Natural Obsessions: The Search for the Oncogene

Natalie Angier - 1988
    The implications of their discoveries form tomorrow's headlines, yet Angier writes about the scientists themselves and not merely theri successes. 4-page photo insert.

An Introduction to Mathematics

Alfred North Whitehead - 1958
    This distinguished little book is a brisk introduction to a series of mathematical concepts, a history of their development, and a concise summary of how today's reader may use them.

What Is Life?: Investigating the Nature of Life in the Age of Synthetic Biology

Ed Regis - 2008
    Today, more than sixty years later, members of a new generation of scientists are attempting to create life from the ground up. Science has moved forward in leaps and bounds since Schr dinger's time, but our understanding of what does and does not constitute life has only grown more complex. An era that has already seen computer chip-implanted human brains, genetically engineered organisms, genetically modified foods, cloned mammals, and brain-dead humans kept "alive" by machines is one that demands fresh thinking about the concept of life. While a segment of our national debate remains stubbornly mired in moral quandaries over abortion, euthanasia, and other "right to life" issues, the science writer Ed Regis demonstrates how science can and does provide us with a detailed understanding of the nature of life. Written in a lively and accessible style, and synthesizing a wide range of contemporary research, "What Is Life? "is a brief and illuminating contribution to an age-old debate.

Her-2: The Making of Herceptin, a Revolutionary Treatment for Breast Cancer

Robert Bazell - 1998
    The outlook was grim. Then she took part in Genentech's clinical trials for a new drug. Five years later she remains cancer-free.Her-2 is the biography of Herceptin, the drug that provoked dramatic responses in Barbara Bradfield and other women in the trials and that offers promise for hundreds of thousands of breast cancer patients. Unlike chemotherapy or radiation, Herceptin has no disabling side effects. It works by inactivating Her-2/neu--a protein that makes cancer cells grow especially quickly-- produced by a gene found in 25 to 30 percent of all breast tumors. Herceptin caused some patients' cancers to disappear completely; in others, it slowed the progression of the disease and gave the women months or years they wouldn't otherwise have had. Herceptin is the first treatment targeted at a gene defect that gives rise to cancer. It marks the beginning of a new era of treatment for all kinds of cancers.Robert Bazell presents a riveting account of how Herceptin was born. Her-2 is a story of dramatic discoveries and strong personalities, showing the combination of scientific investigation, money, politics, ego, corporate decisions, patient activism, and luck involved in moving this groundbreaking drug from the lab to a patient's bedside. Bazell's deft portraits introduce us to the remarkable people instrumental in Herceptin's history, including Dr. Dennis Slamon, the driven UCLA oncologist who played the primary role in developing the treatment; Lily Tartikoff, wife of television executive Brandon Tartikoff, who tapped into Hollywood money and glamour to help fund Slamon's research; and Marti Nelson, who inspired the activists who lobbied for a "compassionate use" program that would allow women outside the clinical trials to have access to the limited supplies of Herceptin prior to FDA approval of the drug. And throughout there are the stories of the heroic women with advanced breast cancer who volunteered for the trials, risking what time they had left on an unproven treatment. Meticulously researched, written with clarity and compassion, Her-2 is masterly reporting on cutting-edge science.

Experiments in Plant Hybridisation (Revised)

Gregor Mendel - 1865
    A simple, eloquent description of his 1856-1863 study of the inheritance of traits in pea plants--Mendel analyzed 29,000 of them--this is essential reading for biology students and readers of science history.

Fragile Species

Lewis Thomas - 1992
    With extraordinary perception, he discusses topics such as evolutionary biology, the development of language, the therapeutic aspects of medicine, and his love for his profession.

El Origen De La Vida/the Origins Of Life

Aleksandr Ivanovich Oparin - 1924
    "Easily the most scholarly authority on the will be a landmark for discussion for a long time to come." New York Times.

Eureka: The Birth of Science

Andrew Gregory - 1997
    Medicine, anatomy, astronomy, mathematics and cosmology were all invented in their world. Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Archimedes and Hippocrates were amongst its stars, master architects all of the modern as well as the ancient.

The Geometry of René Descartes: with a Facsimile of the First Edition

René Descartes - 1637
    Originally published in 1637, it has been characterized as "the greatest single step ever made in the progress of the exact sciences" (John Stuart Mill); as a book which "remade geometry and made modern geometry possible" (Eric Temple Bell). It "revolutionized the entire conception of the object of mathematical science" (J. Hadamard).With this volume Descartes founded modern analytical geometry. Reducing geometry to algebra and analysis and, conversely, showing that analysis may be translated into geometry, it opened the way for modern mathematics. Descartes was the first to classify curves systematically and to demonstrate algebraic solution of geometric curves. His geometric interpretation of negative quantities led to later concepts of continuity and the theory of function. The third book contains important contributions to the theory of equations.This edition contains the entire definitive Smith-Latham translation of Descartes' three books: Problems the Construction of which Requires Only Straight Lines and Circles; On the Nature of Curved Lines; and On the Construction of Solid and Supersolid Problems. Interleaved page by page with the translation is a complete facsimile of the 1637 French text, together with all Descartes' original illustrations; 248 footnotes explain the text and add further bibliography.

