BIOLOGY AND GENETICS
William J. McShea, William M. Healy
Oak Forest Ecosystems, Ecology and Management for Wildlife
This book focuses on the relationship between an oak forest’s acorn yield and species of wildlife that depend on it.
It begins by treating factors such as oak distribution, forest fires, tree diseases and pests, dynamics of acorn production, and acorn dispersal by birds and mammals.
Special consideration is given to the phenomenon of masting—whereby oaks in a given area will produce huge crops of acorns at irregular intervals—a key component for wildlife researchers and managers in understanding patterns of scarcity and abundance in the creatures that feed on this crop.
Relationships between oaks and animals such as mice, squirrels, turkeys, deer, and bear are discussed, as are the differences between eastern, southern Appalachian, southwestern, and California oak forests.
Louis Neal Irwin, Dirk Schulze-Makuch
Cosmic Biology: How Life Could Evolve on Other Worlds
It is very unlikely that little green humanoids are living on Mars. But what are the possible life forms that might exist in our Solar System and how might they have evolved?
This uniquely authoritative and imaginative book on the possibilties for alien life addresses the intrinsic interest that we have about life on other worlds – reinforcing some of our assumptions and reshaping others. It introduces new possibilties that will enlarge our understanding of the issue overall, in particular the enormous range of environments and planetary conditions within which life might evolve.
-discusses a broad range of possible environments where alien life might have evolved;
-explains why carbon-based, water-borne life is more likely that its alternatives, but is not the only possiblity;
-applies the principles of planetary science and modern biology to evolutionary scenarios on other worlds;
-looks at the future fates of living systems, including those on Earth.
Edwin E Lewis, James F Campbell, Michael V K Sukhdeo
The Behavioural Ecology of Parasites
Parasites have evolved numerous complex and fascinating ways of interacting with their hosts. The subject attracts the interest of numerous biologists from the perspective of ecology and behavioral biology, as well as from those concerned with more applied aspects of parasitology. However, until now there has been no recent book to synthesize this field. This book, written by leading authorities from the USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, provides the most comprehensive coverage of this important topic on the market.
Biology 12 begins with the Chemistry of Life, where the structure and function of biochemicals is examined.
A Planet of Viruses
Viruses are the smallest living things known to science, yet they hold the entire planet in their sway. We are most familiar with the viruses that give us colds or the flu, but viruses also cause a vast range of other diseases, including one disorder that makes people sprout branch-like growths as if they were trees. Viruses have been a part of our lives for so long, in fact, that we are actually part virus: the human genome contains more DNA from viruses than our own genes. Meanwhile, scientists are discovering viruses everywhere they look: in the soil, in the ocean, even in caves miles underground.
This fascinating book explores the hidden world of viruses—a world that we all inhabit. Here Carl Zimmer, popular science writer and author of Discover magazine’s award-winning blog The Loom, presents the latest research on how viruses hold sway over our lives and our biosphere, how viruses helped give rise to the first life-forms, how viruses are producing new diseases, how we can harness viruses for our own ends, and how viruses will continue to control our fate for years to come. In this eye-opening tour of the frontiers of biology, where scientists are expanding our understanding of life as we know it, we learn that some treatments for the common cold do more harm than good; that the world’s oceans are home to an astonishing number of viruses; and that the evolution of HIV is now in overdrive, spawning more mutated strains than we care to imagine.
The New York Times Book Review calls Carl Zimmer “as fine a science essayist as we have.” A Planet of Viruses is sure to please his many fans and further enhance his reputation as one of America’s most respected and admired science journalists.