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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.
1,001 Celestial Wonders is a guide to the night sky's brightest and most fascinating objects. Each target is accessible to amateur astronomers using medium-sized telescopes from a dark site. In fact, many are so bright they remain visible under moderate light pollution, as from the outskirts of a city or the suburbs of a town. The book provides a chronological target list, making it easy to use. No matter what night you choose, this book will show you many of the most memorable objects to observe, whether you are using a small telescope or even binoculars, or an instrument of larger aperture. This is far more than just a list of interesting objects. It is structured so that objects of various observing difficulty are included, which will help readers become better observers, both encouraging beginners and challenging long-time amateur astronomers. This book is designed to be easy-to-use at the telescope, and observers will appreciate each object's standardized layout and the book's chronological organization. Finally, many amateur astronomers function best when presented with a list! Even the Meade Autostar® controller features a 'best tonight' list (although the list is far less comprehensive and detailed than the catalog provided in this book), a feature that has proved extremely popular. 1,001 Celestial Wonders offers a life-list of objects any observer would be proud to complete.
1,411 Quite Interesting Facts to Knock You Sideways is a gold mine of wide-ranging, eye-opening, brain-bursting nuggets of trivia that's impossible to put down, another "treasure trove of factoids" (National Public Radio, Weekend Edition). Did you know?Orchids can get jet lagLizards can't walk and breathe at the same timeFrank Sinatra took a shower 12 times a dayLadybug orgasms last for 30 minutesThere are 177,147 ways to tie a tieTraffic lights existed before carsThe soil in your garden is 2 million years old
Resistance to malaria. Blue eyes. Lactose tolerance. What do all of these traits have in common? Every one of them has emerged in the last 10,000 years. Scientists have long believed that the "great leap forward" that occurred some 40,000 to 50,000 years ago in Europe marked end of significant biological evolution in humans. In this stunningly original account of our evolutionary history, top scholars Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending reject this conventional wisdom and reveal that the human species has undergone a storm of genetic change much more recently. Human evolution in fact accelerated after civilization arose, they contend, and these ongoing changes have played a pivotal role in human history. They argue that biology explains the expansion of the Indo-Europeans, the European conquest of the Americas, and European Jews' rise to intellectual prominence. In each of these cases, the key was recent genetic change: adult milk tolerance in the early Indo-Europeans that allowed for a new way of life, increased disease resistance among the Europeans settling America, and new versions of neurological genes among European Jews. Ranging across subjects as diverse as human domestication, Neanderthal hybridization, and IQ tests, Cochran and Harpending's analysis demonstrates convincingly that human genetics have changed and can continue to change much more rapidly than scientists have previously believed. A provocative and fascinating new look at human evolution that turns conventional wisdom on its head, The 10,000 Year Explosion reveals the ongoing interplay between culture and biology in the making of the human race.
Two leading researchers make the controversial argument that our species is still measurably evolving in important ways?in fact, faster than ever before.
You're about to be an eyewitness to the top ten days in Ben Franklin's life, including: A cunning escape from a cruel brother. A shrewd plan to save the colonies. A treacherous spy game in Paris. A shocking battle with a vengeful aristocrat. And a last-minute triumph that bound American together. These days and five others shook Franklin's world- and yours.
You are just 10% human. For every one of the cells that make up the vessel that you call your body, there are nine impostor cells hitching a ride. You are not just flesh and blood, muscle and bone, brain and skin, but also bacteria and fungi. Over your lifetime, you will carry the equivalent weight of five African elephants in microbes. You are not an individual but a colony.Until recently, we had thought our microbes hardly mattered, but science is revealing a different story, one in which microbes run our bodies and becoming a healthy human is impossible without them.In this riveting, shocking, and beautifully written book, biologist Alanna Collen draws on the latest scientific research to show how our personal colony of microbes influences our weight, our immune system, our mental health, and even our choice of partner. She argues that so many of our modern diseases--obesity, autism, mental illness, digestive disorders, allergies, autoimmunity afflictions, and even cancer--have their root in our failure to cherish our most fundamental and enduring relationship: that with our personal colony of microbes.Many of the questions about modern diseases left unanswered by the Human Genome Project are illuminated by this new science. And the good news is that unlike our human cells, we can change our microbes for the better. Collen's book is a revelatory and indispensable guide. It is science writing at its most relevant: life--and your body--will never seem the same again.
