A Crack in Creation: The New Power to Control Evolution [EPUB]
24 September 2017, 02:23
2017 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781847923813 | 9.05MB
Jennifer Doudna, the world-famous scientist behind CRISPR, ‘one of the most monumental discoveries in biology’ (New York Times), describes its power to reshape the future of all life and warns of its use.
A handful of discoveries have changed the course of human history. This book is about the most recent and potentially the most powerful and dangerous of them all.
It is an invention that allows us to rewrite the genetic code that shapes and controls all living beings with astonishing accuracy and ease. Thanks to it, the dreams of genetic manipulation have become a stark reality: the power to cure disease and alleviate suffering, to create new sources of food and energy, as well as to re-design any species, including humans, for our own ends.
Jennifer Doudna is the co-inventor of this technology, known as CRISPR, and a scientist of worldwide renown. Writing with fellow researcher Samuel Sternberg, here she provides the definitive account of her discovery, explaining how this wondrous invention works and what it is capable of.
A Crack In Creation also asks us to consider what our new-found power means: how do we enjoy its unprecedented benefits while avoiding its equally unprecedented dangers? As Doudna argues, every member of our species is implicated in the answers to these questions. Somehow we must consider and act together.
The future of humankind – and of all life on Earth – is at stake. This book is an essential guide to the path that now lies ahead.
Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain [EPUB]
24 September 2017, 00:34
2007 | EPUB | ISBN: 9780060186395 | 3.28MB
The act of reading is a miracle. Every new reader's brain possesses the extraordinary capacity to rearrange itself beyond its original abilities in order to understand written symbols. But how does the brain learn to read? As world-renowned cognitive neuroscientist and scholar of reading Maryanne Wolf explains in this impassioned book, we taught our brain to read only a few thousand years ago, and in the process changed the intellectual evolution of our species.
Wolf tells us that the brain that examined tiny clay tablets in the cuneiform script of the Sumerians is configured differently from the brain that reads alphabets or of one literate in today's technology.
There are critical implications to such an evolving brain. Just as writing reduced the need for memory, the proliferation of information and the particular requirements of digital culture may short-circuit some of written language's unique contributions—with potentially profound consequences for our future.
Turning her attention to the development of the individual reading brain, Wolf draws on her expertise in dyslexia to investigate what happens when the brain finds it difficult to read. Interweaving her vast knowledge of neuroscience, psychology, literature, and linguistics, Wolf takes the reader from the brains of a pre-literate Homer to a literacy-ambivalent Plato, from an infant listening to Goodnight Moon to an expert reader of Proust, and finally to an often misunderstood child with dyslexia whose gifts may be as real as the challenges he or she faces.
As we come to appreciate how the evolution and development of reading have changed the very arrangement of our brain and our intellectual life, we begin to realize with ever greater comprehension that we truly are what we read. Ambitious, provocative, and rich with examples, Proust and the Squid celebrates reading, one of the single most remarkable inventions in history. Once embarked on this magnificent story of the reading brain, you will never again take for granted your ability to absorb the written word.
The Book of Circles: Visualizing Spheres of Knowledge [EPUB]
22 September 2017, 02:13
2017 | EPUB + PDF | ISBN: 9781616895280 | 59.77/373.8MB
In this follow-up to his hugely popular The Book of Trees and Visual Complexity, Manuel Lima takes us on a lively tour through millennia of circular information design. Three hundred detailed and colorful illustrations from around the world cover an encyclopedic array of subjects--architecture, urban planning, fine art, design, fashion, technology, religion, cartography, biology, astronomy, and physics, all based on the circle, the universal symbol of unity, perfection, movement, and infinity.
The Book of Circles juxtaposes clay trading tokens used by the ancient Sumerians with the iconic logos of twentieth-century corporations, a chart organizing seven hundred Nintendo offerings with a Victorian board game based on the travels of Nellie Bly, and a visual analysis of Stanley Kubrick's film The Shining with early celestial charts that placed the earth at the center of the universe, among a wealth of other elegant and intriguing methods for displaying information.
Lima provides an authoritative history of the circle as well as a unique taxonomy of twenty-one varieties of circle diagrams, rounding out this visual feast for infographics enthusiasts.