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Popular science

See below for a selection of the latest books from Popular science category. Presented with a red border are the Popular science books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Popular science books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

The Genes That Make Us

The Genes That Make Us

Author: Edwin Kirk Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/02/2021

Genes - we all have them and we're all affected by them, often in unknown ways. Whether directly inherited or modified by our environment, genes control or significantly influence almost every aspect of our lives. From the success of our conception and the development of our sexual characteristics, to the colour of our skin, hair, and eyes. From our height and weight, to our daily health. And, unfortunately, our genes are involved in an untold number of diseases. For many, the first time that genetics truly matters is in a doctor's office as they learn about a condition that may affect them, their unborn children, or even their wider family. Yet from the first laborious survey of the human genome twenty years ago to the commercial machines that now sequence 6,000 genomes per year, a revolution is taking place in medicine. Genetic screening is already available for major diseases and will become an increasingly prevalent medical tool. Around the world, teams of researchers are working on cures for diseases such as cancer, certain degenerative disorders, and a host of syndromes, while others are inventing new ways to conceive - and even modifying our genome in ways that could change what it means to be human. Navigating this world of heartbreaking uncertainties, tantalising possibilities, and thorny questions of morality is Professor Edwin Kirk, who in addition to having over two decades of experience is that rare doctor who works both in the lab and with patients. In The Genes That Make Us, he explains everything you need to know with humour, insight, and great humanity.

How to Be Animal

How to Be Animal

Author: Melanie Challenger Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/02/2021

Humans are the most inquisitive, emotional, imaginative, aggressive and baffling animals on the planet. But how well do we really know ourselves? How to Be Animal writes a remarkable story of what it means to be human and argues that at the heart of our psychology is a profound struggle with being animal. As well as piecing together the mystery of how this psychology evolved, the book examines the wide-reaching ways in which it affects our lives, from our politics to the ways we distance ourselves from other species. We travel from the origins of Homo sapiens through the agrarian and industrial revolutions, the age of the internet, and on to futures of AI and human-machine interface. We examine how technology influences our sense of our own animal nature and our relationship with the other species with whom we share this fragile planet. Drawing on new evidence from a wide range of disciplines, Challenger proposes that being an animal is a process, beautiful and unpredictable, and that we have a chance to tell ourselves a new story, to realise that if we matter, so does everything else.

Quantum Computing

Quantum Computing

Author: Brian Clegg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/02/2021

The ultimate non-technical guide to the fast-developing world of quantum computing Computer technology has improved exponentially over the last 50 years. But the headroom for bigger and better electronic solutions is running out. Our best hope is to engage the power of quantum physics. 'Quantum algorithms' had already been written long before hardware was built. These would enable, for example, a quantum computer to exponentially speed up an information search, or to crack the mathematical trick behind internet security. However, making a quantum computer is incredibly difficult. Despite hundreds of laboratories around the world working on them, we are only just seeing them come close to 'supremacy' where they can outperform a traditional computer. In this approachable introduction, Brian Clegg explains algorithms and their quantum counterparts, explores the physical building blocks and quantum weirdness necessary to make a quantum computer, and uncovers the capabilities of the current generation of machines.

The Physics of Climate Change

The Physics of Climate Change

Author: Lawrence M. Krauss Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/02/2021

The news is full of hotly debated divergent claims about the impacts and risks of climate change. Lawrence Krauss, one of the world's most respected physicists and science populizers, cuts through the confusion by succinctly presenting the underlying science of climate change. The Physics of Climate Change provides a unique, clear, accurate and accessible perspective of climate science and the risks of global inaction. Krauss's narrative, which movingly opens and closes on a Mekong Delta riverboat, explores the history of how scientists progressed to our current understanding of the Earth's climate and its future. Replete with informative illustrations, it will allow readers to assess which climate predictions are firmest and which are more speculative. With a generous complement of informative diagrams and illustrations, the book allows readers to assess which climate predictions are securely based on analysis of empirical data, and which are more speculative. The Physics of Climate Change is required reading for anyone interested in understanding humanity's role in the future of our planet.

Psycho-Logical

Psycho-Logical

Author: Dean Burnett Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/02/2021

One in four people experience a mental health problem each year, with depression and anxiety alone afflicting over 500 million people. Why are these conditions so widespread? What is it about modern life that has such an impact on our mental health? And why is there still so much confusion and stigma around these issues? In Psycho-Logical, bestselling author Dean Burnett sets out to answer these questions and more. Drawing on extensive scientific research, along with revealing insights from those who deal with mental health issues on a daily basis, the result is an expertly written and extremely accessible primer on how and why these problems arise, and what we can do to tackle them.

The Rules of Contagion

The Rules of Contagion

Author: Adam Kucharski Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/02/2021

'Astonishingly bold' Daily Mail 'It is hard to imagine a more timely book ... much of the modern world will make more sense having read it.' The Times We live in a world that's more interconnected than ever before. Our lives are shaped by outbreaks - of disease, of misinformation, even of violence - that appear, spread and fade away with bewildering speed. To understand them, we need to learn the hidden laws that govern them. From 'superspreaders' who might spark a pandemic or bring down a financial system to the social dynamics that make loneliness catch on, The Rules of Contagion offers compelling insights into human behaviour and explains how we can get better at predicting what happens next. Along the way, Adam Kucharski explores how innovations spread through friendship networks, what links computer viruses with folk stories - and why the most useful predictions aren't necessarily the ones that come true. Now revised and updated with content on Covid-19.