Any amateur astronomer who is interested in astrophotography, particularly if just getting started, needs to know what objects are best for imaging in each month of the year. These are not necessarily the same objects that are the most spectacular or intriguing visually. The camera reveals different things and has different requirements. What objects in the sky tonight are large enough, bright enough, and high enough to be photographed? This book reveals, for each month of the year, the choicest celestial treasures within the reach of a commercial CCD camera. Helpful hints and advice on framing, exposures, and filters are included. Each deep sky object is explained in beautiful detail, so that observers will gain a richer understanding of these astronomical objects. This is not a book that dwells on the technology of CCD, Webcam, wet, or other types of astrophotography. Neither is it a book about in-depth computer processing of the images (although this topic is included). Detailed discussions of these topics can be found in other publications. This book focuses on what northern latitude objects to image at any given time of the year to get the most spectacular results.
Humanity is on the cusp of an exciting longevity revolution. The first person to live to 150 years has probably already been born. aWhat will your life look like when you live to be over 100? Will you be healthy? Will your marriage need a sunset clause? How long will you have to work? Will you finish one career at sixty-five only to go back to school to learn a new one? And then, will you be happily working for another sixty years? Maybe youOCOll be a parent to a newborn and a grandparent at the same time. Will the world become overpopulated? And how will living longer affect your finances, your family life, and your views on religion and the afterlife?aIn "100 Plus," futurist Sonia Arrison takes us on an eye-opening journey to the future at our doorsteps, where science and technology are beginning to radically change life as we know it. She introduces us to the people transforming our lives: the brilliant scientists and genius inventors and the billionaires who fund their work. The astonishing advances to extend our livesOCoand good healthOCoare almost here. In the very near future fresh organs for transplants will be grown in laboratories, cloned stem cells will bring previously unstoppable diseases to their knees, and living past 100 will be the rule, not the exception. aSonia Arrison brings over a decade of experience researching and writing about cutting-edge advances in science and technology to "100 Plus," painting a vivid picture of a future that only recently seemed like science fiction, but now is very real. "100 Plus" is the first book to give readers a comprehensive understanding of how life-extending discoveries will change our social and economic worlds. This illuminating and indispensable text will help us navigate the thrilling journey of life beyond 100 years. "
An obsessive scientist and his eclectic team of researchers race to discover one of the hidden treasures of neuroscience---the physical makeup of memory---and in the process pursue a pharmaceutical wonder drug.
In 1943, J. Robert Oppenheimer, the brilliant, charismatic head of the Manhattan Project, recruited scientists to live as virtual prisoners of the U.S. government at Los Alamos, a barren mesa thirty-five miles outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. Thousands of men, women, and children spent the war years sequestered in this top-secret military facility. They lied to friends and family about where they were going and what they were doing, and then disappeared into the desert. Through the eyes of a young Santa Fe widow who was one of Oppenheimer's first recruits, we see how, for all his flaws, he developed into an inspiring leader and motivated all those involved in the Los Alamos project to make a supreme effort and achieve the unthinkable.
"This is a most joyful and clever whimsy, the kind that lightens the heart and puts a shine on the day," raved Kirkus Reviews in a starred review.Is it possible to eat snowballs doused in ketchup--and nothing else--all winter? Can a washing machine wash dishes? By reading the step-by-step instructions, kids can discover the answers to such all-important questions along with the book's curious narrator. Here are 12 "hypotheses," as well as lists of "what you need," "what to do," and "what happened" that are sure to make young readers laugh out loud as they learn how to conduct science experiments (really!). Jenny Offill and Nancy Carpenter--the ingenious pair that brought you 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore--have outdone themselves in this brilliant and outrageously funny book.From the Hardcover edition.
