Brough's Books - Biological Sciences

Biological Sciences

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    The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
    by Michael Pollan

    Working in his garden one day, Michael Pollan hit pay dirt in the form of an idea: do plants, he wondered, use humans as much as we use them? While the question is not entirely original, the way Pollan examines this complex coevolution by looking at the natural world from the perspective of plants is unique. The result is a fascinating and engaging look at the true nature of domestication. In making his point, Pollan focuses on the relationship between humans and four specific plants: apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes. He uses the history of John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed) to illustrate how both the apple's sweetness and its role in the production of alcoholic cider made it appealing to settlers moving west, thus greatly expanding the plant's range. He also explains how human manipulation of the plant has weakened it, so that "modern apples require more pesticide than any other food crop." The tulipomania of 17th-century Holland is a backdrop for his examination of the role the tulip's beauty played in wildly influencing human behavior to both the benefit and detriment of the plant (the markings that made the tulip so attractive to the Dutch were actually caused by a virus). His excellent discussion of the potato combines a history of the plant with a prime example of how biotechnology is changing our relationship to nature. As part of his research, Pollan visited the Monsanto company headquarters and planted some of their NewLeaf brand potatoes in his garden--seeds that had been genetically engineered to produce their own insecticide. Though they worked as advertised, he made some startling discoveries, primarily that the NewLeaf plants themselves are registered as a pesticide by the EPA and that federal law prohibits anyone from reaping more than one crop per seed packet. And in a interesting aside, he explains how a global desire for consistently perfect French fries contributes to both damaging monoculture and the genetic engineering necessary to support it. Pollan has read widely on the subject and elegantly combines literary, historical, philosophical, and scientific references with engaging anecdotes, giving readers much to ponder while weeding their gardens. --Shawn Carkonen -
    Paperback: 304 pages
    Random House (Paper); ISBN: 0375760393; 1st Trade edition (May 28, )

    Ecological Versatility and Community Ecology (Cambridge Studies in Ecology)
    by Ralph C. MacNally

    Molecular Biology Techniques: An Intensive Laboratory Course
    by Walt Ream (Editor), et al
    Book Description: This manual is designed as an intensive introduction to the various tools of molecular biology. It introduces all the basic methods of molecular biology including cloning, PCR, Southern (DNA) blotting, Northern (RNA) blotting, Western blotting, DNA sequencing, oligo-directed mutagenesis, and protein expression.

    Making Sense of Life : Explaining Biological Development With Models, Metaphors, and Machines
    by Evelyn Fox Keller

    The Emperor's New Clothes : Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium
    by Joseph L., Jr Graves

    Biometry : The Principles and Practice of Statistics in Biological Research
    by Robert R. Sokal, F. James Rohlf (Contributor)

    Biohazard: The Chilling True Story of the Largest Covert Biological Weapons Program in the World--Told from Inside by the Man Who Ran It
    by Ken Alibek, Stephen Handelman (Contributor)

    Biological Warfare Against Crops (Global Issues)
    by Simon M. Whitby

    Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War
    by Judith Miller, et al

    Self-Organized Criticality : Emergent Complex Behavior in Physical and Biological Systems (Cambridge Lecture Notes in Physics, 10)
    by Henrik Jeldtoft Jensen

    Micromanipulation by Light in Biology and Medicine: the Laser Microbeam and Optical Tweezers
    by Karl O. Greulich, D. L. Farkas (Editor)

    Quantitative Fish Dynamics (Biological Resource Management Series
    by Terrance J. Quinn, Richard B. Deriso
    Listed under Fish & Sharks

    Self-Organization in Biological Systems
    by Scott Camazine (Editor), et al

    Thermodynamics and Kinetics for the Biological Sciences
    by Gordon G. Hammes

    The Tree of Knowledge : The Biological Roots of Human Understanding
    by Humberto R. Maturana, et al

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