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review 2017-04-24 07:45
Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy by Robert M. Hazen, James S. Trefil
Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy - Robert M. Hazen,James Trefil

The authors state that the aim of this book is to provide the fundamental background knowledge that we need to cope with the complex scientific and technological world of today.  The aim of this book is to provide the information you need to become scientifically literate.  The book achieves this aim quite nicely, but I can't say the book is particularly exciting to read, especially if you have a science background.  This is perhaps something that should be read by someone who isn't too familiar with the different branches of science or someone who wishes to brush up on what they should have learned at school and might have forgotten.  This edition has been updated from the first addition.

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review 2017-02-17 06:25
Oxygen: The Molecule that Made the World by Nick Lane
Oxygen: The Molecule that Made the World (Popular Science) - Nick Lane

This is an extremely interesting and well written book about oxygen - how oxygen spurred the evolution of life, the functioning of oxygen in biological systems, aging, how oxygen relates to everyday life (besides breathing), amongst others. The nice thing about this book is that the author assumes his readers are intelligent and so doesn't simplify his writing or the concepts so much that it practically turns into gibberish.

 

NOTE:

The author's view of junk DNA is a bit dated - the book was published in 2002 and research on junk DNA has advanced since then. Some other information might also be dated, but that is simply how science and science writing work.  If you are intelligent enough to read this book, you should also be intelligent enough not to swallow everything you read - hook, line and sinker.

 

OTHER RELATED RECOMMENDED BOOKS:

* The Emerald Planet: How Plants Changed Earth's History by David Beerling

* Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine by Randolph M. Nesse, George C. Williams

* Under a Green Sky: Global Warming, the Mass Extinctions of the Past, and What They Can Tell Us About Our Future by Peter D. Ward

 

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review 2017-01-23 06:45
The Wasp that Brainwashed the Caterpillar by Matt Simon
The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar: Evolution's Most Unbelievable Solutions to Life's Biggest Problems - Matt Simon

An interesting and amusingly written book that highlights some of the strange survival mechanisms that animals have evolved.  There is nothing technical in this book.  Each chapter takes a look at a specific animal. 

For a more in-depth look at some of these survival mechanisms, I recommend the book "Venomous" by Christie Wilcox.

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review 2017-01-11 08:41
The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World by Abigail Tucker
The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World - Abigail Tucker

The house cats makes its home everywhere. In this rather entertaining book, Abigail Tucker takes a look at how the house cat became one of the most dominant carnivores on the planet, and what the relationship is between cats and humans. This book is rather light on the science, but it was still interesting.

 

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review 2016-11-23 05:38
The Quantum Age by Brian Clegg
The Quantum Age: How the Physics of the Very Small has Transformed Our Lives - Brian Clegg

Brain Clegg has written an interesting, if somewhat light, look at the origins, nature and uses of quantum physics.  Easy to read and understand.

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