The twentieth century gave us two great theories of physics. The general theory of relativity describes the behavior of very large things, and quantum theory the behavior of very small things. In this landmark book, John Gribbin--one of the best-known science writers of the past thirty years--presents his own version of the Holy Grail of physics, the search that has been going on for decades to find a unified "Theory of Everything" that combines these ideas into one mathematical package, a single equation that could be printed on a T-shirt, containing the answer to life, the Universe, and everything. With his inimitable mixture of science, history, and biography, Gribbin shows how--despite skepticism among many physicists--these two great theories are very compatible, and point to a deep truth about the nature of our existence. The answer lies, intriguingly, with the age of the universe: 13.8 billion years.
First, Pluto left. Then it came back, along with Ceres and Eris. . . and now Haumea and MakeMake, too! The recent actions of the International Astronomical Union have put every solar system book out of date. In response, National Geographic joins forces with David Aguilar of the Harvard Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory to revise our 2008 book--and to update young readers on the high-interest topic of space. Using simple text and spectacular photorealistic computer art by the author, this book profiles all 13 planets in their newly created categories--plus the sun, the Oort Cloud, comets, and other worlds being discovered. Back-of-the-book activities offer hands-on fun for budding astronomers.
Journalist Brooks reviews the 13 anomalies scientists love most, reaching into the secrets of physics, biology and psychology. He examines why the Pioneer space project goes on, why the universe is unstable, why cold fusion works, whether living beings are more than just bags of chemicals with options, why Mars may or may not have life (depending on the day and the scientist), whether the aliens have landed, how a giant virus started it all, why free will is a farce, who deceives whom in the placebo effect, and why alternative medicine works when it makes no sense to the scientific mind, which, of course, finds more fun with the odd than the proven. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
"The history is fascinating, as are the insights into the personalities of these great thinkers."--New Scientist Is there a number at the root of the universe? A primal number that everything in the world hinges on? This question exercised many great minds of the twentieth century, among them the groundbreaking physicist Wolfgang Pauli and the famous psychoanalyst Carl Jung. Their obsession with the power of certain numbers--including 137, which describes the atom's fine-structure constant and has great Kabbalistic significance--led them to develop an unlikely friendship and to embark on a joint mystical quest reaching deep into medieval alchemy, dream interpretation, and the Chinese Book of Changes. 137 explores the profound intersection of modern science with the occult, but above all it is the tale of an extraordinary, fruitful friendship between two of the greatest thinkers of our times. Originally published in hardcover as Deciphering the Cosmic Number.
"Facts, experiments, tricks based on scientific principles, and things to make comprise the text of this book. The material is divided into four sections--water, air, movement, and light. The language used is clear, concise, and interesting. Every experiment, trick, and object to make is not only explained clearly but illustrated as well, making the book especially useful for the visual learner. There is so much here to intrigue readers! This will surely bring young readers into the interesting world of science." --(starred)Science Books & Films.
20th Century Science and Technology is a decade-by-decade account of scientists and their breakthroughs, inventors and their inventions that have shaped the modern world.
A step-by-step tour through the complete process of doing proteomics. With easy-to-follow instructions, complete with many helpful hints and explanations, leading investigators and pioneers in the field show how to make protein extracts, reproducibly run them on 2-D gels, detect them, analyze the data, and precisely identify each protein. The book covers the latest methods of using carrier ampholytes in the 1st dimension, casting and running immobilized pH gradient 2-D gels, MALDI-TOF-based peptide mapping, automated tandem mass spectrometry, and nanoelectrospray ionization technology. For the 2nd dimension, there are methods for running flatbed or vertical gels and for protein detection using autoradiography, and Coomassie, silver, and reversible metal-chelate stains. 2-D Proteome Analysis Protocols is the most complete guide for using proteomics to answer biological questions.
Like its predecessor, 200 Puzzling Physics Problems, this book is aimed at strengthening students' grasp of the laws of physics by applying them to situations that are practical, and to problems that yield more easily to intuitive insight than to brute-force methods and complex mathematics. The problems are chosen almost exclusively from classical, non-quantum physics, but are no easier for that. They are intriguingly posed in accessible non-technical language, and require readers to select an appropriate analysis framework and decide which branches of physics are involved. The general level of sophistication needed is that of the exceptional school student, the good undergraduate, or the competent graduate student; some physics professors may find some of the more difficult questions challenging. By contrast, the mathematical demands are relatively minimal, and seldom go beyond elementary calculus. This further book of physics problems is not only instructive and challenging, but also enjoyable.
