How poignant it is to look at some of Gould's beautiful images of our animals and know that some are no longer with us, and some are fighting for their lives? In this book, author Fred Ford compares Gould's world, and the world that the animals lived in at that time, with the world today.
John Gould's Extinct and Endangered Mammals of Australia includes 46 Australian mammal species that, today, are threatened or extinct and that were portrayed in the lavish colour plates in John Gould's 1863 publication, The Mammals of Australia. Accompanying the pictures are accounts of the animals as they lived then - in the relatively untouched Australia that John Gould knew - as well as evidence of the attitudes of European settlers towards the native fauna.
Plants are truly remarkable: even with all our modern technological prowess they still feed, clothe and shelter us, help transport us and can intoxicate and cure us.
Helen and William Bynum are expert guides to the rich histories, significance and uses of over 80 key plants in 69 entries, revealing our relationship with them, both utilitarian and aesthetic, and their multiple benefits and cultural associations.
Organised thematically, eight sections cover all aspects of our interaction with plants starting with those crops that were fundamental to the development of cultures and civilisations, and those that enliven our diet beyond the basics, such as saffron and chilli peppers. Other sections look at plants that have helped to create our material world, as well as those that are used medicinally or are revered and adored for symbolic reasons, including the tulip, the rose and the lotus.
For anyone interested in the natural world and the extraordinary diversity of flora around us, this elegantly illustrated and covetable book, published in association with the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, will be an inspiration and a delight.
Science historian Laurel Braitman draws on evidence from across the world to show, for the first time, how astonishingly similar humans and other animals are when it comes to their emotional wellbeing. Charles Darwin developed his evolutionary theories by studying Galapagos finches and fancy pigeons; Alfred Russel Wallace investigated creatures in the Malay Archipelago. Laurel Braitman got her lessons closer to home - by watching her dog. Oliver snapped at flies that only he could see, suffered from debilitating separation anxiety, was prone to aggression, and may even have attempted suicide. Braitman's experiences with Oliver made her acknowledge a startling connection: non-human animals can lose their minds. And when they do, it often looks a lot like human mental illness. Thankfully, all of us can heal. Braitman spent three years travelling the world in search of emotionally disturbed animals and the people who care for them, finding numerous stories of recovery: parrots that learn how to stop plucking their feathers, dogs that cease licking their tails raw, polar bears that stop swimming in compulsive circles, and great apes that benefit from the help of human psychiatrists. How do these animals recover? The same way we do: with love, medicine, and above all, the knowledge that someone understands why we suffer and what can make us feel better.
There are Known Knowns, Known Unknowns, and Unknown Unknowns. And then there is Dr Karl. The inimitable Dr Karl reigns once more in his Dynasty of 34 Science Books with scintillating science scenarios, techie tales and tasty morsels to sate even the most haemoglobin-thirsty of his army of followers. In Game of Knowns, he divulges why psychopaths make good kings, how smartphones dumb down our conversations, why the left side of your face is the most attractive, how the female worker bee gets a raw deal and why we drink beer faster when it is served in a curved glass. He discloses the amazing opportunities that 3D Printing will bring, the magic of hoverboards, solemnly shares why dark matter matters, and spills the scientific basis of wealth distribution. Thereby Science is decreed to be the only true ruler of the kingdom, and there is none better to claim the Throne than Australia's most trusted and knowledge-thirsty scientist - Dr Karl.
Human life is a staggeringly strange thing. On the surface of a ball of rock falling around a nuclear fireball in the blackness of a vacuum the laws of nature conspired to create a naked ape that can look up at the stars and wonder where it came from. What is a human being? Objectively, nothing of consequence. Particles of dust in an infinite arena, present for an instant in eternity. Clumps of atoms in a universe with more galaxies than people. And yet a human being is necessary for the question itself to exist, and the presence of a question in the universe - any question - is the most wonderful thing. Questions require minds, and minds bring meaning. What is meaning? I don't know, except that the universe and every pointless speck inside it means something to me. I am astonished by the existence of a single atom, and find my civilisation to be an outrageous imprint on reality. I don't understand it. Nobody does, but it makes me smile. This book asks questions about our origins, our destiny, and our place in the universe. We have no right to expect answers; we have no right to even ask. But ask and wonder we do. Human Universe is first and foremost a love letter to humanity; a celebration of our outrageous fortune in existing at all. I have chosen to write my letter in the language of science, because there is no better demonstration of our magnificent ascent from dust to paragon of animals than the exponentiation of knowledge generated by science. Two million years ago we were apemen. Now we are spacemen. That has happened, as far as we know, nowhere else. That is worth celebrating.
