bookshelf by year

Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts

December 16, 2013

frankensteins_cat_book

author |
Emily Anthes
year published |
2013

One of Nature’s Summer Book Picks
One of Publishers Weekly’s Top Ten Spring 2013 Science Books

For centuries, we’ve toyed with our creature companions, breeding dogs that herd and hunt, housecats that look like tigers, and teacup pigs that fit snugly in our handbags. But what happens when we take animal alteration a step further, engineering a cat that glows green under ultraviolet light or cloning the beloved family Labrador?… read more

Extreme Planets: A Science Fiction Anthology of Alien Worlds

March 19, 2014

713WnEs-wfL

author |
David Conyers, David Kernot, Jeff Harris
year published |
2014

Two decades ago astronomers confirmed the existence of planets orbiting stars other than our Sun. Today more than 800 such worlds have been identified, and scientists now estimate that at least 160 billion star-bound planets are to be found in the Milky Way Galaxy alone. But more surprising is just how diverse and bizarre those worlds are.

Extreme Planets is a science fiction anthology of stories set on… read more

The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

October 7, 2014

147670869X.01.S001.LXXXXXXX

author |
Walter Isaacson
year published |
2014

Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson’s revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens.

What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative… read more

Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel

April 13, 2009

books

author |
Michio Kaku
year published |
2009

One hundred years ago, scientists would have said that lasers, televisions, and the atomic bomb were beyond the realm of physical possibility. Here, physicist Michio Kaku explores to what extent the technologies and devices of science fiction that are deemed equally impossible today might well become commonplace in the future. From teleportation to telekinesis, Kaku uses the world of science fiction to explore the fundamentals–and the limits–of the laws of… read more

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

July 14, 2010

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

author |
Atul Gawande
year published |
2009

Amazon | That humblest of quality-control devices, the checklist, is the key to taming a high-tech economy, argues this stimulating manifesto. Harvard Medical School prof and New Yorker scribe Gawande (Complications) notes that the high-pressure complexities of modern professional occupations overwhelm even their best-trained practitioners; he argues that a disciplined adherence to essential procedures—by ticking them off a list—can prevent potentially fatal mistakes and corner cutting. He examines checklists… read more

Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind

July 20, 2010

Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind

author |
V. S. Ramachandran, Sandra Blakeslee, Oliver Sacks
year published |
1999

In these unsettling tales from a neuroscientist every bit as quirky as the more famous Oliver Sacks, Ramachandran sets out his beliefs that no matter how bizarre the case, empirical, strikingly simple testing can illuminate the ways brain circuitry establishes “self.” In a chatty, nearly avuncular style, he (along with his coauthor, a New York Times science writer) snatches territory from philosophers on how we think we know what… read more

Does Aging Stop?

December 16, 2010

does-aging-stop

author |
Laurence D. Mueller, Casandra L. Rauser, Michael R. Rose
year published |
2011

Amazon | Does Aging Stop? reveals the most paradoxical finding of recent aging research: the cessation of demographic aging. The authors show that aging stops at the level of the individual organism, and explain why evolution allows this. The implications of this counter-intuitive conclusion are profound, and aging research now needs to accept three uncomfortable truths. First, aging is not a cumulative physiological process. Second, the fundamental… read more

Build Your Own Humanoid Robots: 6 Amazing and Affordable Projects

February 7, 2011

buildyourownhumanoidrobots

author |
Karl Williams
year published |
2004

This unique guide to sophisticated robotics projects brings humanoid robot construction home to the hobbyist. Written by a well-known figure in the robotics community, Build Your Own Humanoid Robots provides step-by-step directions for 6 exciting projects, each costing less than $300: Robotic Arm, Wrist, and Hand; Personal Computer Interface; Visual Basic Control Software; Voice Recognition Control; Expressive, Speaking Face; Bipedal Walking Robot. Together, these projects form the… read more

The New Cool: A Visionary Teacher, His FIRST Robotics Team, and the Ultimate Battle of Smarts

March 30, 2011

The New Cool book cover

author |
Neal Bascomb
year published |
2011

Amazon | That Monday afternoon, in high-school gyms across America, kids were battling for the only glory American culture seems to want to dispense to the young these days: sports glory. But at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, California, in a gear-cluttered classroom, a different type of “cool” was brewing.  A physics teacher with a dream — the first public high-school teacher ever to win a MacArthur… read more

The Private Life of the Brain: Emotions, Consciousness, and the Secret of the Self

May 13, 2011

The Private Life of the Brain book cover

author |
Susan Greenfield
year published |
2001

Publisher’s Weekly | How are you feeling today? Who might you be? And what do those frequently asked, but profound, questions have to do with each other? An Oxford University brain researcher and the director of Britain’s Royal Institution, Greenfield (Journey to the Centers of the Mind) has entered the crowded field of explain-the-brain books with a sophisticated, memorable and accessible set of arguments.

Other popular… read more

War of the Worldviews: Science Vs. Spirituality

June 30, 2011

War of the Worldviews book cover

author |
Deepak Chopra, Leonard Mlodinow
year published |
2011

Amazon | Two bestselling authors first met in a televised Caltech debate on “the future of God,” one an articulate advocate for spirituality, the other a prominent physicist.  This remarkable book is the product of that serendipitous encounter and the contentious — but respectful — clash of worldviews that grew along with their friendship.

In War of the Worldviews these two great thinkers battle over the cosmos, evolution and… read more

Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life

October 4, 2011

power-sex-suicide-mitochondria-meaning-life-nick-lane-paperback-cover-art

author |
Nick Lane
year published |
2006

Amazon | If it weren’t for mitochondria, scientists argue, we’d all still be single-celled bacteria. Indeed, these tiny structures inside our cells are important beyond imagining. Without mitochondria, we would have no cell suicide, no sculpting of embryonic shape, no sexes, no menopause, no aging.

In this fascinating and thought-provoking book, Nick Lane brings together the latest research in this exciting field to show how our… read more

A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing

February 24, 2012

auniversefromnothing

author |
Lawrence M. Krauss
year published |
2012

Lawrence Krauss’s provocative answers to these and other timeless questions in a wildly popular lecture now on YouTube have attracted almost a million viewers. The last of these questions in particular has been at the center of religious and philosophical debates about the existence of God, and it’s the supposed counterargument to anyone who questions the need for God. As Krauss argues, scientists have, however, historically focused… read more

When I’m 164: The New Science of Radical Life Extension, and What Happens If It Succeeds

September 26, 2012

When I'm 164

author |
David Ewing Duncan
year published |
2012

How long do you want to live, and why? These are the questions that bestselling author (‘Experimental Man’) and science writer David Ewing Duncan explores, with surprising results.

When I’m 164 surveys the increasingly legitimate science of radical life extension — from genetics and regeneration to machine solutions — and considers the pluses and minuses of living to age 164, or beyond: everything from the impact on population… read more

Learning and Memory: A Comprehensive Reference, Four-Volume Set

October 28, 2012

Learning and Memory - A Comprehensive Reference

author |
John H. Byrne
year published |
2008

The study of Learning and Memory is a central topic in Neuroscience and Psychology. It is also a very good example of a field that has come into maturity on all levels – in the protein chemistry and molecular biology of the cellular events underlying learning and memory, the properties and functions of neuronal networks, the psychology and behavioural neuroscience of learning and memory. Many of the basic research… read more

close and return to Home