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Becoming Immortal Cover

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Becoming Immortal

Combining Cloning and Stem-Cell Therapy

Providing the philosophical, practical, and theoretical leverage for abandoning evolution and development in favor of engineering human beings, Becoming Immortal examines the directions biological change might take if civilization were to take charge of its own destiny. With the aid of embryonic manipulation, cloning, and stem-cell therapy, immortality would seem within the reach of future generations. The question is, “Do we presently have the wisdom to undertake creating immortal organisms?” The author examines every facet of this question, from theory to practice, and provides an answer through an in-depth analysis of life and death.

Beyond Biometry Cover

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Beyond Biometry

Holistic Views of Biological Structure

Charles Oxnard

Beyond Biometry: Holistic Views of Biological Structure

The Billfish Story Cover

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The Billfish Story

Swordfish, Sailfish, Marlin, and Other Gladiators of the Sea

Stan Ulanski

The billfish is fixed at the apex of the oceanic food chain. Composed of sailfish, marlin, spearfish, and swordfish, they roam the pelagic waters of the Atlantic and are easily recognized by their long, spear-like beaks. Noted for their speed, size, and acrobatic jumps, billfish have for centuries inspired a broad spectrum of society. Even in antiquity, Aristotle, who assiduously studied the swordfish, named this gladiator of the sea xiphias—the sword.

The Billfish Story tells the saga of this unique group of fish and those who have formed bonds with them—relationships forged by anglers, biologists, charter-boat captains, and conservationists through their pursuit, study, and protection of these species. More than simply reciting important discoveries, Stan Ulanski argues passionately that billfish occupy a position of unique importance in our culture as a nexus linking natural and human history. Ulanski, both a scientist and an angler, brings a rich background to the subject in a multifaceted approach that will enrich not only readers’ appreciation of billfish but the whole of the natural world.

Biological Resource Centers Cover

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Biological Resource Centers

Knowledge Hubs for the Life Sciences

Scott Stern

Biological resource centers (BRCs) collect, certify, and distribute organisms for use in research and in the development of commercial products in the pharmaceutical, agricultural, and biotechnology industries. They maintain a large and varied collection, including cell lines, micro-organisms, recombinant DNA material, biological media and reagents, and the information technology tools that allow researchers to access biological materials. BRCs have established themselves as a crucial element in the life science innovation infrastructure, from their early impact on virology, to their crucial role in addressing cross-culture contamination in the 1970s, to their current leadership in promoting a global biodiversity network. Today they confront new challenges, resulting from shifts in the nature of biological research, the interaction between public and private researchers, and the increasing focus on biosecurity. This book provides a systematic economic assessment of the impact of biological resource centers through their role in facilitating cumulative knowledge in the life sciences and building on their roles as knowledge hubs —institutions that facilitate the transfer of scientific and technical knowledge among members of a research community. The knowledge hubs framework offers insight into how to develop and evaluate policy proposals that impinge on the control and access of biological materials. Stern argues that science and innovation policy must be premised on a clear understanding of the role that knowledge hubs play and the policy mechanisms that encourage their sustained growth and effectiveness.

Biomedical Signal Analysis Cover

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Biomedical Signal Analysis

Contemporary Methods and Applications

Fabian J. Theis and Anke Meyer-Bäse

A comprehensive introduction to innovative methods in the field of biomedical signal analysis, covering both theory and practice.

Birds of the Salton Sea Cover

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Birds of the Salton Sea

Status, Biogeography, and Ecology

Michael Patten

The Salton Sea, California’s largest inland lake, supports a spectacular bird population that is among the most concentrated and most diverse in the world. Sadly, this crucial stopover along the Pacific Flyway for migratory and wintering shorebirds, landbirds, and waterfowl is dangerously close to collapse from several environmental threats. This book is the first thoroughly detailed book to describe the birds of Salton Sea, more than 450 species and subspecies in all. A major contribution to our knowledge about the birds of western North America, it will also be an important tool in the struggle to save this highly endangered area.

Synthesizing data from many sources, including observations from their long-term work in the area, the authors’ species accounts discuss each bird’s abundance, seasonal status, movement patterns, biogeographic affinities, habitat associations, and more. This valuable reference also includes general information on the region’s fascinating history and biogeography, making it an unparalleled resource for the birding community, for wildlife managers, and for conservation biologists concerned with one of the most threatened ecosystems in western North America.

The Bivalvia Cover

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The Bivalvia

Proceedings of a Memorial Symposium in Honour of Sir Charles Maurice Yonge

Brian Morton

The volume is a memorial to his achievements and comprises 22 papers presented at a symposium in his honour during the IX International Malacological Congress, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1986.

Brief History of Herpetology in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, with a List of Type Specimens of Recent Amphibians and Reptiles Cover

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Brief History of Herpetology in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, with a List of Type Specimens of Recent Amphibians and Reptiles

Javier A. Rodriguez-Robles

The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ), located on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, is a leading center of herpetological research in the United States. This monograph offers a brief account of the principal figures associated with the collection and of the most important events in the history of herpetology in the MVZ during its first 93 years, and lists all type specimens of recent amphibians and nonavian reptiles in the collection.