Why do we breathe? What is money? How does the brain work? Why did life invent sex? Does time really exist? How does capitalism work - or not, as the case may be? Where do mountains come from? How do computers work? How did humans get to dominate the Earth? Why is there something rather than nothing? In What a Wonderful World, Marcus Chown, bestselling author of Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You and the Solar System app, uses his vast scientific knowledge and deep understanding of extremely complex processes to answer simple questions about the workings of our everyday lives. Lucid, witty and hugely entertaining, it explains the basics of our essential existence, stopping along the way to show us why the Atlantic is widening by a thumbs' length each year, how money permits trade to time travel why the crucial advantage humans had over Neanderthals was sewing and why we are all living in a giant hologram.
For centuries, scientists had only one way to study the brain: wait for misfortune to strike - strokes, seizures, infections, lobotomies, horrendous accidents, phantom limbs, Siamese twins - and see how the victims changed afterwards. In many cases their survival was miraculous, and observers marvelled at the transformations that took place when different parts of the brain were destroyed. Parents suddenly couldn't recognise their children. Pillars of the community became pathological liars and paedophiles. Some people couldn't speak but could still sing. Others couldn't read but could write. The stories of these people laid the foundations of modern neuroscience and, century by century, key cases taught scientists what every last region of the brain did. With lucid explanations and incisive wit, Sam Kean explores the brain's secret passageways and recounts the forgotten tales of the ordinary individuals whose struggles, resilience and deep humanity made neuroscience possible.
A cocktail party. A terrorist cell. Ancient bacteria. An international conglomerate. All are networks, and all are a part of a surprising scientific revolution. In Linked, Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, the nation's foremost expert in the new science of networks, takes us on an intellectual adventure to prove that social networks, corporations, and living organisms are more similar than previously thought. Barabasi shows that grasping a full understanding of network science will someday allow us to design blue-chip businesses, stop the outbreak of deadly diseases, and influence the exchange of ideas and information. Just as James Gleick and the Erdos--Renyi model brought the discovery of chaos theory to the general public, Linked tells the story of the true science of the future and of experiments in statistical mechanics on the internet, all vital parts of what would eventually be called the Barabasi--Albert model.
In 2010, scientists led by J. Craig Venter became the first to successfully create 'synthetic life' -- putting humankind at the threshold of the most important and exciting phase of biological research, one that will enable us to actually write the genetic code for designing new species to help us adapt and evolve for long-term survival. The science of synthetic genomics will have a profound impact on human existence, including chemical and energy generation, health, clean water and food production, environmental control, and possibly even our evolution. In Life at the Speed of Light, Venter presents a fascinating and authoritative study of this emerging field from the inside -- detailing its origins, current challenges and controversies, and projected effects on our lives. This scientific frontier provides an opportunity to ponder anew the age-old question 'What is life?' and examine what we really mean by 'playing God'. Life at the Speed of Light is a landmark work, written by a visionary at the dawn of a new era of biological engineering.
Professor Cory is not just a scientist: she is a humanist, an environmentalist, and an unremitting optimist. Cory's Boyer Lecture series reflects her hope for a bright future. In The Promise of Science: A vision of hope, Professor Cory explores what Australian science has given the nation and the world, and how it might help set to rights some of our biggest problems. Climate change, continuing gender inequity, the possibilities for a sustainable knowledge-based economy and the promise of medical research all come under the microscope as Cory carries an urgent message to Australians. The Boyer Lectures is a series of talks by prominent Australians chosen by the ABC board to present ideas on major social, scientific or cultural issues. The lectures have been broadcast on ABC Radio for more than 40 years and have stimulated thought, discussion and debate in Australia on an astonishing range of subjects - great minds examining issues and values. The Boyer Lectures began in 1959 and are named after the late Sir Richard Boyer, who was chairman of the ABC. Previous Boyer lecturers include Quentin Bryce, Marcia Langton, Geraldine Brooks, Rupert Murdoch, and Peter Cosgrove.
