Spirals in Time: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells

By Helen Scales

Seashells, stretching from the deep prior into the current day, are touchstones major into attention-grabbing nation-states of the flora and fauna and state-of-the-art technology. participants of the phylum Mollusca are one of the so much historical animals on this planet. Their shells offer houses for different animals; were used as a sort of cash; and feature been a resource of gem stones, nutrition, and new medicinal drugs.

After surviving a number of mass extinctions thousands of years in the past, molluscs and their shells nonetheless face an onslaught of anthropogenic demanding situations, together with weather swap and corrosive oceans. yet instead of residing on all that's misplaced, Helen Scales emphasizes that seashells supply an available option to reconnect individuals with nature, assisting to bridge the space among ourselves and the residing international. SPIRALS IN TIME: the key existence AND CURIOUS AFTERLIFE OF SEASHELLS indicates why nature issues and divulges the hidden wonders for you to carry within the palm of your hand.

Show description

Quick preview of Spirals in Time: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells PDF

Similar Nature books

British Tits (Collins New Naturalist)

, 304 pages together with bibliography and index at rear, 19 pages of black & white photographic plates, with diagrams and illustrations within the textual content

Dragonflies (Collins New Naturalist)

Dragonflies are one of the such a lot old of dwelling creatures - few insect teams fascinate as a lot or are extra instantly recognisable. during this seminal new paintings, Philip Corbet and Stephen Brooks learn the behaviour, ecology and distribution of dragonflies in Britain and eire, putting emphasis at the bugs' habitats and on measures had to preserve them.

The Kingdom of Plants: The Diversity of Plants in Kew Gardens. Foreword by David Attenborough

This booklet accompanies the landmark tv sequence country of vegetation 3D: With David Attenborough. within the final 500 million years, crops have undertaken an epic trip that has not just spanned the a while yet has altered the very makeup of the planet. It used to be a trip that started in a gloomy and barren international, and has culminated in a planet that's draped in wealthy shades, and overflowing with a range of mystifying orchids, exploding seed pods and snapping carnivorous crops.

Deep Country

Deep nation is Neil Ansell's account of 5 years spent on my own in a hillside cottage in Wales. 'I lived by myself during this cottage for 5 years, summer season and wintry weather, without shipping, no telephone. this can be the tale of these 5 years, the place I lived and the way I lived. it's the tale of what it ability to stay in a spot so distant that you could be no longer see one other soul for weeks on finish.

Extra resources for Spirals in Time: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells

Show sample text content

In an effort to fit the efficiency of cone snail poisons, and the difficult methods they have an effect on dwelling our bodies, you would have to gather a horde of different risky species. not just could you must lick the surface of a poison arrow frog (batrachotoxin) but additionally take a chew of liver from a pufferfish (tetrodotoxin), develop into contaminated by way of a colony of Clostridium micro organism (botulin) and to complete it off you would have to get bitten by way of a cobra (cobratoxin). Being lethal and biologically advanced of their personal quite a few methods, lots of those normal pollution were utilized in biomedical examine, yet none have attracted fairly as a lot cognizance as cone snail venom. the object approximately cone snail venoms that will get neuroscientists rather excited isn’t lots the truth that they could kill fish and humans, yet extra their beautiful specificity. even if they're made up of just a brief string of amino acids, conotoxins are immensely choosy approximately which ion channels they bind to. there's a bewildering array of ion channels and receptors dispersed round an animal’s anxious method, and every is a specific form. A unmarried conotoxin will in simple terms bind with one hugely particular form of channel. they're very detailed keys that in simple terms paintings in a single specific lock. This makes conotoxins immensely robust study instruments. they permit neuroscientists to arrive right into a frightened method and select accurately which elements they need to modify on or off as they examine the interior workings of nerves, brains and whole our bodies. In millions of reviews, conotoxins have aided researchers in figuring out the elemental strategies of residing issues; they've got complex our realizing of ways muscle mass agreement, how blood strain is regulated and the way kidneys and retinas paintings. Conotoxins are exhibiting simply what number sorts of receptor there are and revealing the complexity of the human mind. Researchers at the moment are knowing the jobs performed by way of designated receptors in neurological illnesses like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and alcoholism. And in addition to supporting to appreciate illnesses, conotoxins also are supporting to construct a brand new arsenal of medications to take on them. for fifty million years cone snails were evolving and perfecting the precision in their pollution; now biochemists are tapping into this mammoth repertoire and discovering conotoxins that experience particular healing results at the human frightened procedure. Dozens of conotoxin-inspired drugs are in improvement for treating a tremendous number of problems. within the Eighties, Olivera’s crew chanced on a conotoxin extract from the Geography Cone Snail that caused a sleep-like kingdom in laboratory mice. This ‘sleeper peptide’ is without doubt one of the soporific medicinal drugs that net-hunting cone snails flow into the water to sedate their prey. The energetic component was once later pointed out as conantokin-G, a conotoxin within the ‘nirvana cabal’ that blocks a particular form of ion channel receptor for the neurotransmitter glutamate, referred to as the NMDA receptor. medical trials are presently underway to work out if this conotoxin may aid calm the hyperactive nerves of individuals struggling with intractable epilepsy.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.32 of 5 – based on 48 votes