Biology: Today and Tomorrow with Physiology (4th Edition)
It’s an exciting time to be a biologist, with a wealth of new discoveries every day, and biology-related issues such as climate change and stem cell research often making headlines. However, this avalanche of information can intimidate non-scientists.
This book was designed and written specifically for students who most likely will not become biologists and may never again take another science course. It is an accessible and engaging introduction to biology that provides future decision-makers with an understanding of basic biology and the process of science.
Understanding stems mainly from making connections between concepts and details, so a text with too little detail reads as a series of facts that beg to be memorized. However, excessive detail can overwhelm the introductory student. Thus, we constantly strive to strike the perfect balance between level of detail and accessibility. We once again revised the text to eliminate details that do not contribute to a basic understanding of essential concepts. We also know that English is a second language for many students, so we avoid idioms and aim for a clear, straightforward style.
This edition includes many analogies to familiar objects and phenomena that will help students understand abstract concepts. For example, in the discussion of transpiration in Chapter 27 (Plant Form and Function), we explain that a column of water is drawn upward through xylem as a drinker draws fluid up through a straw. A graphic of a drink with a straw (right) reinforces the explanation in the text.
A Wealth of Timely Applications
This book is packed with everyday applications of biological processes. At every opportunity, we enliven discussions of biological processes with references to their effects on human health and the environment. (In the index, you’ll find health-related applications denoted by red squares and environmental applications by green squares.) Each chapter begins with a section that explores a current event or controversy directly related to the chapter’s content. For example, a discussion of binge drinking on college campuses introduces the concept of metabolism in Chapter 4. The introductory topic is integrated into the chapter material and the final revisited section of the chapter. This final section useschapter content to reinforce and expand the topic presented in the opening essay. In chapter 4, for example, this section presents a metabolic pathway that breaks down alcohol, linking the function of enzymes in this pathway to hangovers, the alcohol flushing reaction, alcoholism, and cirrhosis. The section is illustrated with a photo of a cirrhotic human liver and a very ill Gary Reinbach, who died at age 22 of alcoholic liver disease.
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