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Biodiversity II:
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 560

Biodiversity II:

"The book before you . . . carries the urgent warning that we are rapidly altering and destroying the environments that have fostered the diversity of life forms for more than a billion years." With those words, Edward O. Wilson opened the landmark volume Biodiversity (National Academy Press, 1988). Despite this and other such alarms, species continue to vanish at a rapid rate, taking with them their genetic legacy and potential benefits. Many disappear before they can even be identified. Biodiversity II is a renewed call for urgency. This volume updates readers on how much we already know and how much remains to be identified scientifically. It explores new strategies for quantifying, under...

Cooperating with Nature
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 366

Cooperating with Nature

This volume focuses on the breakdown in sustainability--the capacity of the planet to provide quality of life now and in the future--that is signaled by disaster. The authors bring to light why land use and sustainability have been ignored in devising public policies to deal with natural hazards. They lay out a vision of sustainability, concrete suggestions for policy reform, and procedures for planning. The book chronicles the long evolution of land-use planning and identifies key components of sustainable planning for hazards. Stressing the importance of balance in land use, the authors offer principles and specific reforms for achieving their visions of sustainability.

Empire of Light:
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 248

Empire of Light:

In Empire of Light, Sidney Perkowitz combines the expertise of a physicist with the vision of an art connoisseur and the skill of an accomplished writer to offer a unique view of the most fundamental feature of the universe: light. Empire of Light discusses the nature of light, how the eye sees, and how our understanding of these phenomena have emerged over the ages, including the role of light in the development of quantum physics. The author examines the making of electrical light and its integration into commerce, telecommunications, entertainment, medicine, warfare, and every other aspect of our daily lives. And he presents the role of light in the search for the beginning and the end of...

Biotechnology Unzipped
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 241

Biotechnology Unzipped

"Biotechnology" may raise more hope and fear...revelation and confusion...excitement and alarm than any other term in today's headlines. In Biotechnology Unzipped, scientist and skilled science popularizer Eric Grace helps readers understand what biotechnology is and what implications it holds for all of us. Grace offers a reader-friendly explanation of how we came to where we are--from the coining of the word "cell" in 1665 through Darwin's breakthrough insight on evolution and the unraveling of the DNA helix to the 1997 announcement of the cloning of Dolly the sheep. This book uses everyday metaphors to help readers understand the genetic code and how it works to produce every form of life...

Prime Obsession
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 446

Prime Obsession

In August 1859 Bernhard Riemann, a little-known 32-year old mathematician, presented a paper to the Berlin Academy titled: "On the Number of Prime Numbers Less Than a Given Quantity." In the middle of that paper, Riemann made an incidental remark â€" a guess, a hypothesis. What he tossed out to the assembled mathematicians that day has proven to be almost cruelly compelling to countless scholars in the ensuing years. Today, after 150 years of careful research and exhaustive study, the question remains. Is the hypothesis true or false? Riemann's basic inquiry, the primary topic of his paper, concerned a straightforward but nevertheless important matter of arithmetic â€" defining a preci...

The Common Thread
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 304

The Common Thread

  • Type: Book
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  • Published: 2010-12-15
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  • Publisher: Random House

John Sulston was director of the Sanger Centre in Cambridge from 1993 to 2000. There he led the British arm of the international team selected to map the entire human DNA sequence, a feat that was pulled off in record time by an extraordinary collaboration of scientists. Despite innumerable setbacks and challenges from outside competitors the ultimate success of the project can be attributed in large part to John Sulston's own determination, passion and scientific excellence. In this personal account he takes us behind the scenes of one of the largest international scientific operations ever undertaken. He is frank about the competition with Craig Venter and Celera Genomics, which threatened...

Carving Our Destiny
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 343

Carving Our Destiny

This is a book for people who love and understand science and want to know more about contemporary research frontiers. The questions addressed are as fascinating as they are diverse: Is the human mind truly unique among the primates? Does "dark matter" really exist in the universe? What can the human genome tell us about our evolutionary history? These wide-ranging topics are brought together by virtue of their impact on our understanding of ourselves--and by the caliber of the authors: ten young scientists and scholars, reaching the height of their powers, who are especially talented in communicating their research findings to broad audiences. They were chosen to receive the prestigious Centennial Fellowships awarded in 1998 by the McDonnell Foundation, established and funded by the late aerospace pioneer James S. McDonnell.

The Man Who Would Be Queen
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 219

The Man Who Would Be Queen

Gay. Straight. Or lying. It’s as simple and straightforward as black or white, right? Or is there a gray area, where the definitions of sex and gender become blurred or entirely refocused with the deft and practiced use of a surgeon’s knife? For some, the concept of gender – the very idea we have of ourselves as either male or female beings – is neither simple nor straightforward. Written by cutting-edge researcher and sex expert J. Michael Bailey, The Man Who Would Be Queen is a frankly controversial, intensely poignant, and boldly forthright book about sex and gender. Based on his original research, Bailey’s book is grounded firmly in science. But as he demonstrates, science doesn’t ...

The Depths of Space
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 266

The Depths of Space

The first spacecraft to explore the secrets of the Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, and the void beyond Pluto, the Pioneer space probes have been the trailblazers of the space age, truly going where no man has gone before. Emblazoned with the nude figures of a man and a woman, etched representations of our human form, the Pioneer generation of probes were aptly named. Launched into the inky depths of space, they were more than mere machines, they were humanity's first emissaries into deep space. And the pictorial inscriptions that adorned the crafts embodied the hopes and dreams of everyone involved in the Pioneer program. They were our humble attempt to communicate with the extraterrestrial intelligen...

Disasters by Design
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 336

Disasters by Design

Disasters by Design provides an alternative and sustainable way to view, study, and manage hazards in the United States that would result in disaster-resilient communities, higher environmental quality, inter- and intragenerational equity, economic sustainability, and improved quality of life. This volume provides an overview of what is known about natural hazards, disasters, recovery, and mitigation, how research findings have been translated into policies and programs; and a sustainable hazard mitigation research agenda. Also provided is an examination of past disaster losses and hazards management over the past 20 years, including factors--demographic, climate, social--that influence loss. This volume summarizes and sets the stage for the more detailed books in the series.