The Disordered Mind
By Eric R. Kandel
'[Kandel's discoveries] have truly changed our understanding of brain function' - Citation for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine'[Eric Kandel is] one of the preeminent neuroscientists in the world' - Sue Halpern, The New York Review of Books Neurological and psychiatric disorders have long been regarded as fundamentally different, depending on whether they appear to affect the brain or the mind. In reality, the brain and the mind are inseparable. Both types of disorder can affect every aspect of brain function: from perception, action, memory and emotion to empathy, social interaction, attention and consciousness. It is easy to view brain disorders as simply tragic or frightening. However, studying where these functions go wrong provides a window on the workings of the healthy brain, and makes it more likely that scientists and clinicians will be able to develop effective treatments or preventative strategies. As individuals, and as a society, we are also able to better empathise with people with disorders of the mind.Building on his pioneering research, Eric R. Kandel illustrates how breakthrough studies of brain disruptions can deepen our understanding of thought, feeling, behaviour, memory and creativity, and perhaps in the future will transform medical care and lead to the development of a unified theory of mind.
Does Santa Exist?
By Eric Kaplan
Metaphysics isn't ordinarily much of a laughing matter. But in the hands of acclaimed comedy writer and scholar Eric Kaplan, a search for the truth about old St. Nick becomes a deeply insightful, laugh-out-loud discussion of the way some things exist but may not really be there. Just like Santa and his reindeer. Even after we outgrow the jolly fellow, the essential paradox persists: There are some things we dearly believe in that are not universally acknowledged as real. In Does Santa Exist? Kaplan shows how philosophy giants Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein strove to smooth over this uncomfortable meeting of the real and unreal - and failed. From there he turns to mysticism's attempts to resolve such paradoxes, surveying Buddhism, Taoism, early Christianity, Theosophy and even the philosophers at UC Berkeley under whom he studied. Finally, this brilliant comic writer alights on - surprise! - comedy as the ultimate resolution of the fundamental paradoxes of life, using examples from The Big Bang Theory, Monty Python's cheese shop and many other pop-culture sources. Kaplan delves deeper into what all this means, from how our physical brains work to his own personal confrontations with life's biggest questions: If we're all going to die, what's the point of anything? What is a perfect moment? What can you say about God? Or Santa?
The Darkest Day
By Tom Wood
He is darkness. She wants him dead.In a city starved of light, she might just succeed.She moves like a shadow; she kills silently: Raven. This elegant assassin has been on the run for years. This time though, she has picked the wrong target. The hitman known only as 'Victor' is as paranoid as he is merciless, and is no stranger to being hunted. He tracks his would-be killer across the globe, aiming not only to neutralise the threat, but to discover who wants him dead. The trail leads to New York...And then the lights go out.Over twelve hours of unremitting darkness, Manhattan dissolves into chaos. Amid looting, conspiracy and blackout, Victor and Raven play a vicious game of cat and mouse that the city will never forget.
By Paul A. Offit
In 2014, California suffered the largest and deadliest outbreak of pertussis, also known as whooping cough," in more than fifty years. This tragedy was avoidable. An effective vaccine has been available since the 1940s. In recent years other diseases, like measles and mumps, have also made a comeback. The reason for these epidemics can be traced to a group whose vocal proponents insist, despite evidence to the contrary, that vaccines are poison. As a consequence, parents and caretakers are rejecting vaccines for themselves and their families.In Deadly Choices , infectious-disease expert Paul Offit takes a look behind the curtain of the anti-vaccine movement. What he finds is a reminder of the power of scientific knowledge, and the harm we risk if we ignore it.
Durarara!!: Vol. 4 (Manga)
By Ryohgo Narita, Akiyo Satorigi
Dollars, rise up!!When Yagiri Pharmaceuticals crosses the line, the true leader of the Dollars steps forward to take command of the vast network of members at his disposal...Though this unobtrusive boy holds a disturbing degree of power in the palm of his hand, Celty is preoccupied by the powers that still control her head...At the end of the day, will her twenty-year search all be for naught? Or has she found something even more precious along the way?
Drawing the Map of Life
By Victor K. McElheny
Drawing the Map of Life takes the story of the Human Genome Project from its origins, through the race to its accomplishment, and on to today's vast efforts to exploit the complete, ordered sequence of the 3 billion subunits of DNA, the molecule of heredity. It is the first account to deal in depth and balance with the intellectual roots of the project, the motivations that drove it, and the hype that often masked genuine triumphs. McElheny profiles key people, such as David Botstein, Eric Lander, Francis Collins, Watson, Michael Hunkapiller and Craig Venter. He also shows that, besides being a major event in the history of science, one that is revolutionizing medicine, the Human Genome Project is a striking example of how new techniques and instruments (such as restriction enzymes and sequencing methods), often arriving first, shape the type of questions scientists then ask.
