The heart. A simple pump. The one constant that defines human life. Tom Boyand’s heart has stopped – he lies dead on a table. His colleagues wait to bring him back. A devoted family man and respected cardiologist, Tom is obsessed with the near-death experiences of his patients. An obsession that’s led him to this point. But something goes wrong. He’s gone for too long and sees too much of the other side. And now the other side wants him back.
Most of us remember the basics from science classes about how Earth came to be the only known planet that sustains complex life. But what most people don’t know is that the more thoroughly researchers investigate the history of our planet, the more astonishing the story of our existence becomes. The number and complexity of the astronomical, geological, chemical, and biological features recognized as essential to human existence have expanded explosively within the past decade. An understanding of what is required to make possible a large human population and advanced civilizations has raised profound questions about life, our purpose, and our destiny. Are we really just the result of innumerable coincidences? Or is there a more reasonable explanation?
Endangered Edens: Exploring the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica, the Everglades ,and Puerto Rico
Six-time award-winning author Marty Essen merges the genres of wildlife photography, adventure travelogues, and environmental education into one unforgettable book. Through entertaining stories and 180 stunning color photographs, readers will experience nature’s Endangered Edens in a way few others have—all while laughing and learning along the way.
Follow a team of researchers as they explore the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where millions of pieces of plastic have collected. You’ll learn about how scientists studied the Garbage Patch—and what alarming discoveries they made.
- : Patricia Newman
- : Lerner Publishing Group
- : 04/01/2014
- : 1-4677-1283-5
In its 4.5 billion–year history, life on Earth has been almost erased at least half a dozen times: shattered by asteroid impacts, entombed in ice, smothered by methane, and torn apart by unfathomably powerful megavolcanoes. And we know that another global disaster is eventually headed our way. Can we survive it? How?
As a species, Homo sapiens is at a crossroads. Study of our planet’s turbulent past suggests that we are overdue for a catastrophic disaster, whether caused by nature or by human interference.
It’s a frightening prospect, as each of the Earth’s past major disasters—from meteor strikes to bombardment by cosmic radiation—resulted in a mass extinction, where more than 75 percent of the planet’s species died out. But in Scatter, Adapt, and Remember, Annalee Newitz, science journalist and editor of the science Web site io9.com explains that although global disaster is all but inevitable, our chances of long-term species survival are better than ever. Life on Earth has come close to annihilation—humans have, more than once, narrowly avoided extinction just
during the last million years—but every single time a few creatures survived, evolving to adapt to the harshest of conditions.
This brilliantly speculative work of popular science focuses on humanity’s long history of dodging the bullet, as well as on new threats that we may face in years to come. Most important, it explores how scientific breakthroughs today will help us avoid disasters tomorrow. From simulating tsunamis to studying central Turkey’s ancient underground cities; from cultivating cyanobacteria for “living cities” to designing space elevators to make space colonies cost-effective; from using math to stop pandemics to studying the remarkable survival strategies of gray whales, scientists and researchers the world over are discovering the keys to long-term resilience and learning how humans can choose life over death.
Newitz’s remarkable and fascinating journey through the science of mass extinctions is a powerful argument about human ingenuity and our ability to change. In a world populated by doomsday preppers and media commentators obsessively forecasting our demise, Scatter, Adapt, and Remember is a compelling voice of hope. It leads us away from apocalyptic thinking into a future where we live to build a better world—on this planet and perhaps on others.
- : Annalee Newitz
- : Doubleday/Anchor
- : 04/08/2014
- : 0307949427
A science book like no other, The Where, the Why, and the How turns loose 75 of today’s hottest artists onto life’s vast questions, from how we got here to where we are going. Inside these pages some of the biggest (and smallest) mysteries of the natural world are explained in essays by real working scientists, which are then illustrated by artists given free rein to be as literal or as imaginative as they like. The result is a celebration of the wonder that inspires every new discovery. Featuring work by such contemporary luminaries as Lisa Congdon, Jen Corace, Neil Farber, Susie Ghahremani, Jeremyville, and many more, this is a work of scientific and artistic exploration to pique the interest of both the intellectually and imaginatively curious.