The Science of Fate

The Science of Fate

Author: Hannah Critchlow Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/02/2021

'A truly fascinating - if unnerving - read' The Telegraph 'Acute, mind-opening, highly accessible - this book doesn't just explain how our lives might pan out, it helps us live better' Bettany Hughes 'A humane and highly readable account of the neuroscience that underpins our ideas of free will and fate' Professor David Runciman So many of us believe that we are free to shape our own destiny. But what if free will doesn't exist? What if our lives are largely predetermined, hardwired in our brains - and our choices over what we eat, who we fall in love with, even what we believe are not real choices at all? Neuroscience is challenging everything we think we know about ourselves, revealing how we make decisions and form our own reality, unaware of the role of our unconscious minds. Did you know, for example, that: * You can carry anxieties and phobias across generations of your family? * Your genes and pleasure and reward receptors in your brain will determine how much you eat? * We can sniff out ideal partners with genes that give our offspring the best chance of survival? Leading neuroscientist Hannah Critchlow draws vividly from everyday life and other experts in their field to show the extraordinary potential, as well as dangers, which come with being able to predict our likely futures - and looking at how we can alter what's in store for us. Lucid, illuminating, awe-inspiring The Science of Fate revolutionises our understanding of who we are - and empowers us to help shape a better future for ourselves and the wider world.

Physical Intelligence

Physical Intelligence

Author: Scott Grafton Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/02/2021

What is it that stops us from walking into walls or off cliffs? How do you pick the right moment to cross a busy road Or decide if you can drive through a storm? What helps you discover a shortcut to a familiar route? The answer is PHYSICAL INTELLIGENCE Sometimes, you need to do it to know it. Your hands have to be on the steering wheel to learn the feel of slipping tyres. You need to be watching the traffic to judge the best moment to cross the road. Everything we do, from changing a lightbulb to navigating unknown terrain relies on physical intelligence, our oldest and most important form of cognition. Physical intelligence was the key development in human evolution; thinking evolved first and foremost so we could do things. It has been the key to our survival against all the odds for so long that it has become instinctive, and continues to underpin our every action, from the ordinary (walking down a street) to the extraordinary (winning a race) and beyond. Renowned neuroscientist, doctor and keen climber, Scott Grafton was fascinated to discover how physical intelligence's most important components were laid bare, away from civilisation. In this book he takes you on a journey to explore the hidden depths of this silent, ruthless intellect we all possess. Drawing on the latest scientific discoveries and research, experiences with patients, and Professor Grafton's own gripping stories of survival in the wilderness, Physical Intelligence explains the science behind our most overlooked ability and takes a fascinating and vital look at how we could and should use it better.

How to Be Animal

How to Be Animal

Author: Melanie Challenger Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/02/2021

Humans are the most inquisitive, emotional, imaginative, aggressive and baffling animals on the planet. But how well do we really know ourselves? How to Be Animal writes a remarkable story of what it means to be human and argues that at the heart of our psychology is a profound struggle with being animal. As well as piecing together the mystery of how this psychology evolved, the book examines the wide-reaching ways in which it affects our lives, from our politics to the ways we distance ourselves from other species. We travel from the origins of Homo sapiens through the agrarian and industrial revolutions, the age of the internet, and on to futures of AI and human-machine interface. We examine how technology influences our sense of our own animal nature and our relationship with the other species with whom we share this fragile planet. Drawing on new evidence from a wide range of disciplines, Challenger proposes that being an animal is a process, beautiful and unpredictable, and that we have a chance to tell ourselves a new story, to realise that if we matter, so does everything else.

How We Learn

How We Learn

Author: Stanislas Dehaene Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/01/2021

'Absorbing, mind-enlarging, studded with insights ... This could have significant real-world results' Sunday Times Humanity's greatest feat is our incredible ability to learn. Even in their first year, infants acquire language, visual and social knowledge at a rate that surpasses the best supercomputers. But how, exactly, do our brains learn? In How We Learn, leading neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene delves into the psychological, neuronal, synaptic and molecular mechanisms of learning. Drawing on case studies of children who learned despite huge difficulty and trauma, he explains why youth is such a sensitive period, during which brain plasticity is maximal, but also assures us that our abilities continue into adulthood. We can all enhance our learning and memory at any age and 'learn to learn' by taking maximal advantage of the four pillars of the brain's learning algorithm: attention, active engagement, error feedback and consolidation. The human brain is an extraordinary machine. Its ability to process information and adapt to circumstances by reprogramming itself is unparalleled, and it remains the best source of inspiration for recent developments in artificial intelligence. How We Learn finds the boundary of computer science, neurobiology, cognitive psychology and education to explain how learning really works and how to make the best use of the brain's learning algorithms - and even improve them - in our schools and universities as well as in everyday life.

The Big Book Of Infectious Disease Trivia

The Big Book Of Infectious Disease Trivia

Author: Kristina Wright Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/01/2021

Superheavy

Superheavy

Author: Kit Chapman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/01/2021

Shortlisted for the 2020 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books Creating an element is no easy feat. It's the equivalent of firing six trillion bullets a second at a needle in a haystack, hoping the bullet and needle somehow fuse together, then catching it in less than a thousandth of a second - after which it's gone forever. Welcome to the world of the superheavy elements: a realm where scientists use giant machines and spend years trying to make a single atom of mysterious artefacts that have never existed on Earth. From the first elements past uranium and their role in the atomic bomb to the latest discoveries stretching our chemical world, Superheavy will reveal the hidden stories lurking at the edges of the periodic table. Why did the US Air Force fly planes into mushroom clouds? Who won the transfermium wars? How did an earthquake help give Japan its first element? And what happened when Superman almost spilled nuclear secrets? In a globe-trotting adventure that stretches from the United States to Russia, Sweden to Australia, Superheavy is your guide to the amazing science filling in the missing pieces of the periodic table. By the end you'll not only marvel at how nuclear science has changed our lives - you'll wonder where it's going to take us in the future.