What are the 10 key issues that must be addressed urgently to improve Australia's environment? In this follow up to the highly successful book Ten Commitments: Reshaping the Lucky Country's Environment, Australia's leading environmental thinkers have written provocative chapters on what must be done to tackle Australia's environmental problems - in terms of policies, onground actions and research. Chapters are grouped into ecosystems, sectors and cross-cutting themes. Topics include: deserts, rangelands, temperate eucalypt woodlands, tropical savanna landscapes, urban settlements, forestry management, tropical and temperate marine ecosystems, tropical rainforests, mining, tourism, industry and manufacturing and more. Ten Commitments Revisited is a 'must read' for politicians, policy makers, decision makers, practitioners and others with an interest in Australia's environment.
Inventions that Didn't Change the World is a fascinating visual tour through some of the most bizarre inventions registered with the British authorities in the nineteenth century. In an era when Britain was the workshop of the world, registration of designs was quicker and cheaper than the convoluted patenting process, and all manner of bizarre curiosities were painstakingly recorded in beautiful color illustrations and well-penned explanatory text, alongside the genuinely great inventions of the period. Irreverent commentary contextualizes each submission as well as taking a humorous view on how each has stood the test of time. This book introduces such gems as a ventilating top hat; an artificial leech; a design for an aerial machine adapted for the arctic regions; an anti-explosive alarm whistle; a tennis racket with ball-picker; and a currant-cleaning machine. Here is everything the end user could possibly require for a problem he never knew he had. Organized by area of application industry, clothing, transportation, medical, health and safety, the home, and leisure Inventions that Didn't Change the World reveals the concerns of a bygone era giddy with the possibilities of a newly industrialized world.
Combined into one volume for the first time, the updated and clarified Exercises for the Feynman Lectures on Physics provides comprehensive, hands-on practice in all the most important areas of physics--from Newtonian mechanics through the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. A perfect complement to The Feynman Lectures on Physics, these exercises have all been assigned in Caltech's mandatory two-year introductory physics course, either when Richard Feynman was teaching it, or during the nearly two decades that followed when The Feynman Lectures on Physics was used as the textbook. With this modern, easy-to-use volume, students of physics will have a chance to apply what they have learned in the Lectures and to enhance and reinforce the concepts taught by the inimitable Richard Feynman.
After a brief and condensed review of the solar system at the beginning of the book--including an explanation of the sun, planets and small bodies including asteroids and comets--Deep Space picks up where Solar System left off, at the outer edges of our inter-stellar neighborhood. Join author Govert Schilling on a journey that will ignite the imagination and propel you from the threshold of our galaxy through the Milky Way to the outer edges of the universe and beyond. Learn about the birth of new stars in our own galaxy (from molecular clouds to protoplanetary disks); other planets beyond our own solar system (lava worlds, water worlds and even Earth-like places); and other galaxies beyond the Milky Way (starburst galaxies, lenticular galaxies, elliptical galaxies). The book concludes with a discussion of cosmic evolution, the remaining mysteries concerning dark matter and dark energy, life in the universe and the speculative idea of a multiverse consisting of numerous parallel universes. 400 photographs (many never-before-seen) and custom-drawn illustrations illuminate the text, including a Star Atlas that shows the full celestial sky, all 88 constellations, all naked-eye stars and dozens of nebulae, star clusters and galaxies.
