Frances Ashcroft Life at the Extremes

ISBN 13: 9780006551256

Life at the Extremes

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9780006551256: Life at the Extremes
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Man can only tolerate a limited range of environmental conditions, whereas other lifeforms thrive in the most intense conditions - in extreme heat or many, many leagues under the sea in utter darkness or deep in the middle of rocks. Why is this so?

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"It is an extraordinary coincidence," writes English physiologist Frances Ashcroft, "that the highest peak on Earth is also about the highest point at which humans can survive unaided." A coincidence, to be sure, and, like many other milestones of the limits of human endurance, one known to us through the joint efforts of scientists, mountain climbers, explorers, and athletes.

Ashcroft's book is a thoroughly engaging survey of those limits and their origins in the nature of things, of what happens to human beings in the most difficult environmental conditions. She writes, for instance, of why it is that astronauts have trouble standing after returning to Earth (because, in part, their leg muscles quickly atrophy outside of terrestrial gravity); of how the famed Japanese pearl divers condition themselves to attain such extraordinary underwater depths; of how and why the consumption of carbohydrates and caffeine can improve athletic performance; of why British children so easily suffer heat exhaustion on trips to such semitropical venues as, say, Disneyworld, whereas young Saudis can tolerate much higher temperatures (but would likely not thrive in an English winter).

Backed by extensive field research--the author has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, sweated it out in Japanese hot tubs, and run after her share of buses--as well as by a wealth of laboratory studies, Ashcroft's book is of great appeal to anyone who wishes to test the world's limits--or their own. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

Frances Ashcroft is a Professor of Physiology at Oxford. She divides her time between research on insulin, teaching and writing.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780520234208: Life at the Extremes: The Science of Survival

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ISBN 10:  0520234200 ISBN 13:  9780520234208
Publisher: University of California Press, 2002
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9780002559461: Life at the Extremes

Univer..., 2000
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. UK ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. The debut of a female Steve Jones - likeable, literate, lucid and laconic. A sprightly, lavishly illustrated book on the science of human survival. How do people survive extremes of heat, cold, depth, speed and altitude? This book explores the limits of human survival and the physiological adaptations which enable us to exist under extreme conditions. In man s battle for survival in the harshest of environments, the knowledge imparted by physiology, the `logic of life , is crucial. What causes mountain sickness? Why is it possible to reach the top of Everest without supplementary oxygen, yet be killed if a plane depressurises suddenly at the same altitude. Why are astronauts unable to stand without fainting when they return to Earth? Why do human divers get the bends but sperm whales don t? Will men always be able to run faster than women? Why don t penguins get frostbite?. Seller Inventory # AA89780006551256

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