Life is a chancy proposition : from the movement of molecules to the age at which we die, chance plays a key role in the natural world. Traditionally, biologists have viewed the inevitable "noise" of life as an unfortunate complication. The authors of this book, how ever, treat random processes as a benefit. In this introduction to chance in biology, Mark Denny and Steven Gaines help readers to apply the probability theory needed to make sense of chance events in nature. Is it possible to pack a variety of ion channels into a cell membrane and have each operate at near-peak Flow? Why are our arteries rubbery ? The concept of a random walk provides the necessary insight. Is there an absolute upper limit to the human life span ? Could the sounds at a cocktail party burst your eardrums ? The statistics of extremes allows us to make the appropriate calculations. How long must you wait to see the detail in a moonlit landscape ? Can you hear the noise of individual molecules ? The authors provide answers to these and many other questions. Readers with an introductory background in calculus will be able to follow the reasoning, and sets of problems, together with their solutions, are offered to reinforce concepts. The use of real-world examples, numerous illustrations, and chapter summaries - all presented with clarity and wit - make for a highly accessible text.