable in outcome see The Black Swan It wasn t obvious to an observer in 1789, or 1848, which one would overthrow a monarchy and which one would fail to It probably wasn t obvious to peers of Darwin that his ideas would catch on, and Gregor Mendel s peers didn t even really notice his work until after he was dead Evo Devo stands for evolutionary developmental biology It s about how genetics makes evolution happen, by changing the way we develop from conception to birth It s taken as given that evolution by natural selection will reward creatures born with an advantage not much here for the creationist reader, not even someone to argue with The question is, how does the mutation process work, exactly The question arises because, in the last twenty years, we ve found out that a lot of our genes code for multiple things The same gene which codes for our arms can code for wings in fruit flies, for example How can one gene do that Equally complicated is that the same gene does multiple things in the same species But if one gene is used in limb development and, say, rib development, how can a mutation ever be beneficial Even if it is useful in one case longer legs, for instance , if it also causes other body parts to be out of whack, it s almost certain to be a net loss How can natural selection work The answer seems to be that our genes are turned on and off in different parts of the body, and at different times in our development, by switches These switches which are coded for in our DNA, of course can mutate, and only affect one feature This allows human and chimpanzee to share over 98% of our DNA, while still being quite different More impressively, we share over 50% of our DNA with mice, who most of us do not resemble nearly so much If most of this DNA can be use to different purposes by switching it on and off at different times in our development, these numbers are easier to understand.Also, by monkeying around with the very early embryos of fruit flies, we can get some truly B horror movie worthy pictures When nature does the same sort of thing, we can get a picture of a lamb head that will take a while to get out of your memory.Evo Devo, besides being a silly name, makes for a good read For too long, popular science books on biology have been stuck on the here s why creationists are wrong level I enjoyed being given a layman s view of the mechanisms that evolution can use to actually tinker around with things, from an author who respected my intelligence enough not to waste his breath on trying to convince me of evolution in the first place He hops from how science actually happens who discovered what, when, and why it turned out differently than they expected , to how evolution happens, to salient examples from the natural world e.g how zebras stripes form This is the first book from Sean Carroll that I have read, but I hope it will not be the last.


  8. says:

    Well, this was very informative I had to really buckle in to focus on everything My favorite part was how Dr Carroll would start off an explanation with it s quite simple, actually and then HA HA HA I am making this sound like a chore, and it wasn t at all But it was definitely not light reading The diagrams weren t even light reading Usually I read sciencey books like this, and try to hang on to a few important takeaways So let s see, what did I learn here other than that I m just around the right age for all of the huge leaps in DNA research to have happened fairly quickly after I was in school, so that pretty much everything I was taught ended up being wrong Primarily, it was a really good grounding in why it s not particularly unusual that living creatures share a great percentage of genes, but that the complicated process is in the assembly instructions, so to speak, and the sequencing of those instructions And then that this process is evidenced both in the large sense of how species evolve, and at the micro level of how individual embryos grow into their ultimate form directly or indirectly, I m looking at you, JELLYFISH For some reason I had gotten the impression that the relationship between those two concepts was of an observational metaphor literally I would be the worst scientist ever, every time something unexpected happened, I d cheerfully be all well, I m just going to go with a good metaphor for this but it turns out spoiler alert it is one biological process writ large I would recommend for people who are interested in evolution and have already gotten comfortable with the broad strokes and would like a deeper dive into processes Interestingly enough TO ME , this book also imparted a much clearer understanding of how to understand cladograms and I had even read a BOOK about cladograms and had still been confused.


  9. says:

    The writing was much too breathless, in a gee, look at this butterfly wing sort of way The science got buried in metaphorical cliche Writing for a lay audience is always going to be tricky and I think in this case Carroll aimed too low and ended up using too many words that don t say much For those interested in another way to approach learning about current evolution theory I strongly recommend checking out the Yale open course available for free online, Principles of Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior, taught by Stephen C Stearns, who is as eloquent a storyteller as Sean B Carroll but also illuminates this field in a thorough way than Carroll s writing can, link here


  10. says:

    i am not so naive to believe that science can solve all the world s problems, but ignorance of science, or denial of it s facts, is courting doom I have promised myself that I would read this book since I heard of it not long after it was published Finally, it is finished and I am sorry to have taken so long It is a wonderful set of examples of evo devo that explain the role of tool kit genes and the switches they contain The elegance of this evolutionary process is magnificent He tops off his examples of insects, especially butterflies, with mammal examples including the human brain I was intrigued by the similarity in color switches across the animal kingdom.