Tag Archives: Biology

The Gene

An Intimate History

51mrk4dg8ml-_sx327_bo1204203200_By Siddartha Mukherjee
Call Number: RB155 .M85 2016
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The Pulitzer Prize-winning author draws on his scientific knowledge and research to describe the magisterial history of a scientific idea, the quest to decipher the master-code of instructions that makes and defines humans; that governs our form, function, and fate; and that determines the future of our children. The story of the gene begins in earnest in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856 where Gregor Mendel, a monk working with pea plants, stumbles on the idea of a “unit of heredity.” It intersects with Darwin’s theory of evolution, and collides with the horrors of Nazi eugenics in the 1940s. The gene transforms postwar biology. It invades discourses concerning race and identity and provides startling answers to some of the most potent questions coursing through our political and cultural realms. It reorganizes our understanding of sexuality, gender identity, sexual orientation, temperament, choice, and free will, thus raising the most urgent questions affecting our personal realms. Above all, the story of the gene is driven by human ingenuity and obsessive minds–from Mendel and Darwin to Francis Crick, James Watson, and Rosalind Franklin to the thousands of scientists working today to understand the code of codes. Woven through the book is the story of Mukherjee’s own family and its recurring pattern of schizophrenia, a haunting reminder that the science of genetics is not confined to the laboratory but is vitally relevant to everyday lives. The moral complexity of genetics reverberates even more urgently today as we learn to “read” and “write” the human genome–unleashing the potential to change the fates and identities of our children and our children’s children.–Adapted from dust jacket.

New Children’s Books for January

I Have a Balloon by Ariel Bernstein; Scott Magoon (Illustrator)

I Have a Balloon by Ariel Bernstein; Scott Magoon (Illustrator)Owl has a red balloon. Monkey does not. “That red balloon matches my shiny red tie,” says Monkey. “I’d look fancy walking to school with a shiny red balloon. The only thing I’ve ever wanted, since right now, is a shiny, big red balloon. It would make me SO HAPPY!” But Owl does not want to give it to him. So Monkey tries to find something that Owl wants: a teddy bear, a robot, a picture of TEN balloons. Owl does not want any of these things. But then, Monkey offers him…a sock! Hmmmmm…Owl is intrigued. Will he trade his shiny red balloon with Monkey? Hint: this is not a book about sharing.

Birds by Bridget Heos; David Clark (Illustrator)

Birds by Bridget Heos; David Clark (Illustrator)

What animals compose music, decorate their homes, weave, and even give gifts? BIRDS! While they may eat bugs and lay eggs, we actually have a lot in common with these winged creatures. From their parenting to their homemaking, their fishing to their dancing, birds do have lots in common with people–though with fascinating twists all their own. Factual and funny–and featuring a dynamic mix of photographs and cartoon illustrations–Just Like Us! Birds will charm even the most reluctant nonfiction readers.

Read the Book, Lemmings! by Ame Dyckman; Zacharia OHora (Illustrator)

Read the Book, Lemmings! by Ame Dyckman; Zachariah OHora (Illustrator)

The team behind the New York Times bestselling Wolfie the Bunny and Horrible Bear! is back with with new Arctic characters in this hilarious learning-to-read adventure! Aboard the S.S. Cliff, First Mate Foxy reads an interesting fact: “Lemmings don’t jump off cliffs.” But Foxy can’t get the lemmings on the Cliff to read his book, too. They’re too busy jumping off. After a chilly third rescue, exasperated Foxy and grumbly polar bear Captain PB realize their naughty nautical crew isn’t being stubborn: The lemmings (Jumper, Me Too, and Ditto) can’t read. And until Foxy patiently teaches his lemmings to read the book, he can’t return to reading it, either!

I Want That Nut! by Madeline Valentine

9781101940372

A nutty and clever buddy story that celebrates cooperation, perfect for fans of Duck and Goose. Meet Mouse and Chipmunk, two young rodents who want the same thing–a big, beautiful nut! But who deserves it more? After all, Chipmunk and the Nut read together and lie in the grass and stare at the clouds. Chipmunk wants that nut! And Mouse and the Nut play tic-tac-toe and have a dance party together. Mouse also wants that nut!   But then Squirrel comes along and claims the Nut for his own. What’s a rodent to do?

Robinson by Peter Sís

robinson

A boy who loves adventure. A mysterious solo journey. A remote island wilderness. Cast away in this beautiful dreamlike story and discover what surprises await. Peter Sís blends a true story from his childhood with the fictional adventure of Robinson Crusoe to create a magical picture book filled with heart and imagination that readers will want to return to again and again.

Introduction to cell and tissue culture : theory and technique / Jennie P. Mather and Penelope E. Roberts

Call number: QH585.2 .M38 1998

Written for both novices and experts, this handy paperback describes modern tissue culture methods within a conceptual framework of cell biology, genetics, nutrition, endocrinology, and physiology. The book’s unique contribution is its rendering of technical cell culture information in a comprehensive, logical format. Troubleshooting problems are approached from a theoretical perspective, helping the reader to understand and surpass the examples given, while exercises and techniques stimulate thought about the broader aspects of cell culture. Nearly 100 illustrations, including 41 halftones, highlight the book. Appendices include references to relevant Internet sites and other useful sources of information. (From B&N)

Cracking the Code of Life DVD

Click image to play the trailer

Call number: QH445.2 .C73 2004

This two-hour special, hosted by ABC “Nightline” correspondent Robert Krulwich, chronicles the fiercely competitive race to capture one of the biggest scientific prizes ever: the complete letter-by-letter sequence of genetic information that defines human life—the human genome. NOVA tells the story of the genome triumph and its profound implications for medicine and human health.

The brain : big bangs, behaviors, and beliefs / Rob DeSalle

Call number: BF311 .D466 2012

After several million years of jostling for ecological space, only one survivor from a host of hominid species remains standing: us. Human beings are extraordinary creatures, and it is the unprecedented human brain that makes them so. In this delightfully accessible book, the authors present the first full, step-by-step account of the evolution of the brain and nervous system.
Tapping the very latest findings in evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and molecular biology, Rob DeSalle and Ian Tattersall explain how the cognitive gulf that separates us from all other living creatures could have occurred. They discuss the development and uniqueness of human consciousness, how human and nonhuman brains work, the roles of different nerve cells, the importance of memory and language in brain functions, and much more. Our brains, they conclude, are the product of a lengthy and supremely untidy history—an evolutionary process of many zigs and zags—that has accidentally resulted in a splendidly eccentric and creative product. (From Google Books)