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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.

Infinitesimal How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World

Infinitesimal How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World

Author: Amir Alexander Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/04/2015

On August 10, 1632, five leading Jesuits convened in a sombre Roman palazzo to pass judgment on a simple idea: that a continuous line is composed of distinct and limitlessly tiny parts. The doctrine would become the foundation of calculus, but on that fateful day the judges ruled that it was forbidden. With the stroke of a pen they set off a war for the soul of the modern world.

Incognito The Secret Lives of the Brain

Incognito The Secret Lives of the Brain

Author: David Eagleman Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/04/2016

This is a New York Times bestseller. Our subconscious is an important part of our daily lives, yet how much do we know about its mysterious inner workings? In Incognito, renowned neuroscientist and bestselling author David Eagleman draws on recent discoveries to illuminate the surprising unconscious processes of the brain. Why do you hear your name in a conversation that you didn't think you were listening to? Why does your foot hit the brake pedal before you are conscious of danger ahead? Why are you more likely to marry someone whose name begins with the same letter as yours? Why is it so difficult to keep a secret?

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In Search of Lost Frogs

In Search of Lost Frogs

Author: Robin Moore Format: Hardback Release Date: 11/09/2014

On August 9, 2010, 33 teams from 21 countries were dispatched to search for the Lost Frogs identified by Conservation International. On their list were a host of species including, in the top ten most wanted, the Rio Pescado Stubfoot Toad, found only in Ecuador - which was to prove a triumphant rediscovery. Several months, a number of key rediscoveries - such as the Elegant Tropical Frog, last seen in 1937 and the Chalazodes Bubble-nest Frog - last seen in 1874 and two new species later, the Search for Lost Frogs had generated more than 650 news articles in 20 countries and over a billion potential viewers. Author Robin Moore was responsible for spearheading the Search for Lost Frogs and coordinating the teams. He also co-led two expeditions to Colombia and Haiti. In Colombia in search of the Mesopotamia Beaked Toad, the steamy jungles of the Choco yielded not the desired species but a brand new one - the Mr. Burns Toad, so-called because of an uncanny resemblance to the Simpsons' character; the species was selected as one of Time magazine's top ten new species of 2010. In Haiti the team found six frogs last seen 20 years before, including the Ventriloqual Frog, named for its ability to throw its voice. This fascinating new book tells the story of the expedition - its highs and lows, discoveries and failures and the campaign's ongoing work. Despite the campaign, one third of the world's amphibians remain threatened with extinction. Most of the species searched for were not found. But those that were provide a glimmer of hope. Understanding why these species have survived when many others have not should help us understand what makes these species different. In Search of Lost Frogs is a story of perseverance, disappointment, rediscovery, resilience, but ultimately of hope, written with passion and illustrated with the author's superb photographs.

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In Pursuit of Memory The Fight Against Alzheimer's

In Pursuit of Memory The Fight Against Alzheimer's

Author: Joseph Jebelli Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/06/2017

'When I was twelve, my grandfather began to act strangely. It started with inexplicable walks. He'd leave the dinner table and we would find him, half an hour later, aimlessly wandering around the neighbourhood. His smiles were gradually replaced by a fearful, withdrawn expression; as if he'd lost something irreplaceable. Before long, he didn't recognise any of us.'Alzheimer's is the great global epidemic of our time, affecting millions worldwide - there are over 850,000 people with the diagnosis in the UK alone. And its shockwaves extend far wider, through disbelieving families and friends. In 2016, it overtook heart disease as the number one cause of death in England and Wales, and as our populations age, scientists are working against the clock to find a cure. Neuroscientist Joseph Jebelli is among them. Determined to save other families from the experiences that had rocked his, he set out to write the book that explained what happened to his grandfather.

Human Universe

Human Universe

Author: Brian Cox, Andrew Cohen Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/10/2014

The nation's favourite scientist looks at the origins of life in our Universe. For somehow the laws of nature conspired to create a naked ape that can look up at the stars and wonder where it came from. For as long as humans have walked the Earth we have searched for our place in the cosmos. We have looked to the heavens and the Earth and to the precious nature of human life. But perhaps most importantly of all, we have driven ourselves to do something that is, as far as we know, unique in the Universe. We ask questions. In Brian Cox's latest groundbreaking book he tackles some of the greatest questions that humans have asked to try and understand the very nature of ourselves and the Universe in which we live. He looks at the journeys we've taken to answer these questions; through the endless leaps of human minds, he explores the extraordinary depth of our knowledge today and where our curiosity may lead us in the future. He reveals how time, physics and chemistry came together to create a creature that can wonder at its own existence, blessed with an unquenchable thirst to discover not just where it came from, but how it can think, where it is going and if it is alone. Human Universe is Brian Cox's personal take on the past, present and future of humanity - from the birth of the Universe to the ultimate fate of our species. It will transport you out of this world into a whole new dimension as it gives us a new perspective on human life.

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How We'll Live on Mars

How We'll Live on Mars

Author: Stephen Petranek Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/07/2015

Part of the TED series: How We'll Live on Mars It sounds like science fiction, but award-winning journalist Stephen Petranek considers it fact: within 20 years, humans will live on Mars. We'll need to. Private companies (driven by iconoclastic entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Sir Richard Branson); Dutch reality show/space mission Mars One; NASA and the Chinese government are among the many groups competing to plant the first stake on Mars and open the door for human habitation. For Elon Musk, it's the ultimate awesome thing. For other entrepreneurs, it's about competition and opportunity. For NASA, the Chinese government and the leagues of other private companies and foreign nationals racing to get to Mars, there are more urgent reasons as well: life on Mars has potential life-saving possibilities for us on earth. Depleting water supplies, overwhelming climate change and a host of other disasters - from terrorist attacks to meteor strikes - all loom large. We must become a space-faring species to survive. In this close-up narrative chronicle, Petranek introduces the circus of lively characters all engaged in a big-money, big-drama effort to expand the limits of human knowledge - and life - by being the first to settle on the Red Planet. How We'll Live on Mars brings first-hand reporting, interviews with key players and extensive research to bear on the question of how we can best, and most plausibly, expect to see life on Mars - within the next 20 years. Petranek can also be seen discussing his fascinating ideas in his TEDTalk 10 Ways The World Could End.

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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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