Life in Amber

Author: George O. Poinar

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 9780804720014

Category: Science

Page: 350

View: 753

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"Amber is a semi-precious gem that is formed over eons by natural forces out of the resin of trees. Human fascination with amber dates back to prehistoric times, when it was probably considered to have magical powers and was used for adornment and trade. Amber amulets and beads dating from 35,000 to 1,800 B.C. have been found, and where they have been found (for example in graves hundreds of miles from their chemically determined origins) has often helped to establish ancient trade routes." "The preservative qualities of plant resins were well known by the ancients. The Egyptians used resins to embalm their dead, and the Greeks used them to preserve their wine. Amber often preserved fossils, frequently in a pristine state, of all kinds of animal and plant organisms that made contact with the sticky substance and became trapped in it. These fossils include such fragile organisms as nematodes and mushrooms that ordinarily are not preserved under normal processes of fossilization, as well as larger organisms like scorpions and lizards, and the fossils are preserved in their full three-dimensional form, complete with minute details of scales, mouth parts, antennae, and hairs. It has even been suggested that viable DNA may persist in some amber-trapped organisms." "This book is a compendium of all that we know about life found in amber. It surveys all life forms, from microbes to vertebrates and plants, that have been reported from amber deposits throughout the world, beginning with the earliest pieces dating from some 300 million years ago. It also describes the formation of amber and the location, geological history, and early exploration of the major world amber deposits, including those still being worked today." "The book also provides practical information on how to determine fake amber containing present-day forms of life. It can serve as a beginning for tracing the geological history of a particular group of animals or plants or even reconstructing ancient paleoenvironments, and because amber fossils are preserved so completely, in a transparent medium, they can be intimately compared with related living species. Finally, the book discusses what amber fossils can tell us about evolution and speciation, cellular preservation, and paleosymbiosis." "The book is illustrated with 37 color photographs, 154 black-and-white photographs and drawings, and 8 maps."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The Quest For Life In Amber

The Discovery Of Fossil Dna

Author: George Poinar,Roberta Poinar

Publisher: Perseus Books

ISBN: N.A

Category: Science

Page: 219

View: 2451

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Discusses these two scientists' work with amber and their successes in extracting 100 million-year-old DNA samples

Blood Evidence

How Dna Is Revolutionizing The Way We Solve Crimes

Author: Henry Lee,Frank Tirnady

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 0786752300

Category: Science

Page: 240

View: 8250

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Uses case studies to examine how investigators collect genetic evidence and discusses how DNA has altered crime-solving and the court system as well as the ethical ramifications of cloning, genetic modification, and the death penalty.

Evolutionary Catastrophes

The Science of Mass Extinction

Author: Vincent Courtillot,Joe McClinton

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521891189

Category: Nature

Page: 188

View: 1839

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Mass extinction and cataclysmic volcanic activity: will fascinate everyone interested in the history of life and death on our planet.

Gene Machine

The Race to Decipher the Secrets of the Ribosome

Author: Venki Ramakrishnan

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 046509337X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 288

View: 2842

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A Nobel Prize-winning biologist tells the riveting story of his race to discover the inner workings of biology's most important molecule "Ramakrishnan's writing is so honest, lucid and engaging that I could not put this book down until I had read to the very end."--Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Emperor of All Maladies and The Gene Everyone has heard of DNA. But by itself, DNA is just an inert blueprint for life. It is the ribosome--an enormous molecular machine made up of a million atoms--that makes DNA come to life, turning our genetic code into proteins and therefore into us. Gene Machine is an insider account of the race for the structure of the ribosome, a fundamental discovery that both advances our knowledge of all life and could lead to the development of better antibiotics against life-threatening diseases. But this is also a human story of Ramakrishnan's unlikely journey, from his first fumbling experiments in a biology lab to being the dark horse in a fierce competition with some of the world's best scientists. In the end, Gene Machine is a frank insider's account of the pursuit of high-stakes science.

Neanderthal Man

In Search of Lost Genomes

Author: Svante PŠŠbo

Publisher: Basic Books (AZ)

ISBN: 0465020836

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 4769

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An influential geneticist traces his investigation into the genes of humanity's closest evolutionary relatives, explaining what his sequencing of the Neanderthal genome has revealed about their extinction and the origins of modern humans.

Library Journal

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Libraries

Page: N.A

View: 8355

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Includes, beginning Sept. 15, 1954 (and on the 15th of each month, Sept.-May) a special section: School library journal, ISSN 0000-0035, (called Junior libraries, 1954-May 1961). Also issued separately.

