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Advances made by physicists in understanding matter, space, and time and by astronomers in understanding the universe as a whole have closely intertwined the question being asked about the universe at its two extremes--the very large and the very small. This report identifies 11 key questions that have a good chance to be answered in the next decade. It urges that a new research strategy be created that brings to bear the techniques of both astronomy and sub-atomic physics in a cross-disciplinary way to address these questions. The report presents seven recommendations to facilitate the necessary research and development coordination. These recommendations identify key priorities for future scientific projects critical for realizing these scientific opportunities.
The need for improved water resource protection, beginning with grassroots action, is urgent. The water we use depends on networks of wetlands, streams, and watersheds. Land-use activities, however, are changing these natural systems. Often these changes result in ecological damage, flooding, water pollution, and reduced water supply. We need a healthy environment that sustains our personal and community health; we also need vibrant and sustainable economic development that does not destroy the benefits we derive from nature. Our ability to accomplish both depends on how well we can "connect the drops."In this book, Karen Schneller-McDonald presents the basics of water resource protection: ecology and watershed science; techniques for evaluating environmental impacts; obstacles to protection and how to overcome them; and tips for protection strategies that maximize chances for success. Schneller-McDonald makes clear the important connections among natural cycles, watersheds, and ecosystems; the benefits they provide; and how specific development activities affect water quality and supply.The methods described in Connecting the Drops have broad application in diverse geographic locations. The environmental details may differ, but the methods are the same. For water resource managers and concerned citizens alike, Connecting the Drops helps readers interpret scientific information and contextualize news media reports and industry ads--ultimately offering "how to" guidance for developing resource protection strategies.
How did the popularity of underwear in the twelfth century lead to the invention of the printing press? How did the waterwheel evolve into the computer? How did the arrival of the cannon lead eventually to the development of movies? In this highly acclaimed and bestselling book, James Burke brilliantly examines the ideas, inventions, and coincidences that have culminated in the major technological advances of today. With dazzling insight, he untangles the pattern of interconnecting events: the accidents of time, circumstance, and place that gave rise to the major inventions of the world. Says Burke, "My purpose is to acquaint the reader with some of the forces that have caused change in the past, looking in particular at eight innovations -- the computer, the production line, telecommunications, the airplane, the atomic bomb, plastics, the guided rocket, and television -- which may be most influential in structuring our own futures....Each one of these is part of a family of similar devices, and is the result of a sequence of closely connected events extending from the ancient world until the present day. Each has enormous potential for humankind's benefit -- or destruction." Based on a popular TV documentary series, Connections is a fascinating scientific detective story of the inventions that changed history -- and the surprising links that connect them.
We know that each of us is unique, but science has struggled to pinpoint where, precisely, our uniqueness resides. Is it in our genes? The structure of our brains? Our genome may determine our eye color and even aspects of our personality. But our friendships, failures, and passions also shape who we are. The question is: how? Sebastian Seung, a dynamic professor at MIT, is on a quest to discover the biological basis of identity. He believes it lies in the pattern of connections between the brain's neurons, which change slowly over time as we learn and grow. The connectome, as it's called, is where our genetic inheritance intersects with our life experience. It's where nature meets nurture. Seung introduces us to the dedicated researchers who are mapping the brain's connections, neuron by neuron, synapse by synapse. It is a monumental undertaking--the scientific equivalent of climbing Mount Everest--but if they succeed, it could reveal the basis of personality, intelligence, memory, and perhaps even mental disorders. Many scientists speculate that people with anorexia, autism, and schizophrenia are "wired differently," but nobody knows for sure. The brain's wiring has never been clearly seen. In sparklingly clear prose, Seung reveals the amazing technological advances that will soon help us map connectomes. He also examines the evidence that these maps will someday allow humans to "upload" their minds into computers, achieving a kind of immortality. Connectome is a mind-bending adventure story, told with great passion and authority. It presents a daring scientific and technological vision for at last understanding what makes us who we are. Welcome to the future of neuroscience.
Leading investigators describe in detail their best techniques to study the cellular and molecular biology of connexins, as well as physiological properties. These forefront methods are specifically designed to investigate the life of connexins from biosynthesis to assembly into gap junction channels, and also include powerful assays to perform functional studies on these routes of cell-cell communication. Also discussed are the many specific theoretical aspects of connexin biology and physiology. Cutting-edge and highly practical, Connexin Methods and Protocols offers laboratory researchers a comprehensive collection of proven methods for studying the role of connexins in intercellular communication and human genetic disorders, as well as finding promising new therapeutics for those disorders.
