Medical

Enzymes: a Very Short Introduction

Author: Paul Engel

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN:

Category: Medical

Page: 192

View: 608

Enzymes are the molecular machines that make life possible. Working as catalysts, teams of enzymes carry out the processes that power the bodies of living things, from making DNA to digesting food. This book explains what enzymes are, what they do, and how they do it, from enzymes inside our cells to those in washing powders and food production.
Science

Bacteria: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Sebastian G.B. Amyes

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Science

Page: 152

View: 402

In this Very Short Introduction, Sebastian Amyes explores the nature of bacteria. As a fundamental branch of life, they inhabit every part of the Earth's surface. Amyes examines their origin and evolution, bacteria in the environment, and bacteria and disease, to demonstrate the fundamental role they play in our existence.
Science

Molecules: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Philip Ball

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Science

Page: 184

View: 563

The processes in a single living cell are akin to that of a city teeming with molecular inhabitants that move, communicate, cooperate, and compete. In this Very Short Introduction, Philip Ball explores the role of the molecule in and around us - how, for example, a single fertilized egg can grow into a multi-celled Mozart, what makes spider's silk insoluble in the morning dew, and how this molecular dynamism is being captured in the laboratory, promising to reinvent chemistry as the central creative science of the century. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Science

Physical Chemistry: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Peter Atkins

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Science

Page: 144

View: 315

With the development of a variety of exciting new areas of research involving computational chemistry, nano- and smart materials, and applications of the recently discovered graphene, there can be no doubt that physical chemistry is a vitally important field. It is also perceived as the most daunting branch of chemistry, being necessarily grounded in physics and mathematics and drawing as it does on quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, and statistical thermodynamics. With his typical clarity and hardly a formula in sight, Peter Atkins' Very Short Introduction explores the contributions physical chemistry has made to all branches of chemistry. Providing an insight into its central concepts Atkins reveals the cultural contributions physical chemistry has made to our understanding of the natural world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Science

Genes: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan Slack

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Science

Page: 152

View: 596

In this exploration of the concept of the gene, Jonathan Slack looks at the discovery, nature, and role of genes in both evolution and development. Explaining the nature of genetic variation in the human population, how hereditary factors were identified as molecules of DNA, and how certain specific mutations can lead to disease, Slack highlights how DNA variants are used to trace human ancestry and migration, and can also used by forensic scientists to identify individuals in crime. He also explores issues such as the role of genetic heritability and IQ as well as the changes that occur in the genes of populations during evolution. An ideal guide for anyone curious about what genes are and how genetics can be put to use, this Very Short Introduction demonstrates the ways in which the gene concept has been understood and used by molecular biologists, population biologists, and social scientists around the world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Medical

Viruses: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Dorothy H. Crawford

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Medical

Page: 176

View: 845

Viruses are big news. From pandemics such as HIV, swine flu, and SARS, we are constantly being bombarded with information about new lethal infections. In this Very Short Introduction Dorothy Crawford demonstrates how clever these entities really are. From their discovery and the unravelling of their intricate structures, Crawford demonstrates how these tiny parasites are by far the most abundant life forms on the planet. With up to two billion of them in each litre of sea water, viruses play a vital role in controlling the marine environment and are essential to the ocean's delicate ecosystem. Analyzing the threat of emerging virus infections, Crawford recounts stories of renowned killer viruses such as Ebola and rabies as well as the less known bat-borne Nipah and Hendra viruses. Pinpointing wild animals as the source of the most recent pandemics, she discusses the reasons behind the present increase in potentially fatal infections, as well as evidence suggesting that long term viruses can eventually lead to cancer. By examining our lifestyle in the 21st century, Crawford looks to the future to ask whether we can ever live in harmony with viruses, and considers the ways in which we may need to adapt to prevent emerging viruses with devastating consequences. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Health & Fitness

Nutrition: A Very Short Introduction

Author: David Bender

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Health & Fitness

Page: 144

View: 702

Nutrition is a topic of wide interest and importance. In spite of growing understanding of the underlying biochemistry, and health campaigns such as 'five-a-day', increasing obesity and reported food allergies and eating disorders, as well as the widely advertised 'supposed' benefits of food supplements mean that a clear explanation of the basic principles of a healthy diet are vital. In this Very Short Introduction, David Bender explains the basic elements of food, the balance between energy intake and exercise, the problems of over- and under-nutrition, and raises the question of safety of nutritional supplements. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Science