The firsthand account of the trials and tribulations of engineering one of the most complex pieces of space technology, the Mars Rover Curiosity, by its chief engineer Rob Manning In the course of our enduring quest for knowledge about ourselves and our universe, we haven't found answers to one of our most fundamental questions: Does life exist anywhere else in the universe? Ten years and billions of dollars in the making, the Mars Rover Curiosity is poised to answer this all-important question. In Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account from Curiosity's Chief Engineer, Rob Manning, the project's chief engineer, tells of bringing the groundbreaking spacecraft to life. Manning and his team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, tasked with designing a lander many times larger and more complex than any before, faced technical setbacks, fights over inadequate resources, and the challenges of leading an army of brilliant, passionate, and often frustrated experts. Manning's fascinating personal account--which includes information from his exclusive interviews with leading Curiosity scientists--is packed with tales of revolutionary feats of science, technology, and engineering. Readers experience firsthand the disappointment at encountering persistent technical problems, the agony of near defeat, the sense of victory at finding innovative solutions to these problems, the sheer terror of staking careers and reputations on a lander that couldn't be tested on Earth, and the rush of triumph at its successful touchdown on Mars on August 5, 2012. This is the story of persistence, dedication, and unrelenting curiosity.
Divided by continent, YOU ARE HERE represents one (idealised) orbit of the ISS. This planetary photo tour -- surprising, playful, thought-provoking, and visually delightful -- is also punctuated with fun, fascinating commentary on life in zero gravity.
In the spirit of his bestselling An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, YOU ARE HERE opens a singular window on our planet, using remarkable photographs to illuminate the history and consequences of human settlement, the magnificence (and wit) of never-before-noticed landscapes, and the power of the natural forces shaping our world and the future of our species.
In Molecules Gray goes beyond the 118 elements in the periodic table to explore, through fascinating stories and stunning photographic imagery, what he considers to be the most essential and interesting of the millions of possible chemical bonds. At the beginning of the Molecules Gray explains what molecules and compounds are, what holds them together and how they form bonds, the difference between ionic and covalent bonds, how molecules get their names and what their scientific names mean and the difference between organic and inorganic compounds. The book is then divided into chapters including Rocks, Minerals and Crystals; Ores; Plastics and Rubbers; Ropes, Yarns and Filaments; Edible Compounds; Perfumes, Stink Bombs and Other Aromatic Substances; Pigments and Paints; Goops and Oils; Soaps and Solvents; Medicines: Biblical Compounds (ie. frankincense, myrrh, and pitch); Compounds that Go Bang; and Nasty Compounds You Don't Want to Meet
In the mid-nineteenth century, chemists came to the conclusion that elements should be organized by their atomic weights. However, the atomic weights of various elements were calculated erroneously, and chemists also observed some anomalies in the properties of other elements. Over time, it became clear that the periodic table as currently comprised contained gaps, missing elements that had yet to be discovered. A rush to discover these missing pieces followed, and a seemingly endless amount of elemental discoveries were proclaimed and brought into laboratories. It wasn't until the discovery of the atomic number in 1913 that chemists were able to begin making sense of what did and what did not belong on the periodic table, but even then, the discovery of radioactivity convoluted the definition of an element further. Throughout its formation, the periodic table has seen false entries, good-faith errors, retractions, and dead ends; in fact, there have been more elemental discoveries that have proven false than there are current elements on the table. The Lost Elements: The Shadow Side of Discovery collects the most notable of these instances, stretching from the nineteenth century to the present. The book tells the story of how scientists have come to understand elements, by discussing the failed theories and false discoveries that shaped the path of scientific progress. Chapters range from early chemists' stubborn refusal to disregard alchemy as legitimate practice, to the effects of the atomic number on discovery, to the switch in influence from chemists to physicists, as elements began to be artificially created in the twentieth century. Along the way, Fontani, Costa, and Orna introduce us to the key figures in the development of the periodic table as we know it. And we learn, in the end, that this development was shaped by errors and gaffs as much as by correct assumptions and scientific conclusions.
