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The Egg And The Sperm Race

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  41 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
This is the story of the seventeenth-century scientists who solved one of the great mysteries of the age, the discovery of human sperm and egg. This book sheds light on our very nature, on generation and reproduction, and how little we still know about one of the greatest miracles of nature.
Published May 8th 2007 by Simon & Schuster UK (first published 2006)
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Jul 28, 2007 Chelsea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who did not spontaneously generate themselves
Kurt laughed at me for checking this book out from the Berkeley Public Library when I don't live in Northern California. And he was right to because I'll probably end up paying overdue fines/shipping costs enough to buy my own hardcover copy, but sometimes I see things in the library and get really excited and can't help myself.

I wished that this book was longer. It's jovial but clearly written by someone who has a soft spot for embryology/development. Whenever I read scientific papers that have
Mar 27, 2012 Larissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You mean women can't give birth to rabbits or kittens?

Only a few hundred years ago that was big news. So was the idea that insects reproduced at all. (People thought they just grew out of rotting meat.) It took a lot of work to figure this out and this book is the story of the men who were determined to do so.

You can't help but giggle at some of the theories that were proposed on the road to figuring out where we come from. Matthew Cobb tells the story with a great deal of intellectual wit and
Feb 07, 2011 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, science
Because of my biology background, I wanted to like this more. I did find the first half of the book engaging, but I had to skim for the main ideas through the last half of the book because there was so much superfluous information and I had a hard time following Cobb's train of thought. As a scientist, I found the information about the beginnings and evolution of the scientific experiment process quite interesting.
Jess Dollar
It's not fair to the author that I read this very shortly after reading Sam Kean's great science history books (The Disappearing Spoon and The Violinist's Thumb). While the history is interesting, the author isn't the story-teller that Kean is. His style is dry and a bit stodgy. Still, I enjoyed the book. In the end, it gave me much food for thought on how young our scientific journey as humans really is.
Jul 13, 2011 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very interesting and readable for a book on the history of scientific discovery. i was surprised at how much i enjoyed it.
Oct 22, 2015 Becca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: study, science
The content in this book was fab, especially because I was fortunate enough to be able to attend lectures with the author on this very subject. The book coupled with the lectures left me feeling like I had a good understanding of the material. As somebody with an interest in the history and development of science and medicine, I knew that I would love this book before I even started reading it.
The author obviously has a passion for the subject matter, and has gone above and beyond to locate pri
Catherine Sanchez
This book isn't not good, it's just no Mary Roach or Sam Keam. There were sections that were really interesting and engaging and it is worth reading on the whole.
Where does life come from? Until the 17th century, this question was answered with speculation and wild stories, including the concept of ‘spontaneous generation.’ In the 1660s and 70s, three scientists in the Netherlands were united by Leeuwenhoek’s invention of the powerful microscope. Despite their early discoveries in human and animal reproduction, generation still remained mysterious and controversial until well into the 19th century.
Dec 13, 2007 Lyndsay rated it it was amazing
fascinating so far.... you can't make scorpions by crushing a basil leaf between two rocks!
And interesting history of our understanding of generation (havin' babies) and the evolution of the scientific method.
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Prof. Matthew Cobb is a geneticist with an interest in the French Resistance.
More about Matthew Cobb...

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