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Born in Africa: The Quest for the Origins of Human Life
A very nicely written book which kept my interest. The subject is the search for human origins, mainly in Africa, which the author tells in chronologi...more
Sep 16, 2011
Sep 16, 2011
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Henrietta Lacks was a sharp dresser. Henrietta Lacks had style. And though she died in 1951, she is still with us in a physical sense.

Lacks, an Africa...more
Dec 24, 2011
Dec 25, 2011
Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went In Search of Them
I listened to an audio version of the book downloaded from In the early 1990s, a container ship in the northern Pacific encountered bad w...more
Sep 2011
Sep 02, 2011
Polio: An American Story

This book mainly recounts how th National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis supported Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin in developing vaccines for this di

Dec 21, 2011
Dec 21, 2011
Ordinary Geniuses: Max Delbruck, George Gamow, and the Origins of Genomics andBig Bang Cosmology
One potential problem with group biographies, even with a group of two individuals, is that the members of the group may not have much to do with each...more
Dec 18, 2011
Dec 18, 2011
The Unnatural History of the Sea

Since about 1000 AD, Europeans, their descendenants, the descendenants of their colonists, with help of all sorts of other people in last few decades

Jul 27, 2010
Jul 27, 2010
Where Our Food Comes From: Retracing Nikolay Vavilov's Quest to End Famine
This book examines the genetic diversity of food crops as the author follows the travels of the N. Valvilov, a Russian & Soviet agricultural resea...more
Apr 03, 2010
Apr 03, 2010
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void

The author focuses on the effects on people of being in space, beginning with the psychological effects of living in a small enclosed space with the

Aug 21, 2010
Aug 21, 2010
A Commotion in the Blood: Life, Death, and the Immune System
Starting with the late nineteenth century experiments of the American physician William Coley, the book describes the attempts to make the immune syst...more
Apr 25, 2010
Apr 25, 2010
The Untold History of the Potato
More interesting than one would think the humble spud would be. Starts with the origin of the potato in the Andes mountains of South America. The pota...more
Dec 14, 2010
Dec 14, 2010
The Third Domain: The Untold Story of Archaea and the Future of Biotechnology

Mr. Friend is a journalist who covered science news before leaving USA Today to write this book. The book is about microorganisms, both the archaea m

Aug 22, 2010
May 03, 2010
Naming Nature: The Clash Between Instinct and Science
This book has three different aspects. First, it is a history of western taxonomy from Linneaus to cladistics in the late twentieth century. Second, i...more
May 31, 2010
Mar 30, 2010
Dry Storeroom No. 1
Explains the purpose of the Natural History Museum in London (and similar institutions) as a center of taxonomic & systematic research, & what...more
Dec 13, 2009
Jul 05, 2010
Nerve Endings: The Discovery of the Synapse
Santiago Ramon y Cajal in the late 19th century was one of the 1st to realise that neurons are separate cells, not all linked to every other neuron, b...more
Oct 09, 2006
Apr 03, 2010
The Demon Under the Microscope: From Battlefield Hospitals to Nazi Labs, One Doctor's Heroic Search for the World's First Miracle Drug
How Gerhard Domagk, working for the Bayer portion of I. G. Farben, in conjunction with chemists Josef Klarer & Fritz Metzsch, found the 1st sulfan...more
Oct 22, 2006
Apr 03, 2010
Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World
Who would think that 1920s central bankers - Britain's Montaque Norman, Benjamin Strong at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the German Hjalmar Sc...more
Feb 18, 2009
Jul 03, 2010
Cruisin' the Fossil Freeway: A Road Trip Through the Best of the Prehistoric American West
Paleobotanist Johnson & artist Troll travel Coloardo, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico to visit great fossil sites (more animals than plants), obsess wit...more
Sep 07, 2008
May 06, 2010
Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life
E. coli is amazingly variable (Shigella is just some nasty forms of E. coli) & the history of science associated with it is most interesting. Also...more
Oct 16, 2009
Jul 05, 2010
The Truth About Dogs
A charming account of the biology of dogs, with emphasis on social behavior. References include many primary sources in scientific literature. Don't a...more
Mar 31, 2005
Mar 30, 2010
Why Don't Woodpeckers Get Headaches?: And Other Bird Questions You Know You Want to Ask
This book is a collection of O'Connor's newspaper columns on birds. Many are amusing. I learned that woodpeckers have muscles & bone at the base o...more
Mar 08, 2008
Apr 11, 2010
The Science of Fly-Fishing
Physics of casting, light environment experienced by angler and trout or salmon, evolutionary origins & natural history of salmon, trout, and char...more
May 22, 2009
Jul 03, 2010
Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl
O'Brian adopted a newly hatched barn owl with a slight but permanent wing injury while working as a technician at Cal Tech, and lived with him for 19...more
Mar 2009
Jul 03, 2010
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
Outrageous, funny and often alarming accounts of the dead; conciousness after beheading, head transplants (monkeys), anatomy classes, face lift practi...more
Feb 08, 2007
Apr 05, 2010
Saxons, Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland
Most Britians & Irish are descended from pre-Roman people who spoke a celtic language. The celtic culture was mainly derived from learning rather...more
Feb 19, 2007
Apr 05, 2010
At the Water's Edge: Macroevolution and the Transformation of Life
There & back again. How vertebrates, already having legs, moved onto land in the Devonian, & much later (40 million years ago is the current g...more
Oct 08, 2007
Apr 10, 2010
Extinction: How Life on Earth Nearly Ended 250 Million Years Ago
Detailed discussion of the mass extinction at the end of the Permian, and the surprising 4 million yearr delay in speciation in the Triassic. Discussi...more
Dec 2007
Apr 10, 2010
The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell
How the vast appetite of New Yorkers, Indians and latecomers, for oysters from New York harbor first finished off the natural beds & then pollutio...more
Dec 28, 2006
Apr 04, 2010
The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms
Interesting account of effects & uses of worms in gardening, agriculture, forests (common worms not native, can be bad), sewage and contaminated s...more
Mar 08, 2006
Apr 01, 2010
The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History
The suffering of the great 1918 outbreak, the unwillingness of American government to do anything to contain it, and the reaction of the recently refo...more
Jan 05, 2007
Apr 04, 2010
Letters From Eden: A Year at Home, in the Woods
Short essays arranged by season about the wildlife the author sees, mostly around her 80 acre property in southern Ohio, illustrated by the author wit...more
Jun 16, 2007
Apr 08, 2010
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