Stem Cells: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan Slack

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199603383

Category: Medical

Page: 130

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There is much public interest in stem cells, but also much confusion and misinformation. Developmental biologist Jonathan Slack explains the biology behind stem cells - what they are what scientists do with them, what stem cell therapies are available today, and what can be expected to happen in the future.
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Developmental Biology: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Lewis Wolpert

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199601194

Category: Science

Page: 132

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"A concise account of what we know about development discusses the first vital steps of growth and explores one of the liveliest areas of scientific research."--P. [2] of cover.
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The Cell: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Terence Allen,Graham Cowling

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191620262

Category: Science

Page: 160

View: 4611

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All living things on Earth are composed of cells. A cell is the simplest unit of a self-contained living organism, and the vast majority of life on Earth consists of single-celled microbes, mostly bacteria. These consist of a simple 'prokaryotic' cell, with no nucleus. The bodies of more complex plants and animals consist of billions of 'eukaryotic' cells, of varying kinds, adapted to fill different roles - red blood cells, muscle cells, branched neurons. Each cell is an astonishingly complex chemical factory, the activities of which we have only begun to unravel in the past fifty years or so through modern techniques of microscopy, biochemistry, and molecular biology. In this Very Short Introduction, Terence Allen and Graham Cowling describe the nature of cells - their basic structure, their varying forms, their division, their differentiation from initially highly flexible stem cells, their signalling, and programmed death. Cells are the basic constituent of life, and understanding cells and how they work is central to all biology and medicine. 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.
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Genes

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan Slack

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 019967650X

Category: Science

Page: 120

View: 7097

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Explores the discovery, nature, and role of genes in evolution and development.
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Blood: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Chris Cooper

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191665177

Category: Science

Page: 144

View: 7611

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Blood is vital to most animals. In mammals it transports oxygen and food, carries away waste, and contains the white cells that attack invading microbes. Playing a central role in life, it has had profound cultural and historical significance and plays an important role in religious ritual. Blood was one of the four humours in early Western medicine and is still probably the major diagnostic tool in the doctor's armoury. In this Very Short Introduction, Chris Cooper analyses the components of blood, explains blood groups, and looks at transfusions, blood tests, and blood-borne diseases. He considers what the future may hold, including the possibility of making artificial blood, and producing blood from stem cells in the laboratory. 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.
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Risk: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Baruch Fischhoff,John Kadvany

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199576203

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 162

View: 3826

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Risks are everywhere. They come from many sources, including crime, diseases, accidents, terror, climate change, finance, and intimacy. They arise from our own acts and they are imposed on us. In this Very Short Introduction Fischhoff and Kadvany draw on both the sciences and humanities to show what all risks have in common. Do we care about losing money, health, reputation, or peace of mind? How much do we care about things happening now or in the future? To ourselves or to others? All risks require thinking hard about what matters to us before we make decisions about them based on past experience, scientific knowledge, and future uncertainties. Using conceptual frameworks such as decision theory and behavioural decision research, we examine the science and practice of creating measures of risk and look at how scientists apply probability by combining historical records, scientific theories, and expert judgement. Showing what science has learned about how people deal with risks, and applying these to diverse everyday examples, the authors demonstrate how we move from understanding a risk to making a choice in everyday life.
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Dreaming

A Very Short Introduction

Author: J. Allan Hobson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192802151

Category: Medical

Page: 153

View: 4822

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In this fascinating book, Harvard researcher Hobson offers an intriguing look at the nightly odyssey through the illusory world of dreams. Hobson describes how the theory of dreaming has advanced dramatically over the past 50 years, sparked by the use of EEGs in the 1950s and by recent innovations in brain imaging. 20 illustrations.
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Plants: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Timothy Walker

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199584060

Category: Science

Page: 129

View: 464

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Plants are a fundamental part of the biosphere and their evolution has directly affected animal life, and the Earth's climate. This Very Short Introduction provides a concise account of the nature of plants, their variety, their evolution, and their importance and uses, stressing the importance of conservation for the future.
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Using the Biological Literature

A Practical Guide, Fourth Edition

Author: Diane Schmidt

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 146655858X

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 412

View: 4140

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The biological sciences cover a broad array of literature types, from younger fields like molecular biology with its reliance on recent journal articles, genomic databases, and protocol manuals to classic fields such as taxonomy with its scattered literature found in monographs and journals from the past three centuries. Using the Biological Literature: A Practical Guide, Fourth Edition is an annotated guide to selected resources in the biological sciences, presenting a wide-ranging list of important sources. This completely revised edition contains numerous new resources and descriptions of all entries including textbooks. The guide emphasizes current materials in the English language and includes retrospective references for historical perspective and to provide access to the taxonomic literature. It covers both print and electronic resources including monographs, journals, databases, indexes and abstracting tools, websites, and associations—providing users with listings of authoritative informational resources of both classical and recently published works. With chapters devoted to each of the main fields in the basic biological sciences, this book offers a guide to the best and most up-to-date resources in biology. It is appropriate for anyone interested in searching the biological literature, from undergraduate students to faculty, researchers, and librarians. The guide includes a supplementary website dedicated to keeping URLs of electronic and web-based resources up to date, a popular feature continued from the third edition.
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The Trojan War: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Eric H. Cline

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199333823

Category: History

Page: 152

View: 4763

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The Iliad, Homer's epic tale of the abduction of Helen and the decade-long Trojan War, has fascinated mankind for millennia. Even today, the war inspires countless articles and books, extensive archaeological excavations, movies, television documentaries, even souvenirs and collectibles. But while the ancients themselves believed that the Trojan War took place, scholars of the modern era have sometimes derided it as a piece of fiction. Combining archaeological data and textual analysis of ancient documents, this Very Short Introduction considers whether or not the war actually took place and whether archaeologists have really discovered the site of ancient Troy. To answer these questions, archaeologist and ancient historian Eric H. Cline examines various written sources, including the works of Homer, the Epic Cycle (fragments from other, now-lost Greek epics), classical plays, and Virgil's Aeneid. Throughout, the author tests the literary claims against the best modern archaeological evidence, showing for instance that Homer, who lived in the Iron Age, for the most part depicted Bronze Age warfare with accuracy. Cline also tells the engaging story of the archaeologists--Heinrich Schliemann and his successors Wilhelm Dörpfeld, Carl Blegen, and Manfred Korfmann--who found the long-vanished site of Troy through excavations at Hisarlik, Turkey. Drawing on evidence found at Hisarlik and elsewhere, Cline concludes that a war or wars in the vicinity of Troy probably did take place during the Late Bronze Age, forming the nucleus of a story that was handed down orally for centuries until put into final form by Homer. But Cline suggests that, even allowing that a Trojan War took place, it probably was not fought because of Helen's abduction, though such an incident may have provided the justification for a war actually fought for more compelling economic and political motives. About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.
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