Connexins: A Guide is a practical and valuable reference and text covering a wide scope of information about the connexin family of membrane channel proteins. The editors and contributing authors intend for this cutting-edge work to be informative to scientists wishing to learn about the field, as well as to those who are active researchers in this area. Connexins: A Guide masterfully addresses specific needs of the scientific community; it is a comprehensive and comprehensible narrative of the uncommonly diverse connexin field, making previously hard-to-find information easily accessible, while also presenting intelligible insights into the extensive experimental methods and conceptual frameworks necessary to appreciate and understand the important roles that connexin channel proteins play in health and disease.
In a series of feisty and ultimately hopeful essays, one of America's sharpest social critics casts a shrewd eye over contemporary culture to reveal the worst -- and the best -- of our habits of discourse, tendencies in education, and obsessions with technological novelty. Readers will find themselves rethinking many of their bedrock assumptions: Should education transmit culture or defend us against it? Is technological innovation progress or a peculiarly American addiction? When everyone watches the same television programs -- and television producers don't discriminate between the audiences for Sesame Street and Dynasty -- is childhood anything more than a sentimental concept? Writing in the traditions of Orwell and H.L. Mencken, Neil Postman sends shock waves of wit and critical intelligence through the cultural wasteland.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Radin argues that the reality of psychic phenomena has been scientifically demonstrated, examines the reasons why this has not been accepted by the mainstream, and discusses the implications of psi.
In recent decades, issues that reside at the center of philosophical and psychological inquiry have been absorbed into a scientific framework variously identified as "brain science," "cognitive science," and "cognitive neuroscience." Scholars have heralded this development as revolutionary, but a revolution implies an existing method has been overturned in favor of something new. What long-held theories have been abandoned or significantly modified in light of cognitive neuroscience? Consciousness and Mental Life questions our present approach to the study of consciousness and the way modern discoveries either mirror or contradict understandings reached in the centuries leading up to our own. Daniel N. Robinson does not wage an attack on the emerging discipline of cognitive science. Rather, he provides the necessary historical context to properly evaluate the relationship between issues of consciousness and neuroscience and their evolution over time. Robinson begins with Aristotle and the ancient Greeks and continues through to René Descartes, David Hume, William James, Daniel Dennett, John Searle, Richard Rorty, Hilary Putnam, and Derek Parfit. Approaching the issue from both a philosophical and a psychological perspective, Robinson identifies what makes the study of consciousness so problematic and asks whether cognitive neuroscience can truly reveal the origins of mental events, emotions, and preference, or if these occurrences are better understood by studying the whole person, not just the brain. Well-reasoned and thoroughly argued, Consciousness and Mental Life corrects many claims made about the success of brain science and provides a valuable historical context for the study of human consciousness.
A breathtaking look at the new science that can track consciousness deep in the brain How does our brain generate a conscious thought? And why does so much of our knowledge remain unconscious? Thanks to clever psychological and brain-imaging experiments, scientists are closer to cracking this mystery than ever before. In this lively book, Stanislas Dehaene describes the pioneering work his lab and the labs of other cognitive neuroscientists worldwide have accomplished in defining, testing, and explaining the brain events behind a conscious state. We can now pin down the neurons that fire when a person reports becoming aware of a piece of information and understand the crucial role unconscious computations play in how we make decisions. The emerging theory enables a test of consciousness in animals, babies, and those with severe brain injuries. A joyous exploration of the mind and its thrilling complexities, Consciousness and the Brain will excite anyone interested in cutting-edge science and technology and the vast philosophical, personal, and ethical implications of finally quantifying consciousness.
Hypnosis, amnesia, and immobility are three major therapeutic endpoints of general anesthesia. In one to two cases out of a thousand, hypnosis and amnesia are not achieved - often leaving a patient immobile but capable of experiencing and remembering intraoperative events. Awareness during general anesthesia is one of the most dreaded complications of surgery and is feared by patients and clinicians alike. Despite many advances in the field, there are also a number of unresolved questions that persist. Some of the difficulties in the detection and prevention of awareness during anesthesia relate to the underlying complexities of the neuroscientific basis of consciousness. Consciousness, Awareness, and Anesthesia is a multidisciplinary approach to both the scientific problem of consciousness and the clinical problem of awareness during general anesthesia. An international cadre of authors with expertise in anesthesiology, neurobiology, and philosophy provides a cutting-edge perspective. No other book on the subject has drawn from such a breadth of scholarship.
