Save Big On Open-Box & Used Products: Buy "Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning ...” from Amazon Open-Box & Used and save 33% off the $17.95 list price. Product is eligible for Amazon's 30-day returns policy and Prime or FREE Shipping. See all offers from Amazon Open-Box & Used.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life Paperback – December 11, 2006
Featured Springer resources in biomedicine
Explore these featured titles in biomedicine. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Special offers and product promotions
"Full of startling insights into the nature and evolution of life as we know it."--The Economist
About the Author
Dr. Nick Lane is an honorary senior research fellow at University College, London. His first book, Oxygen: the Molecule that made the World, was published to critical acclaim by Oxford University Press in 2002.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 69%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Lane starts with a brief section on the origin of life, in order to present necessary information about how organisms get usable energy. This strongly supports his claim that something like a mitochondrion is necessary for life to become more complex than bacteria. After that he describes how formerly free-living bacteria could have evolved into the vastly stripped-down mitochondria. Then he builds up a picture of how that partnership led to the complexities of modern organisms. And I really do mean "builds". Each chapter draws on material from earlier chapters, and the picture becomes more complex as you go on. Fortunately, there are frequent recaps of the material you're about to need.
Marvelously, he manages to tell this story in mostly plain English. A little bit of technical language is unavoidable, but I am confident that it will not be a problem for anyone who wasn't already scared off by the word "mitochondrion" in the subtitle.
In addition to power, sex, and suicide, the book also discusses aging. Lane presents his ideas on why current attempts to slow aging don't seem to be working and gives some suggestions for research he finds more promising. This is the culmination of the book and I hope it provokes a lot of thought in readers at all levels of technical knowledge.
[Original review 14 Dec 2005; "powerhouse" comment added 25 Jan 2006.]
This was a complete journey through the scientific discoveries related to mitochondria and their vital role in the evolution of eukaryotes. Nick Lane brought up historical events within the scientific community, went over basic biochemistry, and gave his views on a number of occasions. In my opinion, it is layperson friendly - even though it gets deep into the science, Nick doesn't get too technical but does explain everything so clearly. Remembering some of the basics from biology and chemistry is all that's needed to enjoy this book.
This book was a life changing experience for me not because I learned a lot, which I did, but because of the sheer passion that Nick has for discovering the origins of complex, intelligent life.
The book explains a number of things I've wondered about:
(1) Why does a mother's environment affect the children of her daughters? It's because the unit of growth is the cell, not just DNA, and the daughter's eggs are formed in-utero. So if the mother is stressed nutritionally early in the pregnancy, it affects her daughter's children by reducing the robustness of her daughter's eggs.
(2) Why don't antioxidants increase longevity? It's because the cell uses ROS as a signal for proteins needed by the mitochondria and to grow more mitochondria, and needs a finely tuned level of internal anti-oxidant machinery in order to hear the signal, yet not be damaged by it. So taking extra Vitamin C or E reduce the internal signaling, and might cause premature apoptosis of the cell because it degrades the health of your mitochondria. This ties into studies showing that Vit C and/or E reduce the benefits of exercise, by shutting down the internal ROS signaling pathways.
(3) How can we improve our own longevity? It looks like the major factor is the rate of leakage of ROS from mitochondria. So things that reduce this leakage make a big difference: (a) where possible, have your cells run on fat instead of glucose, because that reduces free electron leak from complex I, and (b) make sure you have balanced levels of omega-6 and omega-3 PUFA, as that appears to also make a significant difference (at least in mice...)
There is much more, and I have a much better framework now for my research on how to optimize my health. Highly recommended!
Two other books in the same class are The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor, and Cells, Gels and the Engines of Life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mitochondria biology and chemistry explanation of respiration (the way in which our individual cells get energy) do not make for light reading.Read more
One of the best books on biology I have ever read