Archive for the 'life science' Category

Flu: The Story of The Great Influenza Pademic of 1918 and the Search of the Virus That Caused it

Friday, October 3, 2008

by Gina Kolata

call #  RC150.4 .K64 2005


When we think of plagues, we think of AIDS, Ebola, anthrax spores, and, of course, the Black Death. But in 1918 the Great Flu Epidemic killed an estimated 40 million people virtually overnight. If such a plague returned today, taking a comparable percentage of the U.S. population with it, 1.5 million Americans would die.

In Flu, Gina Kolata, an acclaimed reporter for The New York Times, unravels the mystery of this lethal virus with the high drama of a great adventure story. From Alaska to Norway, from the streets of Hong Kong to the corridors of the White House, Kolata tracks the race to recover the live pathogen and probes the fear that has impelled government policy.

A gripping work of science writing, Flu addresses the prospects for a great epidemic’s recurrence and considers what can be done to prevent it.


The 100 Most Important Chemical Compounds: A Reference Guide

Friday, September 19, 2008

By Richard L. Meyers and Rusty L. Meyers

Call Number: TP9 .M94 2007

What is a chemical compound? Compounds are substances that are two or more elements combined together chemically in a standard proportion by weight. Compounds are all around us – they include familiar things, such as water, and more esoteric substances, such as triuranium octaoxide, the most commonly occurring natural source for uranium. This reference guide gives us a tour of 100 of the most important, common, unusual, and intriguing compounds known to science. Each entry gives an extensive explanation of the composition, molecular formula, and chemical properties of the compound. In addition, each entry reviews the relevant chemistry, history, and uses of the compound, with discussions of the origin of the compound’s name, the discovery or first synthesis of the compound, production statistics, and uses of the compound.

The 100 Most Important Chemical Compounds provides readers not only with the understanding of the chemistry of these substances and the practical uses of these compounds, but also includes numerous interesting historical details about the scientific discoveries:
-Hannibal employed acetic acid in crossing the Alps
-A disgruntled family doctor’s pleas to do medical research leads to the use of insulin to treat diabetes -Charles Francis Hall’s research as a high school student resulted in a cheap process to produce aluminum and the founding of ALCOA
-A bitter priority dispute among several doctors over the discovery of ether as an anesthetic lead to suicide, prison, and early deaths.
-Dupont scientists researching the production of CFCs accidentally produced a white waxy substance now known as Teflon
-A chemist synthesized methylphenidate and administered it to his wife Rita. He named the compound after her — Ritalin

The reference guide includes a glossary, a guide to further reading, and numerous chemical illustrations to help illuminate the text.

Biology for Nonbiologists

Friday, July 25, 2008

by Frank R. Spellman

Call Number: QH307.2 .S65 2007

The list keeps growing! The latest in Government Institutes’ non-specialist series, Biology for Non-biologists continues the tradition established by Toxicology for Non-Toxicologists and Chemistry for Non-chemists, by providing environmental and occupational-safety-and-health practitioners and students with a comprehensive overview of the principles and concepts of modern biology.

Biotechnology: Changing Life Through Science

Thursday, July 24, 2008

by K. Lee Lerner & Brenda Wilmoth Lerner (editors)

Call Number: TP248.218 .B56 2007

Description no available

Deadly Companions: How Microbes Shaped Our History

Thursday, July 24, 2008

by Dorothy H. Crawford

Call Number: RA649 .C73 2007

Ever since we started huddling together in caves, the story of human history has been inextricably wed to the story of microbes. Bacteria and viruses have evolved and spread among us, shaping our society even as our changing human culture has shaped their evolutionary path.
Combining tales of devastating epidemics with accessible science and fascinating history, Deadly Companions reveals how closely microbes have evolved with us over the millennia, shaping human civilization through infection, disease, and deadly pandemic. Beginning with a dramatic account of the SARS pandemic at the start of the 21st century, Dorothy Crawford takes us back in time to follow the interlinked history of microbes and humanity, offering an up-to-date look at ancient plagues and epidemics, and identifying key changes in the way humans have lived–such as our move from hunter-gatherer to farmer to city-dweller–which made us ever more vulnerable to microbe attack.
Showing that how we live our lives today–with increased crowding and air travel–puts us once again at risk, Crawford asks whether we might ever conquer microbes completely, and whether we need a more microbe-centric view of the world. Among the possible answers, one thing becomes clear: that for generations to come, our deadly companions will continue to influence our lives. (Description by

Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants

Monday, July 21, 2008

by C. Colston Burrell

Call Number SB439 .B877 2006

The biggest enemy of any garden is not a pest, disease, or poison—it’s any plant with tougher survival skills than the plants it competes with. The best way to weed out the invaders is with this fiendishly clever guide to native plants that can seek and destroy the top 100 most unwelcome perennials, grasses, vines, shrubs, and trees. While replacing the invaders, the beautiful, hardy native plants described here also attract native birds and butterflies, while turning away their own enemy invaders. Word-and-picture guides provide tips on care and maintenance, while helpful “at a glance” boxes depict shapes, sizes, best locations, and most attractive features of each native alternative. (Description by