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Popular Science

Get up to speed with the most popular developments in science, with everything from the tiniest atom to the farthest flung findings of the universe, and every scientific discovery in between. Our selection of books in this category will keep you up to date.

Curvology The Origins and Power of Female Body Shape

Curvology The Origins and Power of Female Body Shape

Author: David Bainbridge Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/02/2015

In Curvology, Cambridge Professor of Veterinary Anatomy David Bainbridge applies the science of evolutionary biology and cutting-edge psychology to women's bodies, to explain why the human female is the only female animal to have curves and how these curves rule our lives, by influencing not only sexual selection but also social hierarchy and self-image. Written in lucid and engaging prose, Bainbridge's unique brand of popular science also draws on illuminating references from art history, contemporary media culture, and a range of first-person interviews with some actual human women. Offering a level-headed and fresh perspective on a contentious issue, Curvology will be a fascinating, controversial, and highly newsworthy read.

The Brain's Way of Healing Stories of Remarkable Recoveries and Discoveries

The Brain's Way of Healing Stories of Remarkable Recoveries and Discoveries

Author: Norman Doidge Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/01/2015

For centuries it was believed that the price paid for the brain's complexity was its inability to recover from damage or illness. Norman Doidge's The Brain's Way of Healing turns this belief on its head, and explains that this very sophistication is the source of a unique kind of healing. Doidge shows the latest advances in neuroplasticity, the discovery that the brain can change its structure and function in response to mental experience. He describes natural, non-invasive avenues into the brain provided by the forms of energy around us - light, sound, vibration, movement - which pass through our senses and our bodies to awaken the brain's own healing capacities without producing unpleasant side effects. The Brain's Way of Healing discusses a series of near-miracle recoveries: patients told they would never improve have years of chronic pain alleviated or damage from debilitating strokes undone, and symptoms of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, brain injury, autism or learning disorders are reversed. It also shows how the risk of dementia can be lowered by 60 per cent with easy-to-follow instructions. Through stories that present cutting-edge science with practical real-world applications, Doidge illustrates the principles of neuroplastic healing that we can all use to improve our brain's performance and health. Norman Doidge, M.D., is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and New York Times bestselling author. His book The Brain That Changes Itself was chosen by the Dana Foundation's journal Cerebrum as the best general book ever written on the brain. He is on the faculty of the University of Toronto's Department of Psychiatry as well as the Research Faculty at Columbia University's Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research in New York City. He lives in Toronto.

The Organized Mind Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

The Organized Mind Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

Author: Daniel J. Levitin Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/01/2015

Author and neuroscientist Daniel Levitin tackles the problems of twenty-first century information overload in his New York Times bestselling book The Organized Mind. The Organized Mind is smart, important, and as always, exquisitely written . (Daniel Gilbert, Harvard University, author of Stumbling on Happiness). Overwhelmed by demands on your time? Baffled by the sheer volume of data? You're not alone: modern society is in a state of information overload. The Organized Mind investigates this phenomenon and the effect it has on us, analysing how and why our brains are struggling to keep up with the demands of the digital age. The twenty-first century sees us drowning under emails, forever juggling six tasks at once and trying to make complex decisions ever more quickly. Using a combination of academic research and examples from daily life, neuroscientist and bestselling author Daniel Levitin explains how to take back control of your life. This book will take you through every aspect of modern life, from healthcare to online dating to raising kids, showing that the secret to success is always organization. Levitin's research is surprising, powerful and will change the way you see the world. It's time to learn why there's no such thing as multitasking, why email is so addictive and why all successful people need a junk drawer. In a world where information is power, The Organized Mind holds the key to harnessing that information and making it work for you. Dr. Daniel J. Levitin has a PhD in Psychology, training at Stanford University Medical School and UC Berkeley. He is the author of the No. 1 bestseller This Is Your Brain On Music (Dutton, 2006), published in nineteen languages, and The World in Six Songs (Dutton, 2008) which hit the bestseller lists in its first week of release. Currently he is a James McGill Professor of Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience and Music at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

ebook of the month
The Glass Cage Where Automation is Taking Us

The Glass Cage Where Automation is Taking Us

Author: Nicholas Carr Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/01/2015