Although the MVZ has existed since 1908, until 1945 there was no formal curator for the collection of amphibians and nonavian reptiles. Since that time Robert C. Stebbins, David B. Wake, Harry W. Greene, Javier A. Rodríguez-Robles (in an interim capacity), and Craig Moritz have served in that position.

The herpetological collection of the MVZ was begun on March 13, 1909, with a collection of approximately 430 specimens from southern California and as of December 31, 2001, contained 232,254 specimens. Taxonomically, the collection is strongest in salamanders, accounting for 99,176 specimens, followed by "lizards" (squamate reptiles other than snakes and amphisbaenians, 63,439), frogs (40,563), snakes (24,937), turtles (2,643), caecilians (979), amphisbaenians (451), crocodilians (63), and tuataras (3). Whereas the collection's emphasis historically has been on the western United States and on California in particular, representatives of taxa from many other parts of the world are present.

The 1,765 type specimens in the MVZ comprise 120 holotypes, three neotypes, three syntypes, and 1,639 paratopotypes and paratypes; 83 of the holotypes were originally described as full species. Of the 196 amphibian and nonavian reptilian taxa represented by type material, most were collected in México (63) and California (USA, 54).

The Appendix of the monograph presents a list of curators, graduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates, research assistants, curatorial associates, curatorial assistants, and visiting faculty who have conducted research on the biology of amphibians and reptiles while in residence in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology as of December 31, 2001.

Brutes or Angels Cover

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Brutes or Angels

Human Possibility in the Age of Biotechnology

James T. Bradley

A guide to the rapidly progressing Age of Biotechnology, Brutes or Angels provides basic information on a wide array of new technologies in the life sciences, along with the ethical issues raised by each.

With stem cell research, Dolly the cloned sheep, in vitro fertilization, age retardation, and pharmaceutical mind enhancement, humankind is now faced with decisions that it has never before had to consider. The thoughtfulness, or lack of it, that we bring to those decisions will largely determine the future character of the living world.

Brutes or Angels will facilitate informed choice making about the personal use of biotechnologies and the formulation of public policies governing their development and use. Ten biotechnologies that impact humans are considered: stem cell research, embryo selection, human genomics, gene therapies, human reproductive cloning, age retardation, cognition enhancement, the engineering of nonhuman organisms, nanobiology, and synthetic biology.

With deft and assured use of metaphors, analogies, diagrams, and photographs, James T. Bradley introduces important biological principles and the basic procedures used in biotechnology. Various ethical issues--personhood, personal identity, privacy, ethnic discrimination, distributive justice, authenticity and human nature, and the significance of mortality in the human life cycle--are presented in a clear and unbiased manner. Personal reflection and group dialogue are encouraged by questions at the end of each chapter, making this book not only a general guide to better informed and nuanced thinking on these complex and challenging topics but also an appropriate text for bioethics courses in university science departments and for adult education classes.

Standing at the beginning of the twenty-first century, with burgeoning abilities to enhance and even create life in ways unimaginable just a few decades ago, humans have an awesome responsibility to themselves and other species. Brutes or Angelsinvites us to engage each other in meaningful dialogue by listening, gathering information, formulating thoughtful views, and remaining open to new knowledge and ethical argumentation.

The Bulb Hunter Cover

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The Bulb Hunter

Chris Wiesinger

Dubbed the Bulb Hunter in a 2006 New York Times feature story, Chris Wiesinger took his passion for bulbs to vacant lots, abandoned houses, cemeteries, and construction sites throughout the South in search of botanical survivors whose descendants had never seen the inside of a big-box chain store. The vintage specimens Wiesinger sought came from hardy, historic stock, adapted to human neglect and hot climates, reappearing faithfully over decades without care or cultivation.

Traveling back roads, speaking to strangers, looking for the telltale color of a remnant iris or lily, Wiesinger started digging, then began trying to grow and share the bulbs he collected. From its humble beginnings on an East Texas sweet potato farm, his Southern Bulb Company has now grown into a full-fledged business known throughout the world, propagating and selling the rare, tough, heritage plants Wiesinger still seeks out and champions.

Nicknamed “Flower” by his fellow cadets at Texas A&M University, Wiesinger relates his adventures in bulb hunting, telling stories of the bulbs he has discovered and weaving in his own life story as a student, plantsman, and small business owner. He then teams with veteran horticulturist William C. Welch to provide advice on how to grow and appreciate the bulbs that have been rescued and reintroduced. This “primer” gives gardeners information on what bulbs to grow where, when to plant them and when they bloom, and how to incorporate them with other plants in the landscape.

Finally, Welch describes how bulbs have enhanced his personal gardens and brought him and Wiesinger together in the common cause of heirloom gardening. Entertaining, informative, and loaded with beautiful photographs, The Bulb Hunter is sure to be a favorite of gardeners and plant lovers everywhere.

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