By John Long
What happens when we let robots play the game of life? The challenge of studying evolution is that the history of life is buried in the past- we can't witness the dramatic events that shaped the adaptations we see today. But biorobotics expert John Long has found an ingenious way to overcome this problem: he creates robots that look and behave like extinct animals, subjects them to evolutionary pressures, lets them compete for mates and resources, and mutates their &lsquogenes'. In short, he lets robots play the game of life. In Darwin's Devices , Long tells the story of these evolving biorobots- how they came to be, and what they can teach us about the biology of living and extinct species. Evolving biorobots can replicate creatures that disappeared from the earth long ago, showing us in real time what happens in the face of unexpected environmental challenges. Biomechanically correct models of backbones functioning as part of an autonomous robot, for example, can help us understand why the first vertebrates evolved them. But the most impressive feature of these robots, as Long shows, is their ability to illustrate the power of evolution to solve difficult technological challenges autonomously- without human input regarding what a workable solution might be. Even a simple robot can create complex behaviour, often learning or evolving greater intelligence than humans could possibly program. This remarkable idea could forever alter the face of engineering, design, and even warfare. An amazing tour through the workings of a fertile mind, Darwin's Devices will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about evolution, robot intelligence, and life itself.
Digital Vertigo (FREE Extended Extract)
By Andrew Keen
This an Extended Extract of Digital Vertigo to be published on May 22nd 2012. You can follow Andrew Keen: @ajkeenIn Digital Vertigo, Andrew Keen presents today's social media revolution as the most wrenching cultural transformation since the Industrial Revolution. Fusing a fast-paced historical narrative with front-line stories from today's online networking revolution and critiques of "social" companies like Groupon, Zynga and LinkedIn, Keen argues that the social media transformation is weakening, disorienting and dividing us rather than establishing the dawn of a new egalitarian and communal age. The tragic paradox of life in the social media age, Keen says, is the incompatibility between our internet longings for community and friendship and our equally powerful desire for online individual freedom. By exposing the shallow core of social networks, Andrew Keen shows us that the more electronically connected we become, the lonelier and less powerful we seem to be.
The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of
By Stephen Hawking
God does not play dice with the universe." So said Albert Einstein in response to the first discoveries that launched quantum physics, as they suggested a random universe that seemed to violate the laws of common sense. This 20th-century scientific revolution completely shattered Newtonian laws, inciting a crisis of thought that challenged scientists to think differently about matter and subatomic particles. The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of compiles the essential works from the scientists who sparked the paradigm shift that changed the face of physics forever, pushing our understanding of the universe on to an entirely new level of comprehension. Gathered in this anthology is the scholarship that shocked and befuddled the scientific world, including works by Niels Bohr, Max Planck, Werner Heisenberg, Max Born, Erwin Schrodinger, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Richard Feynman, as well as an introduction by today's most celebrated scientist, Stephen Hawking.
Deadly Choices (UK edition)
By Paul A. Offit
Death Most Definite
By Trent Jamieson
Steve knew something was wrong as soon as he saw the dead girl in the Wintergarden food court. Nothing new - he saw dead people all the time - but this one was about to save his life . . . Steve is a necromancer in the family firm, tasked with easing spirits from this dimension to the next after death. And he's kind of OK with that, until someone high up the corporate hierarchy makes a bid to be Australia's new Regional Death. This means killing all of the current Death's staff. After his parents, relatives and pretty much every other necromancer he ever knew has been killed, Steve is left to make a reluctant stand.But to do this he must stay alive. Threatened at every turn, Steve and the perilously attractive (and dead) Lissa go on the run to save what's left of their world.
By Steve Jones
The Origin of Species may be the most famous book in science but its stature tends to obscure much of Charles Darwin's other works. His visit to the Galapagos lasted just five weeks and on his return he never left Britain again. Darwin spent forty years working on the plants, animals and people of his native land and wrote over six million words on topics as different as dogs, insect-eating plants, orchids, earthworms, apes and human emotion. Together they laid the foundations of modern biology. In this beautifully written, witty and illuminating book, Steve Jones explores the domestic Darwin, tracing the great naturalist's journey across Britain: a voyage not of the body, but of the mind.
By Michael Boulter
Five years after returning from his trip around the world on HMS Beagle, the young Charles Darwin became the owner of Down House in Kent, where he moved his growing family, far away from the turmoil and distractions of London. He would live here for the rest of his life. It would become the place where he began work on his masterpiece On the Origin of Species.For almost twenty years he used the garden around him as his laboratory. In the orchard he conducted experiments on pollination. He built a dovecot where he could breed new strains of pigeons that helped him understand the questions of generation. On his daily walk along the sandbank he observed how plants competed for survival. In his heated greenhouse he conducted experiments on orchids and primulas. In solitude he was also able to struggle with the ideas of evolution that had haunted him since his voyage, and give him the courage to publish his revolutionary new ideas. Bringing Darwin's garden to the present day, Boulter unfolds a shining portrait of the formation of one of England's greatest thinkers and his relationship with the place he loved and shows how his experiments that he conducted over 150 years ago are still revealing new proofs and revelations as we continue to search for the origins of life.