Hormones: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Martin Luck

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Science

Page: 144

View: 398

Hormones play an integral part in the balance and workings of the body. While many people are broadly aware of their existence, there are many misconceptions and few are aware of the nature and importance of the endocrine system. In this Very Short Introduction, Martin Luck explains what hormones are, what they do, where they come from, and how they work. He explains how the endocrine system operates, highlighting the importance of hormones in the regulation of water and salt in the body, how they affect reproduction and our appetites, and how they help us adjust to different environments, such as travel across time zones. In this fresh and modern treatment, Luck also touches on the ethical and moral issues surrounding research methods, testing on animals, and hormone misuse. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Medical

The Brain: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Michael O'Shea

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Medical

Page: 152

View: 788

How does the brain work? How different is a human brain from other creatures' brains? Is the human brain still evolving? In this fascinating book, Michael O'Shea provides a non-technical introduction to the main issues and findings in current brain research, and gives a sense of how neuroscience addresses questions about the relationship between the brain and the mind. Chapters tackle subjects such as brain processes, perception, memory, motor control and the causes of 'altered mental states'. A final section discusses possible future developments in neuroscience, touching on artificial intelligence, gene therapy, the importance of the Human Genome Project, drugs by design, and transplants. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Science

Marine Biology: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Philip V. Mladenov

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Science

Page: 144

View: 828

The marine environment is the largest, most important, and yet most mysterious habitat on our planet. It contains more than 99% of the world's living space; produces half of its oxygen; plays a critical role in regulating its climate; and supports a remarkably diverse and exquisitely adapted array of life forms, from microscopic viruses, bacteria, and plankton to the largest existing animals. As the 21st century progresses human activities, such as overfishing, coastal development, plastic pollution, oil spills, nutrient pollution, the spread of exotic species, and the emission of climate changing greenhouse gases are posing a significant threat to the marine environment and to many of its life forms. In this unique Very Short Introduction, Philip Mladenov provides a comprehensive overview of marine biology, providing a tour of marine life and marine processes that ranges from the polar oceans to tropical coral reefs; and from the intertidal to the hydrothermal vents of the deep sea. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Social Science

Teeth: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Peter S. Ungar

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Social Science

Page: 144

View: 415

Teeth are amazing - the product of half a billion years of evolution. They provide fuel for the body by breaking apart other living things; and they must do it again and again over a lifetime without themselves being broken in the process. This means that plants and animals have developed tough or hard tissues for protection, and teeth have evolved ways to sharpen or strengthen themselves to overcome those defences. And just as different jobs require different tools, animals with different diets have different shaped teeth to deal with the variety of foods that they eat. In this Very Short Introduction, Peter S. Ungar, an award-winning author and leading scientist, presents the story of teeth. Ungar outlines the key concepts, including insights into the origin of teeth and their evolution. Considering why teeth are important, he describes how they are made, and how they work, including their fundamental importance in the fossil record. Ungar finishes with a review of mammal teeth, looking at how they evolved and how recent changes to our diet are now affecting dental health. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Science

Microbiology

Author: Nicholas P. Money

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN:

Category: Science

Page: 122

View: 827

Describes the expansions of microbiology; it's methods, from traditional microscopy and laboratory culture to the latest genomic analysis.
Science

Minerals: A Very Short Introduction

Author: David Vaughan

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Science

Page: 144

View: 484

Minerals existed long before any forms of life, playing a key role in the origin and evolution of life; an interaction with biological systems that we are only now beginning to understand. Exploring the traditional strand of mineralogy, which emphasises the important mineral families, the well-established analytical methods (optical microscopy and X-ray diffraction) and the dramatic developments made in techniques over recent decades, David Vaughan also introduces the modern strand of mineralogy, which explores the role minerals play in the plate tectonic cycle and how they interact with the living world. Demonstrating how minerals can be critical for human health and illness by providing essential nutrients and releasing poisons, Vaughan explores the multitude of ways in which minerals have aided our understanding of the world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Science

