Life: The Science of Biology

David E. Sadava, Emeritus, The Claremont Colleges, David M....

David E. Sadava, Emeritus, The Claremont Colleges, David M. Hillis, University of Texas at Austin, H. Craig Heller, Stanford University, and Sally D. Hacker, Oregon State University, Corvallis

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Life: The Science of Biology

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PLEASE NOTE: This title is distributed and sold by W. H. Freeman/Macmillan Learning. For more information, to order, or to request an exam copy, go here.

With roots 10 editions deep, Life: The Science of Biology blends carefully reviewed content and an emphasis on experiments with...

PLEASE NOTE: This title is distributed and sold by W. H. Freeman/Macmillan Learning. For more information, to order, or to request an exam copy, go here.

With roots 10 editions deep, Life: The Science of Biology blends carefully reviewed content and an emphasis on experiments with a contemporary approach to active learning in the classroom. Throughout, we focus on three driving themes:


We want students to come away from the introductory biology course with a sense of wonder and an ability to pursue biological questions. To that end, we keep the writing lively, the examples modern and exciting, and the emphasis on how we know what we know.

To help students engage with the course, an Investigating Life thread weaves through each chapter. Each individual part of the thread appeals to students, inspires them to ask questions, and keeps them wanting to know, “What next?” The beauty of the thread is that it gives students an authentic scientific experience beyond just reading about someone's research results.

Life is ACTIVE

With the help of the Advisory Board, we've developed a series of pedagogical features that integrate tools for instructors with those for student independent study. Students work their way toward real understanding of biological principles. We don't just ask them to memorize information—we invite them to actively participate in the process of discovery.

For instructors wanting to make active learning a part of their classroom, we've created an Active Learning Guide, with start-up material, ideas, and a complete guide to all the Life activities that are ready to add to your in-class repertoire.


We want students to feel comfortable as they learn to manipulate and interpret data. The various types of problem-solving exercises in Life help them develop practical, analytical, and quantitative skills—skills that will benefit them whether they continue in biology or not. Exercises vary in skill level, type, and approach, with answers in the back of the book.

The response to our Work with the Data boxes has been so consistently positive that we now include at least one in every chapter. This feature asks students to analyze data from original scientific experiments, and includes questions in the text plus, now, a corresponding set of alternative exercises online in LaunchPad. We also provide an appendix, Making Sense of Data: A Statistics Primer, to help students prepare for the quantitative work they'll be doing.

Experience Life through LAUNCHPAD

With this edition's LaunchPad, Life is more than ever a truly integrated text/media resource. LaunchPad gives students everything they need to prepare for class and exams, while giving instructors everything they need to set up a course, customize the content, craft presentations, assign homework, assess students, and guide the progress of individuals and the class as a whole.

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David E. Sadava is the Pritzker Family Foundation Professor of Biology, Emeritus, at the Keck Science Center of Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps, three of The Claremont Colleges. In addition, he is Adjunct Professor of Cancer Cell Biology at the City of Hope Medical Center. Twice winner of the Huntoon Award for superior teaching, Dr. Sadava has taught courses on introductory biology, biotechnology, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, plant biology, and cancer biology. In addition to Life: The Science of Biology, he is the author or coauthor of books on cell biology and on plants, genes, and crop biotechnology. His research has resulted in many papers coauthored with his students, on topics ranging from plant biochemistry to pharmacology of narcotic analgesics to human genetic diseases. For the past 15 years, he has investigated multi-drug resistance in human small-cell lung carcinoma cells with a view to understanding and overcoming this clinical challenge. At the City of Hope, his current work focuses on new anti-cancer agents from plants.

David M. Hillis is the Alfred W. Roark Centennial Professor in Integrative Biology at the University of Texas at Austin, where he also has directed the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics and the School of Biological Sciences. Dr. Hillis has taught courses in introductory biology, genetics, evolution, systematics, and biodiversity. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship, and has served as President of the Society for the Study of Evolution and of the Society of Systematic Biologists. He served on the National Research Council committee that wrote the report BIO 2010: Transforming Undergraduate Biology Education for Research Biologists, and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the National Academies Scientific Teaching Alliance. His research interests span much of evolutionary biology, including experimental studies of evolving viruses, empirical studies of natural molecular evolution, applications of phylogenetics, analyses of biodiversity, and evolutionary modeling. He is particularly interested in teaching and research about the practical applications of evolutionary biology.

H. Craig Heller is the Lorry I. Lokey/Business Wire Professor in Biological Sciences and Human Biology at Stanford University. He has taught in the core biology courses at Stanford since 1972 and served as Director of the Program in Human Biology, Chairman of the Biolo-gical Sciences Department, and Associate Dean of Research. Dr. Heller is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a recipient of the Walter J. Gores Award for excellence in teaching and the Kenneth Cuthberson Award for Exceptional Service to Stanford University. His research is on the neurobiology of sleep and circadian rhythms, mammalian hibernation, the regulation of body temperature, the physiology of human performance, and the neurobiology of learning. He has done research on a huge variety of animals and physiolo-gical problems, including from sleeping kangaroo rats, diving seals, hibernating bears, photo-periodic hamsters, and exercising athletes. Dr. Heller has extended his enthusiasm for promoting active learning via the development of a two-year curriculum in human biology for the middle grades, through the production of Virtual Labs—interactive computer-based modules to teach physiology.

Sally D. Hacker is Professor at Oregon State University where she has been a faculty member since 2004. She has taught courses in introductory ecology, community ecology, invasion biology, field ecology, and marine biology. She was awarded the Murray F. Buell Award by the Ecological Society of America and the Young Investigator Prize by the American Society of Naturalists. Dr. Hacker’s research explores the structure, function, and services of natural and managed ecosystems under varying contexts of species interactions and global change. She has conducted research with plants and animals in rocky intertidal, salt marsh, seagrass, and coastal dune ecosystems. Her work has most recently focused on the protective role of dune ecosystems in mitigating coastal vulnerability due to climate change. In addition to the textbooks Life: The Science of Biology and Ecology (Sinauer Associates), she is author or coauthor on numerous articles and book chapters exploring community ecology, species interactions, marine invasions, and ecosystem services important to coastal management. She is particularly interested in promoting active and experiential learning for students interested in ecology and field-emersion experiences.