By Russell Kirkpatrick
Noetos and his reluctant companion are on the run, as the Recruiters hunger for the powerful artefact that Noetos keeps hidden - and they won't be denied. When the weather turns destructive, Noetos finds it easier to cover his tracks. But, however useful this might be, it's a warning that something is deeply wrong with the world.A continent away, Lenares leads the Cosmographers following the death of her mistress. Through her uncanny affinity with numbers, Lenares can also sense this wrongness. Trained to detect the presence of the Gods, she can find no evidence of the Father - he is missing, but is it possible that a god could be dead? And if so, could the resulting imbalance be the cause of the worsening cataclysms?But these are only pieces of the puzzle, and the reality is far stranger than they imagine.
The Devil Inside
By Jenna Black
POSSESSION. MURDER. MAYHEM. LET THE GAMES BEGIN...Morgan Kingsley, is an exorcist who precariously walks that fine line between heaven and hell. She lives in a world in which demons co-exist with humans. Normally hailed as heroes, these demons can heal, help, and make strong the willing hosts who gladly accept their corporeal possession... unless a demon steps outside the boundaries of the law. That's where Morgan, comes in. She is an expert in getting rogue demons to leave their unwilling hosts.But now the unthinkable has happened: Morgan's got a demon of her very own sharing - possibly overtaking - her body. But this sexy beast is so enticing that he may tempt Morgan to re-evaluate her prejudice against demons - if he doesn't get her killed first. For a war is brewing in the demon realm, and Morgan has just been forced to take sides...
Dead Man Rising
By Lilith Saintcrow
Something is wrong in Saint City. Psions are dying. The cops can't catch the killer or find out what connects the victims, leaving them with only one option. They call in Dante Valentine.
The Day Without Yesterday
By John Farrell
Sometimes our understanding of our universe is given a huge boost by one insightful thinker. Such a boost came in the first half of the twentieth century, when an obscure Belgian priest put his mind to deciphering the nature of the cosmos. Is the universe evolving to some unforeseen end, or is it static, as the Greeks believed? The debate has preoccupied thinkers from Heraclitus to the author of the Upanishads, from the Mayans to Einstein. The Day Without Yesterday covers the modern history of an evolving universe, and how Georges Lemaitre convinced a generation of thinkers to embrace the notion of cosmic expansion and the theory that this expansion could be traced backward to the cosmic origins, a starting point for space and time that Lemaitre called "the day without yesterday." Lemaitre's skill with mathematics and the equations of relativity enabled him to think much more broadly about cosmology than anyone else at the time, including Einstein. Lemaitre proposed the expanding model of the universe to Einstein, who rejected it. Had Einstein followed Lemaitre's thinking, he could have predicted the expansion of the universe more than a decade before it was actually discovered.
Dark Hero of the Information Age
By Flo Conway, Jim Siegelman
Child prodigy and brilliant MIT mathematician, Norbert Wiener founded the revolutionary science of cybernetics and ignited the information-age explosion of computers, automation, and global telecommunications. His best-selling book, Cybernetics , catapulted him into the public spotlight, as did his chilling visions of the future and his ardent social activism.Based on a wealth of primary sources and exclusive access to Wiener's closest family members, friends, and colleagues, Dark Hero of the Information Age reveals this eccentric genius as an extraordinarily complex figure. No one interested in the intersection of technology and culture will want to miss this epic story of one of the twentieth century's most brilliant and colourful figures.
A Different Universe
By Robert B. Laughlin
In this age of superstring theories and Big Bang cosmology, we're used to thinking of the unknown as impossibly distant from our everyday lives. But in A Different Universe , Nobel Laureate Robert Laughlin argues that the scientific frontier is right under our fingers. Instead of looking for ultimate theories, Laughlin considers the world of emergent properties-meaning the properties, such as the hardness and shape of a crystal, that result from the organization of large numbers of atoms. Laughlin shows us how the most fundamental laws of physics are in fact emergent. A Different Universe is a truly mind-bending book that shows us why everything we think about fundamental physical laws needs to change.
By Rock Brynner, Trent Stephens
In this riveting medical detective story, Trent Stephens and Rock Brynner recount the history of thalidomide, from the epidemic of birth defects in the 1960's to the present day, as scientists work to create and test an alternative drug that captures thalidomide's curative properties without its cruel side effects. A parable about compassion-and the absence of it-Dark Remedy is a gripping account of thalidomide's extraordinary impact on the lives of individuals and nations over half a century.