Ashcroft, Frances Life at the Extremes

ISBN 13: 9780006551256

Life at the Extremes

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9780006551256: Life at the Extremes

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?

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Review:

In Life at the Extremes Frances Ashcroft, Professor of Physiology at Oxford University, investigates the related questions: how much can the human body endure? What can it survive, what causes it to fail? Why can some creatures tolerate conditions that would kill others? The extremes in question, to which bodies are periodically subjected, either voluntarily or not, include the limits of endurable temperature and pressure; physical constraints on speed; the weightlessness, vacuum and utter cold of space; and a number of environments that, for various reasons, are so unpleasant as to limit drastically the options of life-forms that attempt to inhabit them. By its nature, such a subject does not lend itself to continuous narrative, and Life at the Extremes may be best regarded as a kind of anthology into which one can dip to pull out examples, cheerful or gruesome, of what can happen to living tissue at the extremes. Here is Mr Blagden, accompanied by some eggs, a raw steak and a dog, entering a room heated to 105 degrees C, in the late 18th century. Fifteen minutes later the steak and eggs were cooked but Mr Blagden and the dog were not. A clear and absorbing explanation of mammalian heat regulation follows. Here are dreadful pictures of frost-bitten extremities; Sir Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute mile; a frog frozen solid in a block of ice but still alive and well; divers and the bends; astronauts and the redistribution of bodily fluids in weightlessness; flamingos enduring their caustic soda lakes; the physiology of the chilblain. Frances Ashcroft writes warmly and with wit: her many illustrative anecdotes are well chosen and provoke much thought about how life copes with, and adapts to, the physical circumstances it finds itself in. -- Robin Davidson

Review:

‘She has the power of making the armchair adventurer feel quite frail. Add to that her gift for carving deep into your mind how vulnerable our species is to extreme conditions, and you are in for a thrilling read.’ New Scientist

'I read “Life at the Extremes” with horrid delight…It is extremely good, crammed with invaluable information but you don’t need a degree in cryptocryogenics to understand it. Here is a scientist who can enthral even as she instructs – and the way she accomplishes this is by telling adventure stories…As a testament to the tenacity of the human race, this book is a potent mix of the ingenious, the heroic and the hardy.’ Literary Review

‘For would-be explorers snuggled up in their armchairs – or, indeed stretched out on the beach – this book, with its many vicarious thrills, makes for ideal reading.’ Economist

‘A very good book…which works both as a continuous narrative of delightful vignettes and a quick reference guide. Easy to read, entertaining and informative.’ Sunday Times

‘Ashcroft is good at opening up aspects of daily life normally sealed off to the non-scientist.’ Sara Wheeler, Spectator

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Ashcroft, Frances
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ISBN 10: 0006551254 ISBN 13: 9780006551256
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. 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?. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780006551256

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Ashcroft, Frances
Published by HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom (2001)
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. 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?. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780006551256

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Book Description 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 130mm x 197mm x 23mm. Paperback. 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 ut.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 352 pages. 0.250. Bookseller Inventory # 9780006551256

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Book Description Flamingo 2001-07-02, 2001. Book Condition: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Bookseller Inventory # NU-GRD-00381203

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Life at the Extremes, Frances Ashcroft, 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?. Bookseller Inventory # B9780006551256

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; 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 adaptatio. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780006551256_rkm

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Book Description Flamingo, 2001. Book Condition: New. 2001. New Ed. Paperback. The debut of a female Steve Jones - likeable, literate, lucid and laconic. A sprightly, lavishly illustrated book on the science of human survival. Num Pages: 352 pages, 80 b/w illus, With index. BIC Classification: MFG; MMR; PDZ; PSX. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 129 x 23. Weight in Grams: 260. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780006551256

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Book Description Flamingo. Book Condition: New. 2001. New Ed. Paperback. The debut of a female Steve Jones - likeable, literate, lucid and laconic. A sprightly, lavishly illustrated book on the science of human survival. Num Pages: 352 pages, 80 b/w illus, With index. BIC Classification: MFG; MMR; PDZ; PSX. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 129 x 23. Weight in Grams: 260. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780006551256

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