- : Matt Lamothe, Julia Rothman, Jenny Volvovski, and David Macaulay
- : Chronicle Books
- : September 26, 2012
- : 1452108226
- : 978-1452108223
- : B009F3GAC0
Give in to the lure of the vampire. Using modern forensics, archaeology, and anthropology, the new National Geographics book Vampire Forensics probes vampire legend and digs up historical truths embodied in the gruesome tales that have entertained and haunted us for generations.
Are we nothing but stardust leftover from the Big Bang? Genes competing for survival in a world without morals or purpose? The Heaven at the End of Science offers a new vision of world that joins the logical rigor of science with the hopes and dreams of religion. The world will not die in a fiery heat death; to the contrary, we are slowly rising to the realization that together we dream the world and thus have the power, with united effort, of creating a real heaven on Earth.
In 2000, President Bill Clinton signaled the completion of the Human Genome Project at a cost in excess of $2 billion. A decade later, the price for any of us to order our own personal genome sequence—a comprehensive map of the 3 billion letters in our DNA—is rapidly and inevitably dropping to just $1,000. Dozens of men and women—scientists, entrepreneurs, celebrities, and patients—have already been sequenced, pioneers in a bold new era of personalized genomic medicine. The $1,000 genome has long been considered the tipping point that would open the floodgates to this revolution. Do you have gene variants associated with Alzheimer’s or diabetes, heart disease or cancer? Which drugs should you consider taking for various diseases, and at what dosage? In the years to come, doctors will likely be able to tackle all of these questions—and many more—by using a computer in their offices to call up your unique genome sequence, which will become as much a part of your medical record as your blood pressure. Indeed, many experts are advocating that all newborns have a complete genome analysis done so that preventive measures and preemptive medicine can begin early in life. How has this astonishing achievement been accomplished? And what will it mean for our lives? To research the story of this unfolding revolution, critically acclaimed science writer Kevin Davies has spent the past few years traveling to the leading centers and interviewing the entrepreneurs and pioneers in the race to achieve the $1,000 genome. He vividly brings to life the extraordinary drama of this grand scientific achievement, revealing the masterful ingenuity that has transformed the process of decoding DNA and delivering the information it possesses to the public at large. Davies also profiles the future of genomic medicine and thoughtfully explores the many pressing issues raised by the tidal wave of personal genetic information. Will your privacy be protected? Will you be pressured, by insurance companies or by your employer, to get your genome sequenced? What psychological toll might there be to discovering you are at risk for certain diseases like Alzheimer’s? And will the government or the medical establishment come between you and your genome?
One thing that is not in question is that we are moving swiftly into the personalized medicine era, and The $1,000 Genome is an essential guide to this brave new future.
The first in-depth look at personal genomics: its larger-than-life research subjects; its entrepreneurs and do-it-yourselfers; its technology developers; the bewildered and overwhelmed physicians and regulators who must negotiate it; and what it means to be a “public genome” in a world where privacy is already under siege
In 2007, Misha Angrist became the fourth subject in the Personal Genome Project, George Church’s ambitious plan to sequence the entire genomic catalog: every participant’s twenty thousand–plus genes and the rest of his or her 6 billion base pairs. Church hopes to better understand how genes influence our physical traits, from height and athletic ability to behavior and weight, and our medical conditions, from cancer and diabetes to obesity and male pattern baldness. Now Angrist reveals startling information about the experiment’s participants and scientists; how the experiment was, is, and will be conducted; the discoveries and potential discoveries; and the profound implications of having an unfiltered view of our hardwired selves for us and for our children.
DNA technology has already changed our health care, the food we eat, and our criminal justice system. Unlocking the secrets of our genomes opens the door not only to helping us understand why we are the way we are and potentially fixing what ails us but also to many other concerns: What exactly will happen to this information? Will it become just another marketing tool? Can it help us understand our ancestry, or will it merely reinforce old ideas of race? Can personal genomics help fix the U.S. health care system?
Here Is a Human Being explores these complicated questions while documenting Angrist’s own fascinating journey—one that tens of thousands of us will soon make.
“America’s funniest science writer” (Washington Post) returns to explore the irresistibly strange universe of life without gravity in this New York Times bestseller.
Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can’t walk for a year? have sex? smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour? To answer these questions, space agencies set up all manner of quizzical and startlingly bizarre space simulations. As Mary Roach discovers, it’s possible to preview space without ever leaving Earth. From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA’s new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), Roach takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.