View basket and checkout
Events Subscriptions Vouchers Contact

How Life Works: A User’s Guide to the New Biology

by Philip Ball

Hardback (unsigned) £22
Published 18th January 2024
Signed first edition £22
First edition, first printing, signed by the author
You’ll be able to choose Delivery or Click & Collect after you enter your address.
UK postage is £2.95, or free for orders over £60.


in Bath

in Edinburgh

in Ely

in St Andrews


‘An essential primer on humanity’s ongoing quest to understand the secrets of life … Excellent … Ball is a terrific writer.’ – Adam Rutherford, The Guardian

‘Ball is a ferociously gifted science writer … There is so much [here] that is amazing … urgent … astonishing.’ – The Sunday Times

A cutting-edge new vision of biology that proposes to revise our concept of what life is – from Science Book Prize winner Philip Ball.

Biology is undergoing a quiet but profound transformation. Several aspects of the standard picture of how life works have been exposed as incomplete, misleading, or wrong.

In How Life Works, Philip Ball explores the new biology, revealing life to be a far richer, more ingenious affair than we had guessed. With this knowledge come new possibilities. Today we can redesign and reconfigure living systems, tissues, and organisms. We can reprogram cells, for instance, to carry out new tasks and grow into structures not seen in the natural world. Some researchers believe that ultimately we will be able to regenerate limbs and organs, and perhaps even create new life forms that evolution has never imagined.

Incorporating the latest research and insights, How Life Works is a sweeping journey into this new frontier of the nature of life, a realm that will reshape our understanding of life as we know it.


How Life Works: A User’s Guide to the New Biology
by Philip Ball


Pan Macmillan


Publication date
Jan. 18, 2024

24.3cm x 16.4cm x 5.2cm