Astrobiology: A Very Short Introduction

Author: David C. Catling

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Science

Page: 144

View: 684

Astrobiology is the study of the origin and development of life on this and other planets. What fascinates people about astrobiology is that it seeks answers to long-standing unsolved questions: How quickly did life evolve on Earth and why did life persist here? Is there life elsewhere in the Solar System or beyond? The research of astrobiology has become more crucial than ever in recent decades, as biologists have discovered microbes that live in ever more extreme settings, such as bubbling hot springs, in acid, or deep within rocks. Rooted in strong and rigorous research, astrobiology incorporates the work of microbiologists, geologists, and astronomers. In this Very Short Introduction, David C. Catling introduces the origins of astrobiology and demonstrates its impact on current astronomical research and potential future discoveries. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Science

Food: A Very Short Introduction

Author: John Krebs

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Science

Page: 144

View: 888

In this Very Short Introduction, Prof Lord John Krebs provides a brief history of human food, from our remote ancestors 3 million years ago to the present day. By looking at the four great transitions in human food - cooking, agriculture, processing, and preservation - he considers a variety of questions, including why people like some kinds of foods and not others; how your senses contribute to flavour; the role of genetics in our likes and dislikes; and the differences in learning and culture around the world. In turn he considers aspects of diet, nutrition, and health, and the disparity between malnutrition in some places and overconsumption in others. Finally, he considers some of the big issues - the obesity crisis, sustainable agriculture, the role of new technologies such as genetic modification of crops, and ends by posing the question: how will it be possible to feed a population of 9 billion in 2050, without destroying our natural environment? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Science

The Elements: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Philip Ball

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Science

Page: 192

View: 827

This Very Short Introduction traces the history and cultural impact of the elements on humankind, and examines why people have long sought to identify the substances around them. Looking beyond the Periodic Table, the author examines our relationship with matter, from the uncomplicated vision of the Greek philosophers, who believed there were four elements - earth, air, fire, and water - to the work of modern-day scientists in creating elements such as hassium and meitnerium. Packed with anecdotes, The Elements is a highly engaging and entertaining exploration of the fundamental question: what is the world made from? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Law

Medical Law: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Charles Foster

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Law

Page: 144

View: 534

Medical law is concerned with our bodies, and what happens to them during and after our lives. When things go wrong with our bodies, we want to know what our rights are, and what governs the conduct of the clinicians into whose hands we put our lives and limbs. Dealing with matters of life and death, it can therefore have a fundamental impact on medical practice. Headlines in the media often involve the core issues of medical law - organ transplantation, abortion, withdrawal of treatment, euthanasia, confidentiality, research on humans - these are topics that affect us all. Headlines can misrepresent, however. In order to fully understand the issues and their relevance, we have to delve into the cases and into the principles behind them. In this highly readable Very Short Introduction, Charles Foster explores different examples to illustrate the key problems and principles of medical law. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Science

Human Evolution: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Bernard Wood

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Science

Page: 144

View: 184

This Very Short Introduction traces the history of paleoanthropology from its beginnings in the eighteenth century to the latest fossil finds. Although concentrating on the fossil evidence for human evolution, it also covers the latest genetic evidence about regional variations in the modern human genome that relate to our evolutionary history. Bernard Wood draws on over thirty years of experience to provide an insider's view of the field and some of the personalities in it, and demonstrates that our understanding of human evolution is critically dependent on advances in related sciences such as paleoclimatology, geochronology, systematics, genetics, and developmental biology. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Fungi

Fungi

Author: Nicholas P. Money

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN:

Category: Fungi

Page: 137

View: 464

The variety of the mycological world is far greater than most people imagine. Some fungi kill trees and ravage crops, and pathogenic fungi can infect animals and even humans. But fungi also play crucial roles in ecosystems. They act as agents of wood decay in forests, and symbiotic relationships with mycorrhizal fungi are vital to many plants. In this Very Short Introduction Nicholas P. Money explains the essential functions performed by fungi, the importance of studying them to contain fungal diseases, and how fungi are being used in agriculture, biotechnology, and medicine. -- from cover flap.
Health & Fitness

Nutrition

Author: David A. Bender

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN:

Category: Health & Fitness

Page: 107

View: 249

Nutrition is a topic of wide interest and importance. In spite of growing understanding of the underlying biochemistry, and health campaigns such as "five-a-day", increasing obesity and reported food allergies and eating disorders, as well as the widely advertised "supposed" benefits of food supplements mean that a clear explanation of the basic principles of a healthy diet are vital. In this Very Short Introduction, David Bender explains the basic elements of food, the balance between energy intake and exercise, the problems of over- and under-nutrition, and raises the question of safety of nutritional supplements. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.