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Sharman Apt Russell

From Hindu mythology to Aztec sacrifices, butterflies have served as a metaphor for resurrection and transformation. Even during World War II, children in a Polish death camp scratched hundreds of butterflies onto the walls of their barracks. But as Sharman Apt Russell, a teacher of writing at Western New Mexico University and at Antioch University in Los Angeles, writes in her book, butterflies are above all objects of obsession.

William Sargent

Surviving almost unmolested for 300 million years, the horseshoe crab is now the object of an intense legal and ethical struggle involving marine biologists, environmentalists, U.S. government officials, biotechnologists, and international corporations. The source of this friction is the discovery 25 years ago that horseshoe crab blood provides the basis for the most reliable test for the deadly and ubiquitous gram-negative bacteria.

James D. Watson and Andrew Berry, with contributions by Jan Witkowski

Witkowski, co-author with Jim Watson of the textbook Recombinant DNA, helped Watson with this book, published to coincide with this year's 50th anniversary of the discovery of the DNA double helix. The book is loosely associated with a series of television programs Watson recorded to be shown on PBS here and Channel 4 in the UK.

Victor K. McElheny

James Watson, one of the men responsible for what many consider the greatest scientific achievement of our time has, until now, blocked would-be biographers with his own memoirs — The Double Helix and Genes, Girls, and Gamow. Victor McElheny — who worked with Watson at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for four years and who has known him for 40 years — has written a book that sheds light on this complicated, mercurial man.

Erich Hoyt and Ted Schultz

The book is a collection of unusual, dramatic, and revealing writings about the unseen world of insects, ranging from the Bible to Darwin and from Harvard's E.O. Wilson to Wired magazine founder Kevin Kelly. Whether scientific, poetic, or funny, each piece helps the reader discover the hidden lives of these much-misunderstood creatures.

Joan R. Callahan

Joan Callahan, a San Diego biologist and epidemiologist, has written a reference that covers major infectious diseases, naturally occurring toxins, predators, and other categories of living threats to human life. Topics include human pathogens in water, food, and air, and how they are transmitted by contact.

Richard Robinson, ed.

A four-volume encyclopedia for high school students. Its 432 entries, ranging from Active Transport to Zoology Researcher, were written by professional biologists and by science writers.

Steve Olson

Steve Olson, a Bethesda, Md., freelance writer describes how migrations of the human race can be traced through genetics. Olson notes that until a few years ago, the only way to learn about our ancient ancestors was through the scattered bones and stone tools they left behind, but bones and stones are not the only records of our past. Each of us, he notes, carries around another record in almost every cell of our bodies.