This book will strengthen a student's grasp of the laws of physics by applying them to practical situations, and problems that yield more easily to intuitive insight than brute-force methods and complex mathematics. These intriguing problems, chosen almost exclusively from classical (non-quantum) physics, are posed in accessible non-technical language requiring the student to select the right framework in which to analyse the situation and decide which branches of physics are involved. The level of sophistication needed to tackle most of the two hundred problems is that of the exceptional school student, the good undergraduate, or competent graduate student. The book will be valuable to undergraduates preparing for 'general physics' papers. It is hoped that even some physics professors will find the more difficult questions challenging. By contrast, mathematical demands are minimal, and do not go beyond elementary calculus. This intriguing book of physics problems should prove instructive, challenging and fun.
In 2005, the National Academies released the report Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research, which offered a common set of ethical standards for a field that, due to the absence of comprehensive federal funding, was lacking national standards for research. In order to keep the Guidelines up to date, given the rapid pace of scientific developments in the field of stem cell research, the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee was established in 2006 with support from The Ellison Medical Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. This letter report is the committee's first set of amendments to the Guidelines and clarifies earlier recommendations and conclusions, including the criteria for determining which stem cell lines it is acceptable to use. Future deliberations of the committee will address items for which additional information gathering and more extensive debate and discussion will be necessary.
The income that supports the activities of the Academy comes from two major sources: program revenue received from sponsors to pay for the myriad studies and other activities undertaken each year by the National Research Council (NRC), and a much smaller sum that we obtain from our own endowment under the endowment spending policies adopted by the Council. Regarding the first of these, the 2012 results are not as strong as the 2011 results. Our total program revenue for 2012 ($298 million) experienced a decline of approximately 8% below 2011 revenue. This decline was anticipated based on the ongoing federal budget constraints and we anticipate for 2013 a continuation of this moderate downward trend.<P><P> To partially compensate for the downward trend in the NRC program level, the federal government announced toward the end of 2012, two settlements concerning the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, one with BP Exploration and Production, Inc. and one with Transocean Deepwater, Inc. As part of these legal settlements, the NAS has been asked to establish a new $500 million, 30-year program on human health and environmental protection in the Gulf of Mexico. The NAS program will be for studies conducted based on scientific merit and integrity with emphasis on freedom of inquiry and independent, nonpartisan advice and recommendations. Among its activities, the program will fund projects in the public interest and not otherwise supported by private industry or government agencies. Building on existing Academy work and remaining mindful of the tragic loss of life and other human and environmental consequences of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the NAS is starting a careful plan to guide the work of this long term program.<P> With respect to the second source of revenue, it has for many years been the formal policy of the Council to limit annual endowment spending to 5% of the average value of endowment for the twelve quarters ending in June of the previous year. When the endowment declined significantly in 2008, the Council made the prudent decision to hold spending to only 4% and to avoid spending whenever possible from endowments with value below the original gift amount, starting in 2009. This 4% draw produced $14.3 million of funding in 2009. These practices will continue for endowment spending in 2013. The return on the endowment in 2012 was positive at approximately 10.2% and roughly in line with the major stock indices.
This book contains the proceedings of the Institute of Medicine's 25th Anniversary Symposium. Its chapters comprise presentations by eminent health care professionals and policymakers concerning the challenges and opportunities that likely lie ahead for the United States--and internationally--over the next 25 years. These presentations cover such topics as world population and demography; global health; information and communications; risk, responsibility, and the evolution of health care payments; the role of institutions in health; and the health work force.
Fungi have their own unique cell biology and life cycle, but also play critical roles in wider biological systems. This textbook provides an all-round view of fungal biology, ranging in scope from the evolutionary origins of fungi and other eukaryotes more than a billion years ago, to the impact fungi have on our everyday lives. Bringing mycology teaching right up to date, this unique systems biology approach emphasises the interactions between fungi and other organisms to illustrate the critical roles that fungi play in every ecosystem and food web. With more than 60 colour figures, examples of computational modelling and resource boxes directing students to areas of interest online, this uniquely modern textbook gives students an appreciation of fungi both at the organism level and in the context of wider biology. A companion CD features a hyperlinked version of the book and the fully integrated World of Cyberfungi website.