In The Glass Cage, leading commentator on technology and culture Nicholas Carr shows how automation - in the form of decision-making algorithms - now permeates every aspect of our lives and the radical effects this is having on our ability to learn and make decisions. In May 2009 an Airbus A330 passenger jet equipped with the latest 'glass cockpit' controls plummeted 30,000 feet into the Atlantic. The reason for the crash: the autopilot had routinely switched itself off. In fact, automation is everywhere - from the thermostat in our homes and the GPS in our phones to the algorithms of High Frequency Trading and self-driving cars. We now use it to diagnose patients, educate children, evaluate criminal evidence and fight wars. But psychological studies show that we perform best when fully involved in a task, while the principle of automation - that humans are inefficient - is self-fulfilling. The glass cockpit is becoming a glass cage. In this utterly engrossing expose, bestselling writer Nicholas Carr reveals how automation is affecting our ability to solve problems, forge memories and acquire skills. Rather than rejecting technology, Carr argues that we must urgently rethink its role in our lives, using it to enhance rather than diminish the extraordinary abilities that make us human.

Inheritance How Our Genes Change Our Lives, and Our Lives Change Our Genes

Inheritance How Our Genes Change Our Lives, and Our Lives Change Our Genes

Author: Sharon Dr. Moalem Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/01/2015

A groundbreaking book that will transform how we understand ourselves and our families by revealing that everything we thought we knew about genetics is wrong: * Your genes are not fixed; * the traits you inherit aren't unalterable; * the way you behave can affect how these genes are passed down to your children. Your experiences, no matter how seemingly inconsequential - from bullies to crushes to what you eat for dinner - have all left an indelible mark within you. And more importantly, within your genes. We're taught that we don't have much of a choice in the matter of what we get or what we give, because our genetic legacy was fixed when our parents conceived us. But that's all wrong. Our genes are constantly on the move, some are turning on while others are turning off, all in response to what you're doing, what you're seeing, and what you're feeling. And all of those things can be changed, which means we can change. Genetically.

ebook of the month
P53 The Gene That Cracked the Cancer Code

P53 The Gene That Cracked the Cancer Code

Author: Sue Armstrong Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/11/2014

All of us have lurking in our DNA a most remarkable gene. Its job is straightforward - to protect us from cancer. This gene - known simply as p53 - constantly scans our cells to ensure that they grow and divide without mishap, as part of the routine maintenance of our bodies. If a cell makes a mistake in copying its DNA as part of its process of division, p53 stops it in its tracks, sending in the repair team before allowing the cell to carry on dividing. If the mistake is irreparable and the rogue cell threatens to grow out of control (as happens in cancer), p53 commands the cell to commit suicide. Cancer cannot develop unless p53 itself is damaged and malfunctioning. Not surprisingly, p53 is the most studied gene in history. This enormously important gene has teased the minds of some of the most colourful and ambitious scientists around the world. These characters populate Sue Armstrong's book p53: The Gene that Cracked the Cancer Code, the story of medical science's mission to unravel the mysteries of this gene and to get to the heart of what happens in our cells when they turn cancerous. p53: The Gene that Cracked the Cancer Code reveals the tale of the search for this gene, as well as the excitement of the hunt for new cures - the hype, the lost opportunities, the blind alleys and the thrilling breakthroughs. As the long-anticipated revolution in cancer treatment tailored to each individual patient's symptoms starts to take off at last, p53 is still at the forefront of the game. This is a timely tale of scientific discovery and advances in our understanding of a disease that still affects more than one in three of us at some point in our lives.

