Biology

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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.

Emily Monosson

For more than a century, we have relied on chemical cures to keep our bodies free from disease and our farms free from bugs and weeds. We rarely consider human and agricultural health together, but both are based on the same ecology, and both are being threatened by organisms that have evolved to resist our antibiotics and pesticides. Patients suffer from C.diff, a painful, potentially lethal gut infection associated with multiple rounds of antibiotics; orange groves rot from insect-borne bacteria; and the blight responsible for the Irish potato famine outmaneuvers fungicides. Our chemicals are failing us.

Bob Holmes

Can you describe how the flavor of halibut differs from that of red snapper? How the taste of a Fuji apple differs from a Spartan? For most of us, this is a difficult task: flavor remains a vague, undeveloped concept that we don’t know enough about to describe ― or appreciate ― fully. In this delightful and compelling exploration of our most neglected sense, veteran science reporter Bob Holmes shows us just how much we’re missing.

Ricki Lewis

Human genetics has blossomed from an obscure biological science and explanation for rare disorders to a field that is profoundly altering health care for everyone. This thoroughly updated new edition of Human Genetics: The Basics provides a concise background of gene structure and function through the lens of real examples, from families living with inherited diseases to population-wide efforts in which millions of average people are learning about their genetic selves.

Erik Vance

This riveting narrative explores the world of placebos, hypnosis, false memories, and neurology to reveal the groundbreaking science of our suggestible minds. Could the secrets to personal health lie within our own brains? Journalist Erik Vance explores the surprising ways our expectations and beliefs influence our bodily responses to pain, disease, and everyday events. Drawing on centuries of research and interviews with leading experts in the field, Vance takes us on a fascinating adventure from Harvard’s research labs to a witch doctor’s office in Catemaco, Mexico, to an alternative medicine school near Beijing (often called “China’s Hogwarts”). Vance’s firsthand dispatches will change the way you think — and feel.