A fix of five fresh science stories

  • Incognito – If the conscious mind – the part you consider you – is just the tip of the iceberg, what is the rest doing? In this sparkling and provocative new book, renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman navigates the depths of the subconscious brain to illuminate surprising mysteries.  (9781847679383): David Eagleman
  • Biopunk: DIY Scientists Hack the Software of Life – The most revolutionary discoveries in science and technology often emerge from out-of-the-way places, forged by brilliant outsiders with few resources besides boundless energy and great ideas. That describes the "biohacking" movement now in its early, heady days. In the next few years, companies will start selling libraries of genetic LEGOs that amateur scientists will use to build new life from scratch. Self- trained genetic tinkerers are already unlocking the potential of DNA in kitchens and garage labs all over the country.  (9781617230028): Marcus Wohlsen.
  • SuperCooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed – Martin Nowak, one of the world’s experts on evolution and game theory, working here with bestselling science writer Roger Highfield, turns an important aspect of evolutionary theory on its head to explain why cooperation, not competition, has always been the key to the evolution of complexity. He offers a new explanation for the origin of life and a new theory for the origins of language, biology’s second greatest information revolution after the emergence of genes. SuperCooperators also brings to light his game-changing work on disease. Cancer is fundamentally a failure of the body’s cells to cooperate, Nowak has discovered, but organs neatly evolved to foster cooperation, and he explains how this new understanding can be used in novel cancer treatments.  (9781439100189): Martin Nowak, Roger Highfield
  • Alchemist Newsletter: March 25, 2011 – The Alchemist this week learns of efforts to mimic the tough shells of the sea snail known as the queen conch, a discovery for William Golding fans perhaps. In other materials news, nanoscopic spirals could improve computer storage while a new approach to testing water reveals the nature of river pollutants in Spain. A chemical solution to an environmental problem could see a reduction in the potent greenhouse gas dinitrogen monoxide entering the atmosphere from livestock urine. In chemical testing, a new robotic arm to the Tox21 initiative could accelerate identification of problem compounds and reconcile the reputation of some substances. Finally, modern alchemy falls foul of earthquakes, tsunami, and media scaremongering.
  • Damon Alburn turns to alchemy for operatic inspiration – John Dee,  alchemist, astrologer, mathmatician, spy and confident of Queen Elizabeth I, is the focus of a new operatic work by Blur front man, Damon Alburn. Dee was the inspiration for both Faust and Prospero.

The latest selection of five science stories, picked up by bob投注平台 Science Writer @sciencebase.