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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 utter darkness or deep in the middle of rocks. Why is this so? How do people survive extremes of heat, cold, depth and height? For the geneticist, inheritance is all. But for the physiologist, extremism is all. This book explores the limits to human survival and the physiological adaptations which enable us to exist under extreme conditions.
Frances Ashcroft is a Professor of Physiology at Oxford. She divides her time between research on insulin, teaching and writing. 'She seems to have experienced most of the extreme environments she investigates, and 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. Life at the Extremes is fascinating an extremely engaging piece of work.' New Scientist 'Easy to read, entertaining and informative' John Gribbin, Sunday Times