As a cardiologist, Pim van Lommel was struck by the number of his patients who claimed to have near-death experiences as a result of their heart attacks. As a scientist, this was difficult for him to accept: Wouldn't it be scientifically irresponsible of him to ignore the evidence of these stories? Faced with this dilemma, van Lommel decided to design a research study to investigate the phenomenon under the controlled environment of a cluster of hospitals with a medically trained staff. For more than twenty years van Lommel systematically studied such near-death experiences in a wide variety of hospital patients who survived a cardiac arrest. In 2001, he and his fellow researchers published his study on near-death experiences in the renowned medical journal The Lancet. The article caused an international sensation as it was the first scientifically rigorous study of this phenomenon. Now available for the first time in English, van Lommel offers an in-depth presentation of his results and theories in this book that has already sold over 125,000 copies in Europe. Van Lommel provides scientific evidence that the near-death phenomenon is an authentic experience that cannot be attributed to imagination, psychosis, or oxygen deprivation. He further reveals that after such a profound experience, most patients' personalities undergo a permanent change. In van Lommel's opinion, the current views on the relationship between the brain and consciousness held by most physicians, philosophers, and psychologists are too narrow for a proper understanding of the phenomenon. In Consciousness Beyond Life, van Lommel shows that our consciousness does not always coincide with brain functions and that, remarkably and significantly, consciousness can even be experienced separate from the body.
Experiences and feelings are inherently conscious states. There is something it is like to feel pain, to have an itch, to experience bright red. Philosophers call this sort of consciousness "phenomenal consciousness."
Consciousness is neither miraculous nor ultimately mysterious. In this broad, entertaining, and persuasive account, Flanagan argues that we are on the way to understanding consciousness and its place in the natural order. No aspect of consciousness escapes Flanagan's probe. Qualia, self-consciousness, disorders such as blindsight, various kinds of amnesia, and multiple personalities all find a place in this powerful synthetic theory that contends that consciousness is real, plays an important causal role, and resides in the brain.
The need to protect nature has never been so pressing. As unprecedented environmental challenges threaten to wipe out many of the planet's species, there is a battle against time to formulate new ways of defending nature. Jepson and Ladle cover all aspects of modern conservation from inspiring successes to the most urgent crises, introduce exciting new techniques such as re-wilding and adaptive management, and explain how we can all contribute. Essential reading for anyone who does not want to see the last of pandas, polar bears, and parrots. Dr. Paul Jepson and Dr. Richard Ladle both work at the University of Oxford.
Conservationists have long been aware that politicalboundaries rarely coincide with natural boundaries.From the establishment of early "peace parks"to thedesignation of continental migratory pathways, awide range of transborder mechanisms to protectbiodiversity have been established by conservationistsin both the public and private sectors.Conservation Across Borders presents a broadoverview of the history of transboundary conservationefforts and an accessible introduction to current issues surroundingthe subject. Through detailed examinations of two initiatives, theInternational Sonoran Desert Alliance (ISDA) and the Yellowstone toYukon Initiative (Y2Y), the book helps readers understand the benefitsand challenges of landscape-scale protection.In addition to discussing general concepts and the specific experienceof ISDA and Y2Y, the author considers the emerging concept of "conservationeffectiveness" and offers a comparative analysis of the twoprojects. The book ends with a discussion of the complex relationshipsamong civil society, governments, and international borders.By considering the history, goals, successes, and failures of two divergentinitiatives, the book offers important insights into the field oftransborder conservation along with valuable lessons for those studyingor working in the field.
Conservation agriculture systems have long-term impacts on livelihoods, agricultural production, gender equity, and regional economic development of tribal societies in South Asia. This book presents South Asia as a case study, due to the high soil erosion caused by monsoon rainfall and geophysical conditions in the region, which necessitate conservation agriculture approaches, and the high percentage of people in South Asia relying on subsistence and traditional farming. The book takes an interdisciplinary approach to analyse systems at scales ranging from household to regional and national levels.
This beautifully illustrated textbook introduces students to conservation biology by taking the reader on a tour of the many and varied ecosystems of our planet, providing a setting in which to explore the factors that have led to the alarming loss of biodiversity. In particular, the fundamental problems of habitat loss and fragmentation, habitat disturbance and the non-sustainable exploitation of species in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are explored. The methods that have been developed to address these problems from the most traditional forms of conservation to new approaches at genetic to landscape scales are then discussed, showing how science can be put into practice.
