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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.

Adventures in the Anthropocene A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made

Adventures in the Anthropocene A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made

Author: Gaia Vince Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/07/2014

We live in epoch-making times. Literally. The changes we humans have made in recent decades have altered our world beyond anything it has experienced in its 4.5 billion-year history - we have become a force on a par with earth-shattering asteroids and planet-cloaking volcanoes. As a result, our planet is said to be crossing a geological boundary - from the Holocene into the Anthropocene, or Age of Man. Gaia Vince decided to quit her job at science journal Nature, and travel the world at the start of this new age to explore what all these changes really mean - especially for the people living on the frontline of the planet we've made. She found ordinary people solving severe crises in ingenious, effective ways. Take the retired railway worker who's building artificial glaciers in the Himalayas, for example, or the Peruvian painting mountains white to retain snowfall. Meet the villagers in India using satellite technology to glean water; and the women farmers in Africa combining the latest genetic discoveries with ancient irrigation techniques; witness the electrified reefs in the Maldives and the man who's making islands out of rubbish in the Caribbean. Alongside these extraordinary - and inspiring - stories, Gaia looks at how humanity's changes are reshaping our living planet, transforming our relationshiop with the natural world, and explores how we might engineer Earth for our future.

50 Science Ideas You Really Need to Know

50 Science Ideas You Really Need to Know

Author: Gail Dixon, Dr. Paul Parsons Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/07/2016

50 Science Ideas You Really Need to Know is your guide to the biggest questions and deepest concepts from across the whole of science. What was the Big Bang? How did life on Earth arise? What does quantum mechanics tell us about the universe? Is true artificial intelligence possible? And does life exist on other planets? Moving from the basics of atoms and molecules, Newton's laws of physics and the building blocks of life to the cutting edge of nanotechnology, Einstein's theories of relativity and cloning, this book makes the many worlds of science accessible and illuminating.

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Adventures in Human Being

Adventures in Human Being

Author: Gavin Francis Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/04/2015

We have a lifetime's association with our bodies, but for many of us they remain uncharted territory. If the body is a foreign country, then to practise medicine is to explore new territory: Francis leads the reader on an adventure through what it means to be human. Both a user's guide to the body and a celebration of its elegance, this book will transform the way you think about being alive, whether in sickness or in health. Published in association with Wellcome Collection.

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Adventures in Human Being

Adventures in Human Being

Author: Gavin Francis Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/02/2016

We have a lifetime's association with our bodies, but for many of us they remain uncharted territory. If the body is a foreign country, then to practise medicine is to explore new territory: Francis leads the reader on an adventure through what it means to be human. Both a user's guide to the body and a celebration of its elegance, this book will transform the way you think about being alive, whether in sickness or in health. Published in association with the Wellcome Collection.

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The Cancer Chronicles Unlocking Medicine's Deepest Mystery

The Cancer Chronicles Unlocking Medicine's Deepest Mystery

Author: George Johnson Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/08/2014

Shortlisted for the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books 2014. When the woman he loved was diagnosed with a metastatic cancer, science-writer George Johnson embarked on a journey to learn everything he could about the disease and the people who dedicate their lives to understanding and combating it. What he discovered is that a revolution is now under way - an explosion of new ideas about what cancer really is and where it comes from. He combs through the realms of epidemiology, clinical trials, laboratory experiments and scientific hypotheses, to reveal what we know and don't know about cancer, showing why a cure remains such a slippery concept. His luminous accounts describe tumors that evolve like alien creatures inside the body, paleo-oncologists who uncover petrified tumors clinging to the skeletons of dinosaurs and ancient human ancestors, and the surprising reversals in science's comprehension of the causes of cancer, with the foods we eat and environmental toxins playing a lesser role. Perhaps most fascinating of all is how cancer borrows natural processes involved in the healing of a wound or the unfolding of a human embryo and turns them against the body. Throughout his pursuit, Johnson illuminates the human experience with elegiac grace, bearing witness to the punishing gauntlet of consultations, surgeries, targeted therapies and other treatments. Provocative and intellectually vibrant, The Cancer Chronicles will challenge everything you thought you knew about the disease - and provide hope for tomorrow and the future.

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Pinpoint How GPS is Changing Technology, Culture, and Our Minds

Pinpoint How GPS is Changing Technology, Culture, and Our Minds

Author: Greg Milner Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/05/2017

Over the last fifty years, humanity has developed an extraordinary shared utility: the Global Positioning System. Even as it guides us across town, GPS helps land planes, route mobile calls, anticipate earthquakes, predict weather, locate oil deposits, measure neutrinos, grow our food, and regulate global finance. It is as ubiquitous and essential as another Cold War technology, the Internet. In Pinpoint, Greg Milner takes us on a fascinating tour of a hidden system that touches almost every aspect of our modern life. While GPS has brought us breathtakingly accurate information about our planetary environment and physical space, it has also created new forms of human behavior. We have let it saturate the world's systems so completely and so quickly that we are just beginning to confront the possible consequences. A single GPS timing flaw, whether accidental or malicious, could bring down the electrical grid, hijack drones, or halt the world financial system. The use, and potential misuse, of GPS data by government and corporations raise disturbing questions about ethics and privacy. GPS may be altering the nature of human cognition-possibly even rearranging the gray matter in our heads.

Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers

Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers

Author: Ian Stewart Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/02/2016

He explains the insights of the ancient mathematicians, shows how numbers have evolved through the ages, and reveals the way numerical theory enables everyday life. Under Professor Stewart's guidance you will discover the mathematics of codes, Sudoku, Rubik's cube, music, primes and pi. You may be surprised to find you live in eleven-dimensional space, that of the twenty-three people on a football pitch two are more likely than not to share the same birthday, and that forty-two is a very interesting number. Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers will delight everyone who loves numbers -- including those who currently think they don't.

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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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