Powerful new research methods are providing fresh and vivid insights into the makeup of life. Comparing gene sequences, examining the atomic structure of proteins and looking into the geochemistry of rocks have all helped to explain creation and evolution in more detail than ever before. Nick Lane uses the full extent of this new knowledge to describe the ten greatest inventions of life, including DNA, sex, sight and consciousness, based on their historical impact, role in living organisms today and relevance to current controversies. Lane also explains how these findings have come about, and the extent to which they can be relied upon. The result is a vivid, gripping and lucid account of the ingenuity of nature, and a book which is essential for anyone who has wondered at how we came to be here.