Minerals existed long before any forms of life, playing a key role in the origin and evolution of life; an interaction with biological systems that we are only now beginning to understand. Exploring the traditional strand of mineralogy, which emphasises the important mineral families, the well-established analytical methods (optical microscopy and X-ray diffraction) and the dramatic developments made in techniques over recent decades, David Vaughan also introduces the modern strand of mineralogy, which explores the role minerals play in the plate tectonic cycle and how they interact with the living world. Demonstrating how minerals can be critical for human health and illness by providing essential nutrients and releasing poisons, Vaughan explores the multitude of ways in which minerals have aided our understanding of the world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Life on earth will come to an end. It's just a matter of when. In this Very Short Introduction, Bill McGuire explores the many potential catastrophes facing our planet and our species in the future, and looks at both the probability of these events happening and our chances of survival. From the likely consequences of global warming to the inevitable destruction of the earth in the far future, McGuire considers a range of 'end of the world scenarios', including the New Ice Age, asteroid and comet impact, supervolcanoes, and mega-tsunami. Updated with a number of recent case studies from around the world, this new edition brings our understanding of global disasters and risk research up to date. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The only document of its kind, Crisis Without End represents an unprecedented look into the profound aftereffects of Fukushima. In accessible terms, leading experts from Japan, the United States, Russia, and other nations weigh in on the current state of knowledge of radiation-related health risks in Japan, impacts on the world's oceans, the question of low-dosage radiation risks, crucial comparisons with Chernobyl, health and environmental impacts on the United States (including on food and newborns), and the unavoidable implications for the U.S. nuclear energy industry.
Crisis Without End is both essential reading and a major corrective to the public record on Fukushima.
Deniers of climate change sometimes quip that claims about global warming are more about political science than climate science. They are wrong on the science, but may be right with respect to its political implications. A hotter world, writes Andrew Guzman, will bring unprecedented migrations, famine, war, and disease. It will be a social and political disaster of the first order. In Overheated, Guzman takes climate change out of the realm of scientific abstraction to explore its real-world consequences. He writes not as a scientist, but as an authority on international law and economics. He takes as his starting point a fairly optimistic outcome in the range predicted by scientists: a 2 degree Celsius increase in average global temperatures. Even this modest rise would lead to catastrophic environmental and social problems. Already we can see how it will work: The ten warmest years since 1880 have all occurred since 1998, and one estimate of the annual global death toll caused by climate change is now 300,000. That number might rise to 500,000 by 2030. He shows in vivid detail how climate change is already playing out in the real world. Rising seas will swamp island nations like Maldives; coastal food-producing regions in Bangladesh will be flooded; and millions will be forced to migrate into cities or possibly climate-refugee camps. Even as seas rise, melting glaciers in the Andes and the Himalayas will deprive millions upon millions of people of fresh water, threatening major cities and further straining food production. Prolonged droughts in the Sahel region of Africa have already helped produce mass violence in Darfur. Clear, cogent, and compelling, Overheated shifts the discussion on climate change toward its devastating impact on human societies. Two degrees Celsius seems such a minor change. Yet it will change everything.
This beautiful book tells the story of the development of bird art through the ages. It ranges from the early decorative - but often fanciful - images of birds, through more accurate portrayals resulting from exploration and an increasing knowledge of the world's avifauna, to modern attempts at capturing these, the freest of all creatures. Birds contains an outstanding selection of images from the unrivalled collection of the Natural History Museum in London, some of which have never been reproduced before, and includes exquisitely crafted works from some of the most famous natural-history artists. The lively text interweaves fascinating ornithological information with accounts of the lives of the artists, details of the development of the techniques they used and a critical appraisal of their achievements.
From irate hummingbirds to judgmental parrots, this handy and lavishly illustrated volume depicts the most disturbed birds of North America in gorgeous colour portraits, with accompanying testimonials and confessions of murder, mental illness and assorted mayhem. There are bird-attack statistics from the 1970s and study questions to make sure you've done your homework. A must-have for leading ornithologists, and perfect gift for angry avian enthusiasts everywhere; this guide is an uproarious and unforgettable look at what lies behind the beady eyes of these winged creatures.