Hippocratic Writings

Hippocrates - 1978
    His fame was such that many Greek medical writings became attributed to him. What they have in common is not dogma but, rather, constructive debate between one another. They also share a concern with meticulous observation and an insistence on physical, not supernatural, causation of illness. The writers were the pioneers of rational medicine; their ideas, dominant for centuries, still reveal to us the ideal of ethical practice, as well as the origins not just of Western medicine but of scientific method.This excellent selection of Hippocratic treatises shows the range of writing and thought. Some are technical works on embryology, surgery or anatomy; others are addressed to a lay audience; all are informed with the spirit of inquiry. G.E.R. Lloyd's authoritative introduction puts them into their contemporary context and assesses their later influence.


Isaac Newton - 1704
    One of the most readable of all the great classics of physical science, this volume will impress readers with its surprisingly modern perspectives.In language that lay readers can easily follow, Sir Isaac Newton describes his famous experiments with spectroscopy and colors, lenses, and the reflection and diffraction of light. Book I contains his fundamental experiments with the spectrum, Book II deals with the ring phenomena, and Book III covers diffraction. The work concludes with "Queries" — speculations concerning light and gravitation. Opticks is introduced with a Foreword by Albert Einstein.

Exploring the History of Medicine: From the Ancient Physicians of Pharaoh to Genetic Engineering

John Hudson Tiner - 1999
    Quality of life has improved dramatically in the last few decades alone, and the future is bright. But students must not forget that God provided humans with minds and resources to bring about these advances.A biblical perspective of healing and the use of medicine provides the best foundation for treating diseases and injury. In Exploring the World of Medicine, author John Hudson Tiner reveals the spectacular discoveries that started with men and women who used their abilities to better mankind and give glory to God.The fascinating history of medicine comes alive in this book, providing students with a healthy dose of facts, mini-biographies, and vintage illustrations. Includes chapter tests and index.

Fatal Flaws

Jay Ingram - 2012
    Indeed, most are only barely aware of the diseases caused by them, except, perhaps, for mad cow disease. Yet prions are the stuff of a revolutionary science?a science that might lead to cures for some of humankind?s most devastating diseases.Fatal Flaws is a scientific detective story about this elusive protein, starting with the discovery of kuru, a disease unique to New Guinea in the 1950s that baffled scientists and carried with it whispers of cannibalism. Kuru began a scientific stampede to seek out the agent of this mysterious disease?the prion?a misfolded protein whose existence some of the world?s top scientists still find difficult to accept. Today, the subject of prions remains controversial, yet the proteins might promise new treatments for some of the most intractable brain diseases, ones that affect millions around the planet, including Parkinson?s, ALS and Alzheimer?s.In Fatal Flaws, Jay Ingram unties a complicated interweaving of biology, medicine, human tragedy, surprise and disbelief in the world of prions, and he unravels some of history?s most stunning revelations about disease, the brain and infection.

Science and Hypothesis

Henri Poincaré - 1902
    Explaining how such basic concepts as number and magnitude, space and force were developed, the great French mathematician refutes the skeptical position that modern scientific method and its results are wholly factitious. The places of rigorous logic and intuitive leaps are both established by an analysis of contrasting methods of idea-creation in individuals and in modern scientific traditions. The nature of hypothesis and the role of probability are investigated with all of Poincaré's usual fertility of insight.Partial contents: On the nature of mathematical reasoning. Magnitude and experiment. Space: non-Euclidean geometrics, space and geometry, experiment and geometry. Force: classical mechanics, relative and absolute motion, energy and thermodynamics. Nature: hypotheses in physics, the theories of modern physics, the calculus of probabilities, optics and electricity, electro-dynamics."Poincaré's was the last man to take practically all mathematics, both pure and applied as his province. Few mathematicians have had the breadth of philosophic vision that Poincaré's had, and none is his superior in the gift of clear exposition." — Men of Mathematics, Eric Temple Bell, Professor of Mathematics, University of Cambridge

What Is Life?: Five Great Ideas in Biology

Paul Nurse - 2020
    In What Is Life?, he takes up the challenge of describing what it means to be alive in a way that every reader can understand.It is a shared journey of discovery; step-by-step Nurse illuminates five great ideas that underpin biology—the Cell, the Gene, Evolution by Natural Selection, Life as Chemistry, and Life as Information. He introduces the scientists who made the most important advances, and, using his personal experiences in and out of the lab, he shares with us the challenges, the lucky breaks, and the thrilling eureka moments of discovery.Nurse writes with delight at life’s richness and with a sense of the urgent role of biology in our time. To survive the challenges that face us all today—climate change, pandemic, loss of biodiversity and food security—it is vital that we all understand what life is.