248 pages, no illustrations
Breathtaking scientific innovations and findings are wrapped in a big portion of humour by an excellent science journalist. Each story has an introductory paragraph explaining what makes this particular story unique. Stories already published in prestigious magazines and newspapers are all expanded, updated and rewritten.
This is a rich source of entertainment to the reader who dips in and cherry picks topics... There are many cool science stories here for you to enjoy. (Education in Chemistry, May 2009) "A huge set of short essays on obscure and interesting scientific topics ... .[A valuable] resource for livening up lectures by professors who are trying to get undergraduates excited about science." (The Quarterly Review of Biology, March 2009) "His choice in organizing the book into three parts titled 'Crazy Creatures,' 'Sexy Science,' and 'Cool Technology' demonstrates his desire to reveal how science is cultural activity that provides exciting and relevant change to the world." (CHOICE, January 2009) "This selection from Michael Gross' work of the past fifteen years is a welcome and refreshing treat ... .An excellent tool for introducing students to the many facets of science." (ChemBioChem, November 2008)
1. Crazy Creatures. Squeezy Little Bears. Can We Stomach the Bugs Bugging Our Stomachs? Protein, Edit Thyself! Magic Bullets from the Desert. Asparagine and Old Lace. Better Reasons to Kiss a Frog. Health Warning: Your Body may Be Unstable. All Together Now. So Where is Most of the Universe? Dark Energy. Y oh Y! DNA Toys. Resurrecting a Billion-year-old Protein. Don't Stop Me Now. Cell Jet Printers. A Frizzled Inheritance. How to Eat Without a Stomach. Astronomy Helps Spotting Whale Sharks. Talk to Your Proteins. Ancient Stowaway in Our Eyes. Deciphering the Secrets of the Neanderthals. Cracking Old Bones. Meet the Family. How to Find Neanderthal Remains. Eat Isotopes and Live Longer. Virulence From the Deep Sea. 2. Sexy Science. Feel the Heat. Mum's and Dad's. Gold Clusters Shine Brightly. The Green Spark. Read My Lips. You Taste So Sweet. A Matter of Taste. Let Your Love Glow. Jacobson's Molecules. The Science of The Simpsons. Elusive Treasures. Eggs and Sperms and Rock 'n' Roll. A Cuban Success Story. The Birds, The Bees, and the Platypuses. Our Hairy Cousins. Family Tree. Comparing the Genes. Vox Populi. Cupid's Chemistry. Vole Story. Truly Madly Deeply. Molecules in Love. Cupid's Arrows. Colombia after Columbus. Cheers to the Wine Genome. 3. Cool Technology. Life on the Rocks. Colors of the Quantum. Crystals Made to Measure. The Incredible Nanoplotter. Silencing the Cacophony. From E-ink to E-paper. Spinning Lessons. Traffic-light Proteins. A Cool Receptor. Replicators Lose their Inhibitions. Biotronics: A Collision of Continents. The One-atom Quantum Computer. Twist and Twirl. Multi-purpose DNA. DNA Computers Go Medical. DNA Gets Hands and Feet. Marveling at Diatoms. Build Your Own Diatom Shells. Nanotechnologists Employ Algal Architects. Nature's Warning Signs. All on One Chip. Platinum Stories. Precious Platinum Photographs. Platinum Rubles. Nanowires Plugged into Nerve Cells. Towards the Perfect Biosensor. Hairy Ball Theorem Untangles Chemical Problem. A Liquid Mirror for the Moon. Epilogue: The Next Fifteen Years. Index.
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Michael Gross has been writing about science full time for the last eight years and as a night time hobby for the previous seven. From his treasure troves, he now presents his favourite science stories from these 15 years. What are the attractions that make him revisit a topic or reread an article again and again? often, it's the sheer craziness of wildly unexpected findings or grotesquely oversized challenges. In other stories, there is a sexy element or an unexpected insight into the human condition. And sometimes, when reporting new and future technologies, the author just can't help thinking: coooooooool! So here are more than 60 crazy, sexy and cool science stories for you to enjoy.