Author: George O. Poinar
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Release Date: 1992
"Amber is a semi-precious gem that is formed over eons by natural forces out of the resin of trees. Human fascination with amber dates back to prehistoric times, when it was probably considered to have magical powers and was used for adornment and trade. Amber amulets and beads dating from 35,000 to 1,800 B.C. have been found, and where they have been found (for example in graves hundreds of miles from their chemically determined origins) has often helped to establish ancient trade routes." "The preservative qualities of plant resins were well known by the ancients. The Egyptians used resins to embalm their dead, and the Greeks used them to preserve their wine. Amber often preserved fossils, frequently in a pristine state, of all kinds of animal and plant organisms that made contact with the sticky substance and became trapped in it. These fossils include such fragile organisms as nematodes and mushrooms that ordinarily are not preserved under normal processes of fossilization, as well as larger organisms like scorpions and lizards, and the fossils are preserved in their full three-dimensional form, complete with minute details of scales, mouth parts, antennae, and hairs. It has even been suggested that viable DNA may persist in some amber-trapped organisms." "This book is a compendium of all that we know about life found in amber. It surveys all life forms, from microbes to vertebrates and plants, that have been reported from amber deposits throughout the world, beginning with the earliest pieces dating from some 300 million years ago. It also describes the formation of amber and the location, geological history, and early exploration of the major world amber deposits, including those still being worked today." "The book also provides practical information on how to determine fake amber containing present-day forms of life. It can serve as a beginning for tracing the geological history of a particular group of animals or plants or even reconstructing ancient paleoenvironments, and because amber fossils are preserved so completely, in a transparent medium, they can be intimately compared with related living species. Finally, the book discusses what amber fossils can tell us about evolution and speciation, cellular preservation, and paleosymbiosis." "The book is illustrated with 37 color photographs, 154 black-and-white photographs and drawings, and 8 maps."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Author: Henry Lee
Release Date: 2003-04-17
Uses case studies to examine how investigators collect genetic evidence and discusses how DNA has altered crime-solving and the court system as well as the ethical ramifications of cloning, genetic modification, and the death penalty.
Author: Andrew Ross
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 1998
The fossilized resin of ancient trees, amber preserves organic material--most commonly insects and other invertebrates--and with it the shape and surface detail that are usually obliterated or hopelessly distorted during the mineralization we associate with fossils. This fascinating substance offers a unique intersection of the fields of paleontology, botany, entomology, and mineralogy.
A Nobel Prize-winning biologist tells the riveting story of his race to discover the inner workings of biology's most important molecule "Ramakrishnan's writing is so honest, lucid and engaging that I could not put this book down until I had read to the very end."--Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Emperor of All Maladies and The Gene Everyone has heard of DNA. But by itself, DNA is just an inert blueprint for life. It is the ribosome--an enormous molecular machine made up of a million atoms--that makes DNA come to life, turning our genetic code into proteins and therefore into us. Gene Machine is an insider account of the race for the structure of the ribosome, a fundamental discovery that both advances our knowledge of all life and could lead to the development of better antibiotics against life-threatening diseases. But this is also a human story of Ramakrishnan's unlikely journey, from his first fumbling experiments in a biology lab to being the dark horse in a fierce competition with some of the world's best scientists. In the end, Gene Machine is a frank insider's account of the pursuit of high-stakes science.
Includes, beginning Sept. 15, 1954 (and on the 15th of each month, Sept.-May) a special section: School library journal, ISSN 0000-0035, (called Junior libraries, 1954-May 1961). Also issued separately.
An influential geneticist traces his investigation into the genes of humanity's closest evolutionary relatives, explaining what his sequencing of the Neanderthal genome has revealed about their extinction and the origins of modern humans.
In the wrong hands, math can be deadly. Even the simplest numbers can become powerful forces when manipulated by journalists, politicians or other public figures, but in the case of the law your liberty—and your life—can depend on the right calculation. Math on Trial tells the story of ten trials in which mathematical arguments were used—and disastrously misused—as evidence. Despite years of math classes, most people (and most jurors) fail to detect even simple mathematical sophistry, resulting in such horrors as a medical expert’s faulty calculation of probabilities providing the key evidence for a British mother’s conviction for the murder of her two babies. The conviction was later overturned, but three years in prison took its toll—Sally Clark died of acute alcohol intoxication in March of 2007. Mathematicians Leila Schneps and Coralie Colmez use a wide range of examples, from a mid-19th-century dispute over wills that became a signal case in the forensic use of mathematics, to the conviction and subsequent exoneration of Amanda Knox, to show how the improper application of mathematical concepts can mean the difference between walking free and life in prison. The cases discussed include: -The Case of Amanda Knox (How a judge’s denial of a second DNA test may have destroyed a chance to reveal the truth about Meredith Kercher’s murder) -The Case of Joe Sneed (How a fabricated probability framed a son for his parents’ grisly killing) -The Case of Sally Clark (How multiplying non-independent probabilities landed an innocent mother in jail for the murder of her children) -The Case of Janet Collins (How unjustified estimates combined with a miscalculated probability convicted an innocent couple of violent robbery) A colorful narrative of mathematical abuse featuring such characters as Charles Ponzi, Alfred Dreyfus, Hetty Green, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Math on Trial shows that legal expertise isn’t everything when it comes to proving a man innocent.