Jim Morrison's Adventures in the Afterlife

A Novel

Author: Mick Farren

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 0312206542

Category: Fiction

Page: 453

View: 3724

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After his death, Jim Morrison finds himself in a purgatory-like world where he must find a way to put his soul to rest, with the aid of famous outlaw Doc Holliday, and some new friends and foes.

Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations: A Story of Economic Discovery

Author: David Warsh

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393066364

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 464

View: 1499

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"What The Double Helix did for biology, David Warsh's Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations does for economics." —Boston Globe A stimulating and inviting tour of modern economics centered on the story of one of its most important breakthroughs. In 1980, the twenty-four-year-old graduate student Paul Romer tackled one of the oldest puzzles in economics. Eight years later he solved it. This book tells the story of what has come to be called the new growth theory: the paradox identified by Adam Smith more than two hundred years earlier, its disappearance and occasional resurfacing in the nineteenth century, the development of new technical tools in the twentieth century, and finally the student who could see further than his teachers. Fascinating in its own right, new growth theory helps to explain dominant first-mover firms like IBM or Microsoft, underscores the value of intellectual property, and provides essential advice to those concerned with the expansion of the economy. Like James Gleick's Chaos or Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe, this revealing book takes us to the frontlines of scientific research; not since Robert Heilbroner's classic work The Worldly Philosophers have we had as attractive a glimpse of the essential science of economics.

The Stranger in the Woods

The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

Author: Michael Finkel

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 1101875690

Category: Nature

Page: 224

View: 6813

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Many people dream of escaping modern life, but most will never act on it. This is the remarkable true story of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years, making this dream a reality—not out of anger at the world, but simply because he preferred to live on his own. A New York Times bestseller In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life—why did he leave? what did he learn?—as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.

Birth of a Theorem

A Mathematical Adventure

Author: Cédric Villani

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374710236

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 272

View: 844

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In 2010, French mathematician Cédric Villani received the Fields Medal, the most coveted prize in mathematics, in recognition of a proof which he devised with his close collaborator Clément Mouhot to explain one of the most surprising theories in classical physics. Birth of a Theorem is Villani's own account of the years leading up to the award. It invites readers inside the mind of a great mathematician as he wrestles with the most important work of his career. But you don't have to understand nonlinear Landau damping to love Birth of a Theorem. It doesn't simplify or overexplain; rather, it invites readers into collaboration. Villani's diaries, emails, and musings enmesh you in the process of discovery. You join him in unproductive lulls and late-night breakthroughs. You're privy to the dining-hall conversations at the world's greatest research institutions. Villani shares his favorite songs, his love of manga, and the imaginative stories he tells his children. In mathematics, as in any creative work, it is the thinker's whole life that propels discovery—and with Birth of a Theorem, Cédric Villani welcomes you into his.

Innovation: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Mark Dodgson,David Gann

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192558617

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 160

View: 4808

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What is innovation? How is innovation used in business? How can we use it to succeed? Innovation, the ways ideas are made valuable, plays an essential role in economic and social development, and is an increasingly topical issue. Over the last 150 years our world has hit an accelerated rate of transformation. From aeroplanes to television and penicillin, and from radios to frozen food and digital money, the fruits of innovation surround us. This Very Short Introduction looks at what innovation is and why it affects us so profoundly. It examines how it occurs, who stimulates it, how it is pursued, and what its outcomes are, both positive and negative. Considering innovation today, and discussing future disruptive technologies such as AI, which have important implications for work and employment, Mark Dodgson and David Gann consider the extent to which our understanding of innovation has developed over the past century and how it might be used to interpret the global economy. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Time, Love , Memory

A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior

Author: Jonathan Weiner

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0804153361

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 3692

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How much of our fate is decided before we are born? Which of our characteristics is inscribed in our DNA? Weiner brings us into Benzer's Fly Rooms at the California Institute of Technology, where Benzer, and his asssociates are in the process of finding answers, often astonishing ones, to these questions. Part biography, part thrilling scientific detective story, Time, Love, Memory forcefully demonstrates how Benzer's studies are changing our world view--and even our lives. Jonathan Weiner, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Beak of the Finch, brings his brilliant reporting skills to the story of Seymour Benzer, the Brooklyn-born maverick scientist whose study of genetics and experiments with fruit fly genes has helped revolutionize or knowledge of the connections between DNA and behavior both animal and human.