When Europeans arrived in North America, 25 to 40 percent of the continent's birds were passenger pigeons, traveling in flocks so massive as to block out the sun for hours or even days. The downbeats of their wings would chill the air beneath and create a thundering roar that would drown out all other sound. John James Audubon, impressed by their speed and agility, said a lone passenger pigeon streaking through the forest passes like a thought. How prophetic-for although a billion pigeons crossed the skies 80 miles from Toronto in May of 1860, little more than fifty years later passenger pigeons were extinct. The last of the species, Martha, died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914. As naturalist Joel Greenberg relates in gripping detail, the pigeons' propensity to nest, roost, and fly together in vast numbers made them vulnerable to unremitting market and recreational hunting. The spread of railroads and telegraph lines created national demand that allowed the birds to be pursued relentlessly. Passenger pigeons inspired awe in the likes of Audubon, Henry David Thoreau, James Fenimore Cooper, and others, but no serious effort was made to protect the species until it was too late. Greenberg's beautifully written story of the passenger pigeon paints a vivid picture of the passenger pigeon's place in literature, art, and the hearts and minds of those who witnessed this epic bird, while providing a cautionary tale of what happens when species and natural resources are not harvested sustainably.
In an entertaining and perceptive account of the lives of birds, from watching penguins in Antarctica to testing turkey vultures' sense of smell, Noah Strycker illuminates the surprising world of birds and their secret life.
In observing birds' intelligence and their emotional - even artistic - life, scientists have unlocked fascinating insights into memory, game theory, and the nature of intelligence itself. They explore what birds can teach us about humanity. Drawing on cutting-edge scientific research, along with his personal experience (Strycker has travelled all over the world birdwatching), and with colourful anecdotes about the intimate co-existence of birds and man, The Magic & Mystery of Birds is a thoughtful and engaging look at how we often view the world through the experience of birds.
Undeniably exquisite . . . The essays in the collection [are] meditations that reveal not only how science actually happens but also who or what propels its immutable humanity. -- Maria Popova, Brain Pickings A stimulating compendium. -- Kirkus Reviews Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Deborah Blum selects the year's top science and nature writing from writers who balance research with humanity and in the process uncover riveting stories of discovery across the disciplines.
Alan Turing is regarded as one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century. But who was Turing, and what did he achieve during his tragically short life of 41 years? Best known as the genius who broke Germany's most secret codes during the war of 1939-45, Turing was also the father of the modern computer. Today, all who 'click-to-open' are familiar with the impact of Turing's ideas. Here, B. Jack Copeland provides an account of Turing's life and work, exploring the key elements of his life-story in tandem with his leading ideas and contributions. The book highlights Turing's contributions to computing and to computer science, including Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Life, and the emphasis throughout is on the relevance of his work to modern developments. The story of his contributions to codebreaking during the Second World War is set in the context of his thinking about machines, as is the account of his work in the foundations of mathematics.
Throughout history, mankind's working theories regarding the cause of infectious disease have shifted drastically, as cultures developed their philosophic, religious, and scientific beliefs. Plagues that were originally attributed to the wrath of the god Apollo were later described by Thucydides as having nothing to do with the gods, though the cause was just as much a mystery to him as well. As centuries passed, medical and religious theorists proposed reasons such as poor air quality or the configuration of the planets as causes for the spread of disease. In every instance, in order to understand the origin of a disease theory during a specific period of history, one must understand that culture's metaphysical beliefs. In Confronting Contagion, Melvin Santer traces a history of disease theory all the way from Classical antiquity to our modern understanding of viruses. Chapters focus on people and places like the Pre-Socratic Philosophers, Galen and the emergence of Christianity in Rome, the Black Death in fourteenth-century Europe, cholera and puerperal sepsis in the nineteenth century, and other significant periods during which man's understanding of the cause of disease developed or transformed. In each, Santer identifies the key thinkers, writers, and scientists who helped form the working disease theories of the time. The book features many excerpts from primary sources, from Thucydides to the writings of twentieth-century virologists, creating an authentic synthesis of the world's intellectual and religious attitude toward disease throughout history.