The late Navjot Sodhi conceived this book as a way of bringing to the forefront of our conservation planning for the tropics the views of people who were actually working and living there. In its 31 chapters, 55 authors present their views on the conservation problems they face and how they deal with them. Effective long term conservation in the tropics requires the full participation of local people, organizations and governments. The human population of tropical countries is expected to grow by more than 2.5 billion people over the next several decades, with expectations of increased consumption levels growing even more rapidly than population levels; clearly there will be a need for more trained conservationists and biologists. Significant levels of local involvement are essential to conservation success, with the rights of local people fully recognized, protected and fostered by governmental and international assistance. Overarching conservation plans are necessary, but cannot in themselves lead to success. The individual experiences presented in the pages of this book will provide useful models that may serve to build better and more sustainable lives for the people who live in the tropics and lead to the continued survival of as many species and functioning ecosystems as possible.
In hundreds of watersheds and communities across the United States, conservation is being reinvented and invigorated by collaborative efforts between federal, state, and local governments working with nongovernmental organizations and private landowners, and fueled by economic incentives, to promote both healthy natural communities and healthy human communities. Conservation for a New Generation captures those efforts with chapters that explain the new landscape of conservation along with case studies that illustrate these new approaches. The book brings together leading voices in the field of environmental conservation--Lynne Sherrod, Curt Meine, Daniel Kemmis, Luther Propst, Jodi Hilty, Peter Forbes, and many others--to offer fourteen chapters and twelve case studies that * demonstrate the benefits of government agencies partnering with diverse stakeholders; * explore how natural resources management is evolving; * discuss emerging practices for conservation, including conservation planning, ecological restoration, valuing ecosystem services, and using economic incentives; * promote cooperation on natural resources issues that have in the past been divisive. Throughout, contributors focus on the fundamental truth that unites human and land communities: as one prospers, so does the other; as one declines, so too will the other. The book illustrates how natural resources management that emphasizes building strong relationships results in outcomes that are beneficial to both people and land.
Genome sequencing enables scientists to study genes over time and to test the genetic variability of any form of life, from bacteria to mammals. Thanks to advances in molecular genetics, scientists can now determine an animal's degree of inbreeding or compare genetic variation of a captive species to wild or natural populations. Mapping an organism's genetic makeup recasts such terms as biodiversity and species and enables the conservation of rare or threatened species, populations, and genes. By introducing a new paradigm for studying and preserving life at a variety of levels, genomics offers solutions to previously intractable problems in understanding the biology of complex organisms and creates new tools for preserving the patterns and processes of life on this planet. Featuring a number of high-profile researchers, this volume introduces the use of molecular genetics in conservation biology and provides a historical perspective on the opportunities and challenges presented by new technologies. It discusses zoo-, museum-, and herbarium-based biological collections, which have expanded over the past decade, and covers the promises and problems of genomic and reproductive technology. The collection concludes with the philosophical and legal issues of conservation genetics and their potential effects on public policy.
This volume identifies the primary problems faced in conserving wild populations of gorillas throughout Africa, pinpointing new approaches to solving these problems and outlining the increased role that zoos can play in gorilla conservation. It includes the in-depth expertise of field scientists in a variety of disciplines to discuss current conservation threats, novel approaches to conservation, and potential solutions.
The activities in this book are designed to get you thinking about and doing physics in a way that is a lot closer to the way professional scientists think about and do science. You will learn by communicating your ideas with your teacher and with other students, and by trying to make sense of the ideas presented in the book.
The predicted changes to global weather patterns and increases in the human population will put unprecedented pressure on European freshwater habitats and the species that depend on them. Our success in conserving the ecological value of these habitats will depend greatly on carefully planned conservation management integrated with efficient and reliable monitoring. "Conservation Monitoring in Freshwater Habitats" focuses on the need to develop clear, site-specific, conservation management goals; something rarely considered in previous publications on freshwater monitoring. The early chapters explore the use of biological indicators for monitoring and provide practical guidance for developing and implementing efficient and reliable monitoring projects. The remainder of the book is dedicated to a series of carefully selected case studies illustrating best practice in both decision-making and application across a range of habitats and species. This timely book will provide a valuable reference for students and researchers in biological and environmental sciences, and for practitioners working in government departments, conservation organizations and ecological consultancies. It will be an essential resource for anyone working towards fulfilling the requirements of both the Water Framework Directive and the EC Habitats Directive.
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