Life innovates constantly - it just needs the right environment to succeed. Pioneering mammals appeared when dinosaurs still ruled the roost, but over a hundred million years passed before they flourished. Grasses came on the scene sixty-five million years ago, but they took off only forty million years ago. Examples of 'sleeping beauties' - animals, plants and even human inventions - seem to be the exception rather than the rule. But why? Through cutting-edge experiments, Andreas Wagner demonstrates that innovations come frequently and cheaply to nature, well before they are needed. For proof, look no further than prehistoric bacteria that can resist synthetic antibiotics they've never encountered, or consider that there are more ways to digest glucose than there are stars in the universe. In human history, the thermometer was invented seven times, the telegraph four times and radar six times.

Hardback  352pp  h225mm  x  w146mm  x s30mm 

ISBN13: 9780861545278