In this exploration of the concept of the gene, Jonathan Slack looks at the discovery, nature, and role of genes in both evolution and development. Explaining the nature of genetic variation in the human population, how hereditary factors were identified as molecules of DNA, and how certain specific mutations can lead to disease, Slack highlights how DNA variants are used to trace human ancestry and migration, and can also used by forensic scientists to identify individuals in crime. He also explores issues such as the role of genetic heritability and IQ as well as the changes that occur in the genes of populations during evolution. An ideal guide for anyone curious about what genes are and how genetics can be put to use, this Very Short Introduction demonstrates the ways in which the gene concept has been understood and used by molecular biologists, population biologists, and social scientists around the world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Not too long ago, there was no coming back from death. But now, with revolutionary medical advances, death has become just another serious complication. As a young medical student, Dr. David Casarett was inspired by the story of a two-year-old girl named Michelle Funk. Michelle fell into a creek and was underwater for over an hour. When she was found she wasn't breathing, and her pupils were fixed and dilated. That drowning should have been fatal. But after three hours of persistent work, a team of doctors and nurses was able to bring her back. It was a miracle. If Michelle could come back after three hours of being dead, what about twelve hours? Or twenty-four? What would it take to revive someone who had been frozen for one thousand years? And what does blurring the line between life and death mean for society? In Shocked, Casarett chronicles his exploration of the cutting edge of resuscitation and reveals just how far science has come. He begins in the eighteenth century, when early attempts at resuscitation involved public displays of barrel rolling, horseback riding (sort of), and blowing smoke up the patient's various orifices. He then takes us inside a sophisticated cryonics facility in the Arizona desert, a darkroom full of hibernating lemurs in North Carolina, and a laboratory that puts mice into a state of suspended animation. The result is a spectacular tour of the bizarre world of doctors, engineers, animal biologists, and cryogenics enthusiasts trying to bring the recently dead back to life. Fascinating, thought-provoking, and (believe it or not) funny, Shocked is perfect for those looking for a prequel--and a sequel--to Mary Roach's Stiff, or for anyone who likes to ponder the ultimate questions of life and death.
Plain and simple answers to more than 1,250 questions about the formulas, history, major personalities, latest developments, milestones, evolution and organisms that make up the world of biology. This major new reference work is a go-to guide for students and the more learned, and is helpfully laid out with numerous black-and-white illustrations. The authors are both scientists and have previously written The Handy Math Answer Book, The Handy Dinosaur Answer Book and The Handy Ocean Answer Book (all Visible ink).
There are no places richer in diversity and host to such a quantity of different living things.With a visually stunning collection of photographs and an inspiring text by the bestselling author of The Life & Love of Trees, Rainforest opens our minds to the vital and beautiful role that rainforests play in managing the life of our world. Compelling imagery, accompanied by a rich and thoughtful text, provides a new appreciation for the world's rainforests and their verdant plant life, diverse animal species, heroic human explorations, and breakthrough discoveries. It is an epic journey across possibly the most important environments on Earth, providing valuable insight into how our planet works and what we must do to protect and develop these fragile ecosystems.This book will be created entirely from eco-friendly products: paper from fully certified renewable sources, vegetable inks that emit zero harmful compounds into the atmosphere at the time of their production, and linen binding made from 100% natural fibers that have not been bleached, dyed or coated.
Sharks engender our most primal emotion: fear. Real danger is something we seldom experience in the modern world, protected by the comforts of civilization. Yet fear is deeply inscribed at the core of our being. Jean-Marie Ghislain overcame his fear of water by learning to swim with sharks. By confronting his emotional responses to these graceful predators, he sought to recover from personal trauma, asking himself: Can beauty cure fear? These photographs are among the most beautiful pictures of sharks ever taken. Working entirely with natural light and a focal length as close as possible to that of the human eye, he brings these magnificent creatures closer to us than most could ever dare. The tiniest mark and scar is rendered so clearly that we feel we could reach out and touch them. By sharing his profoundly personal experience with sharks, Jean-Marie Ghislain captures the character and beauty of these exceptional creatures, so often maligned or threatened, and urges us to learn to share our oceans with a new sense of respect and even love.
In Spineless, acclaimed photographer Susan Middleton explores the mysterious and surprising world of marine invertebrates, creatures without backbones.
