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Posts tagged with "Book"

  • The Evolution of Imagination
    Stephen T. Asma

    Book ,

    A philosopher places creativity in evolutionary context

    The Evolution of Imagination, by philosopher Stephen Asma, is an ambitious and exciting book about creativity, rich with eclectic disciplinary references and enlivened with personal anecdotes. Charting new territory, Asma emphasizes the biological bases of imagination—sensory perception, emotions and affective systems, neurology, biochemistry, brain size and differentiation, and capabilities for… Read More
  • Natural Defense: Enlisting Bugs and Germs to Protect Our Food and Health
    Emily Monosson

    Book

    An environmental toxicologist advocates embracing microbes as partners in human and agricultural health

    For a generation raised on the vision of a synthetically safeguarded future—“Better Things for Better Living… Through Chemistry”—the inheritance of a volatile, ecologically distorted present has been a promise unfulfilled. The 20th century’s aggressive approach to disease control has delivered a collection of unwelcome surprises, from agrochemical toxicity to antimicrobial resistance.… Read More
  • Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating
    Charles Spence

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    A psychologist probes the invisible influences that shape the dining experience

    How often have you returned, in thought, to a sumptuous dinner eaten some time ago? It’s unlikely that you recall the specifics of the dishes you savored with such delight, but you undoubtedly remember how the meal made you feel, and you can probably recall the atmosphere in which it was consumed. This is, in… Read More
  • The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions
    Peter Brannen

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    The Ends of the World

    It’s disconcerting to remember that there are vast eons of geologic history recorded in the rocks just beneath our feet. Peter Brannen begins his surprisingly lyrical investigation of Earth’s mass extinctions on just such a juxtaposition: standing on the Palisades basalt in New Jersey, where a major die-off occurred more than 200 million years ago… Read More
  • Ancient Brews: Rediscovered and Re-Created
    Patrick E. McGovern

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    Ancient Brews

    Over the course of a long career, Patrick McGovern has become an archaeological celebrity of sorts, collaborating with researchers around the world to analyze humanity’s chemical footprints—most famously, those we leave behind in the pursuit of fermentation. In the introduction to Ancient Brews, McGovern describes our search for a good nip as essentially a biological… Read More
  • The Seeds of Life: From Aristotle to da Vinci, from Sharks’ Teeth to Frogs’ Pants, the Long and Strange Quest to Discover Where Babies Come From
    Edward Dolnick

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    The Seeds of Life

    Although the truth about how babies are made continues to be shrouded in innuendo and analogy, the science behind human reproduction is well known. If you rewind the clock a handful of centuries, however, the answer to “Where do babies come from?” was more likely to be guided by mysticism and guesswork than scientific consensus. Read More
  • 4th Rock from the Sun: The Story of Mars
    Nicky Jenner

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    4th Rock from the Sun

    Why should we invest money, time, and resources to go to a barren planet that seems bent on destroying our robotic emissaries? In 4th Rock from the Sun, Nicky Jenner mounts a compelling case for why Mars is worth the effort. Early Greek philosophers noticed that Mars seemed to reverse its direction of motion for… Read More
  • A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution
    Jennifer A. Doudna and Samuel H. Sternberg

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    A Crack in Creation

    Biochemist Jennifer Doudna didn’t set out to make waves when she delved into research on an obscure bacterial immune system in 2007. But then again, she didn’t know that she’d soon be working on a tool with the ability to alter life as we know it. The ripple she ultimately made in the research community… Read More
  • Caesar’s Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us
    Sam Kean

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    Caesar’s Last Breath

    The word “gas” appropriately comes from the Greek word for chaos (khaos): Within these intangible substances are trillions of tiny particles flying around at hundreds of miles an hour, forcefully slamming into each other, and ricocheting away in random directions. Yet, because gases are invisible to the naked eye, it is often easy to forget… Read More
  • Bugged: The Insects Who Rule the World and the People Obsessed with Them
    David MacNeal

    Book

    Bugged

    A journalist by trade, David MacNeal awakened his “inner entophile” after pinning a large lubber grasshopper for the first time. In Bugged, he sets off on a journey to understand insects and the people who study them. Bugged provides summaries of a range of fields, including integrated pest management, forensic entomology, and entomophagy (the practice… Read More
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