Biology

The NASW bookstore sells books, music, video, software, and other merchandise via Amazon.com. Every purchase you make on Amazon can support NASW programs and services: Just go to https://www.nasw.org/amazon when you start your shopping. Books featured below were written by NASW members or reviewed in ScienceWriters magazine. Appearance here does not indicate endorsement.

Phallacy — Life Lessons from the Animal Penis

Emily Willingham

The notion that the penis is the throbbing obelisk of all masculinity is a fallacy, Emily Willingham asserts in Phallacy: Life Lessons from the Animal Penis. Willingham, a PhD in biological sciences who writes and teaches about how gonads and penises develop and work, provides an entertaining survey of flabby studies with a patriarchal perspective, supporting her conclusions with hard science.

The Cheating Cell

Athena Aktipis

Cancer cells act in the body like bad roommates, Athena Aktipis writes in The Cheating Cell: How Evolution Helps Us Understand and Treat Cancer. They stop cooperating, over-use resources, and invade every space in the house. Cancer is the literal embodiment of evolution, Aktipis says. We can’t win a war against a process of evolution, she says, but altering it may make cancer easier to tolerate.

The Wildlife Confessional

The Wildlife Society Western Section

In The Wildlife Confessional—Kick It in the Ice Hole and Other Stories, NASW member and wildlife biologist Matthew Bettelheim and the late writer/wildlife biologist Thomas Roberts offer a multi-authored collection of tales and reflections on encounters with birds, bears, and more in diverse locales. Funds from book sales will help support student scholarships, grants, and training opportunities.

Rethinking Evolution

Gene Levinson

The classical concept of Darwinian natural selection does not encompass the varieties of new structures and functions that arise when separate entities interact in useful ways, Gene Levinson asserts in Rethinking Evolution: The Revolution That’s Hiding in Plain Sight. His updated evolutionary theory, he says, reflects recent discoveries in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology.

Beth Skwarecki

DNA makes us who we are. But how? In Genetics 101, Beth Skwarecki starts at the beginning. She aims to build lay readers’ understanding step-by-step, and moves from describing basic building blocks of cellular information to how traits are inherited to topics in the news, including how DNA ancestry services work, ethical quandaries posed by embryonic gene editing, and babies of the future.

Carol Svec

Some low-frequency sounds — such as noise from storms or truck engines — can make you feel dizzy and nauseated. An index finger’s light touch can stop people from losing balance. You are more prone to trip when you think someone is watching you. A breakthrough in improving balance as we age might just come through the study of the Achilles tendon. A person gets “falling down drunk” due to a tiny structure in the inner ear that floats when it becomes soaked in alcohol.

Ricki Lewis

Today, human genetics is for everyone. It is about variation more than about illnesses, and increasingly about the common rather than about the rare. Once an obscure science or an occasional explanation for an odd collection of symptoms, human genetics is now part of everyday conversation. By coming to know genetic backgrounds, people can control their environments in more healthy ways. Genetic knowledge is, therefore, both informative and empowering. This edition of Human Genetics: Concepts and Applications shows students how and why that is true.