Invertebrates represent more than 98 percent of the known animal species in the ocean and they are the foundation of all life on Earth. They are also astonishingly diverse in their shapes, patterns, textures and colours. Alternately colourful, quirky, spindly, spiky, sticky, stretchy, squishy, squirmy, prickly, bumpy, bubbly and fluttery, the invertebrates appear almost surreal in their abstract forms.
Middleton's book is the result of seven years of painstaking fieldwork across the Pacific Ocean, using photographic techniques that she developed to portray these often-fragile creatures. She also contributes short essays on the place of marine invertebrates in the tree of life; their many forms; and their lives in the ocean. There are also profiles of each species illustrated.
In this astonishing book, legendary wildlife photographer Art Wolfe turns to one of nature's most fundamental survival techniques: the vanishing act. His portraits show animals and insects disappearing into their surroundings, using deceptions, disguises, lures, and decoys to confuse the eyes of both predator and prey. In a world where nothing is as it appears to be, a lion blends into the tall grass in the late-afternoon sun, or a harp seal disappears against his snowy backdrop. Pastel orchids can suddenly morph into predatory praying mantises, while lizard heads become tails. What at first appears to be a torn and decomposing leaf on a forest floor in Peru suddenly sprouts legs and starts walking: it is a leaf-mimic katydid. Spotting each cryptic animal amid Wolfe's clever compositions is both a fun and an informative challenge. At a time when many species are performing permanent vanishing acts due to habitat loss and human encroachment, this book showcases the beauty and evolutionary extremes of animal behavior and artfully illustrates the tenacious will to stay alive in an eat-or-be-eaten world.
This introductory college-level text presents concepts in an intuitive manner, building upon skills developed in previous sections. Topics include the language of mathematics, geometric sets of points, separation and angles, triangles, parallel lines, similarity, polygons and area, circles, and space and coordinate geometry. Includes problem sets, review problems, hints, and outlines. 1974 edition.
Analysis (sometimes called Real Analysis or Advanced Calculus) is a core subject in most undergraduate mathematics degrees. It is elegant, clever and rewarding to learn, but it is hard. Even the best students find it challenging, and those who are unprepared often find it incomprehensible at first. This book aims to ensure that no student need be unprepared. It is not like other Analysis books. It is not a textbook containing standard content. Rather, it is designed to be read before arriving at university and/or before starting an Analysis course, or as a companion text once a course is begun. It provides a friendly and readable introduction to the subject by building on the student's existing understanding of six key topics: sequences, series, continuity, differentiability, integrability and the real numbers. It explains how mathematicians develop and use sophisticated formal versions of these ideas, and provides a detailed introduction to the central definitions, theorems and proofs, pointing out typical areas of difficulty and confusion and explaining how to overcome these. The book also provides study advice focused on the skills that students need if they are to build on this introduction and learn successfully in their own Analysis courses: it explains how to understand definitions, theorems and proofs by relating them to examples and diagrams, how to think productively about proofs, and how theories are taught in lectures and books on advanced mathematics. It also offers practical guidance on strategies for effective study planning. The advice throughout is research based and is presented in an engaging style that will be accessible to students who are new to advanced abstract mathematics.
Southwest Australia is a region increasingly recognised for its high levels of biodiversity and endemism, and is recognized as one of the world's top 25 'biodiversity hotspots' based largely on its highly diverse and endemic flora. Plant Life on the Sandplains in Southwest Australia has been assembled with current research and understanding about the southwestern Australian flora, the greatest richness of which is on the sandplain, especially on the most nutrient-impoverished soils. To be able to conserve threatened species, the animals that depend upon them, and the habitats they live in, we need to understand their functioning in the past and present, to protect them for the future.
You won't know whether to laugh or cry at these spectacularly bad attempts at taxidermy, brought to you courtesy of the hit website crappytaxidermy.com. The site's plethora of bad taxidermy examples - including a squirrel riding a rattlesnake like a cowboy, and various anatomically imaginative renderings of all creatures great and small - have proved hugely popular. Here the very best of the worst stuffed animals are brought together in one full-colour volume; with additional features including a DIY 'Stuff Your Own Mouse' lesson, and an author's introduction to the craze for getting stuffed.