The Milk Mutation The Hidden Danger in Our Dairy

The Milk Mutation The Hidden Danger in Our Dairy

Author: Damien McCrystal Format: Hardback Release Date: 13/11/2014

The vast bulk of the Western world's milk (A1 milk) comes from cows descended from a genetically mutated 'founder'. The mutation meant that the dominant protein in their milk changed. An alternative protein, A2, predates the A1 protein. Human breast milk (as well as that of goats and sheep) shares the characteristics of A2 milk. The full effects are still being unravelled, but it is clear that A1 milk does not digest as easily as A2 and is associated with bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea and constipation. All babies have permeable digestive systems and are therefore particularly susceptible. Older children and adults who have a 'leaky gut' are also in danger. More worryingly, numerous studies have linked A1 to type 1 diabetes, heart disease, autism, sudden infant death syndrome, asthma and eczema. In Australia increasing numbers of people are turning their backs on A1 milk. And it is now taking off in the UK. Twenty substantial herds here have converted to pure A2 and a great many more are considering it. The debate now resembles that around tobacco 50 years ago: some people don't want change, and the vested interests of the dairy industry are resisting the coming revolution. This book allows the public to start the real debate.

The Naked Scientist: Everyday Life Under the Microscope

The Naked Scientist: Everyday Life Under the Microscope

Author: Chris Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/11/2014

Why use expensive beauty products when you can moisturise with jellyfish? Have you ever suspected pollution was to blame for your children's plummeting IQ? Ready to take a sea change ...on Mars? And how about chopping an onion that doesn't make you cry? This is the perfect present for enquiring minds. Compelling, quirky and packed fully of curious facts, The Naked Scientist: Life Under the Microscope is a treasure trove of cutting-edge research, far-flung factoids and the ability to see into our scientific future, answering those fascinating questions you never thought to ask.

ebook of the month
Question Everything 132 Science Questions - and Their Unexpected Answers

Question Everything 132 Science Questions - and Their Unexpected Answers

Author: New Scientist Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/11/2014

The latest in the bestselling New Scientist Last Word series All science begins with questions...- Why is the night sky black, even though it's full of stars? - How do pebbles skim on water? - Why doesn't your own snoring wake you up? - And why is the Large Hadron Collider so ...er ...large? And as these intriguing, imaginative and occasionally bonkers questions and answers drawn from New Scientist magazine's archives show: question everything and you might find your way to amazing, unexpected insights into our minds, bodies and the universe, and the science behind the scenes that keeps them ticking. As you would expect from New Scientist, this is top-flight science at its most accessible, unpredictable and entertaining. This latest mind-bending addition to the No. 1 bestselling series will fascinate 'Last Word' fans and new readers alike. The New Scientist books from Profile have become sure-fire Christmas bestsellers, now selling over two million copies through bookshops. Last year's Nothing was in the bestseller lists for six weeks. This new book is sure to be at least as successful.

You Are Here Around the World in 92 Minutes

You Are Here Around the World in 92 Minutes

Author: Chris Hadfield Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/10/2014

In You Are Here, bestselling author and celebrated astronaut Chris Hadfield creates a virtual orbit of Earth, giving us the really big picture: this is our home, from space. The millions of us who followed Hadfield's news-making Twitter feed from the ISS thought we knew what we were looking at when we first saw his photos. But we may have caught the beauty and missed the full meaning. Now, through photographs - many of which have never been shared - Hadfield unveils a fresh and insightful look at our planet. He sees astonishing detail and importance in these images, not just because he's spent months in space but because his in-depth knowledge of geology, geography, and meteorology allows him to reveal the photos' mysteries. Featuring Hadfield's favourite images, You Are Here is divided by continent and represents one (idealized) orbit of the ISS. This planetary photo tour - surprising, playful, thought-provoking, and visually delightful - provides a breathtakingly beautiful perspective on the wonders of the world. You Are Here opens a singular window on our planet, using remarkable photographs to illuminate the history and consequences of human settlement, the magnificence of newly uncovered landscapes, and the power of the natural forces shaping our world and the future of our species.

Science has never been more popular. You don’t have to understand it to love it. We live in a golden age where we know more about the world and its origins than ever before. Here, some of the biggest questions ever asked find answers, as well as some of the smallest. This is a section bursting from its nucleus with protons of knowledge especially compiled for the lay enthusiast and the curious. Accessible science is no longer the domain of the scientist. We can all have a go at broadening our minds … and what’s more, we can do it from the relative comfort of our favourite chair. Relative comfort, because the chair is merely a mass of vibrating particles on a planet, hurtling through space and time, bending both as it goes in a Universe that may itself just be one of an infinite number of possible universes in an undefinable dimension of matter.

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