The Deeper Genome [EPUB]
07 August 2015, 09:27
2015 | EPUB | 1.68MB
- Gives an up-to-date account of our understanding of the human genome in over a decade since the completion of the Human Genome Project
- Reveals the emerging picture of a genome far more complex than originally thought
- Discusses the latest research, including much debated findings of the international ENCODE project
- Reassesses what we are learning about the uniqueness of humans, and the role of genes in disease
Over a decade ago, as the Human Genome Project completed its mapping of the entire human genome, hopes ran high that we would rapidly be able to use our knowledge of human genes to tackle many inherited diseases, and understand what makes us unique among animals. But things didn't turn out that way. For a start, we turned out to have far fewer genes than originally thought - just over 20,000, the same sort of number as a fruit fly or worm. What's more, the proportion of DNA consisting of genes coding for proteins was a mere 2%. So, was the rest of the genome accumulated 'junk'?
Things have changed since those early heady days of the Human Genome Project. But the emerging picture is if anything far more exciting. In this book, John Parrington explains the key features that are coming to light - some, such as the results of the international ENCODE programme, still much debated and controversial in their scope. He gives an outline of the deeper genome, involving layers of regulatory elements controlling and coordinating the switching on and off of genes; the impact of its 3D geometry; the discovery of a variety of new RNAs playing critical roles; the epigenetic changes influenced by the environment and life experiences that can make identical twins different and be passed on to the next generation; and the clues coming out of comparisons with the genomes of Neanderthals as well as that of chimps about the development of our species. We are learning more about ourselves, and about the genetic aspects of many diseases. But in its complexity, flexibility, and ability to respond to environmental cues, the human genome is proving to be far more subtle than we ever imagined.
Readership: Popular science readers and students and scientists in biology, genetics, medicine, and neuroscience.
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void [EPUB]
07 August 2015, 09:25
2011 | EPUB | 0.85MB
Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can’t walk for a year? have sex? smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour? To answer these questions, space agencies set up all manner of quizzical and startlingly bizarre space simulations. As Mary Roach discovers, it’s possible to preview space without ever leaving Earth. From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA’s new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), Roach takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.
Psychology, 7th Edition [PDF]
26 July 2015, 00:40
2014 | PDF | 165.2MB
This acclaimed classroom favorite makes the science of psychology (and through that, the process of science itself) come alive for students, with personal stories that exemplify important concepts in a student-friendly way, and with coverage of the field’s scientific foundations and advances that is accessible without being oversimplified.
The substantially updated new edition extends the book’s focus on developing scientific literacy in the context of psychology, with new features in print and in the book’s new online course space, LaunchPad. These features are the result of the book’s most dramatic addition—Sandra Hockenbury’s new writing partnership with co-author, Susan Nolan, who shares her belief that the introductory course can help all kinds of students develop a real understanding of psychology and lasting scientific literacy without sacrificing the field’s research core.