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The Birds, the Bees and the Platypuses: Crazy, Sexy and Cool Stories from Science

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The Birds, the Bees and the Platypuses: Crazy, Sexy and Cool Stories from Science

Michael Gross

ISBN: 978-3-527-64098-0 March 2012 259 Pages

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Description

Michael Gross has been writing about science full time for the last eight years and as a night time hobby for the previous seven. From his treasure troves, he now presents his favourite science stories from these 15 years.
What are the attractions that make him revisit a topic or reread an article again and again? Often, it's the sheer craziness of wildly unexpected findings or grotesquely oversized challenges. In other stories, there is a sexy element or an unexpected insight into the human condition. And sometimes, when reporting new and future technologies, the author just can't help thinking: >cooooooool!< So here are more than 60 crazy, sexy and cool science stories for you to enjoy.
CRAZY -
WEIRD AND WONDERFUL TALES FROM NATURE AND SCIENCE
Tardigrades can take the pressure
Magic bullets from the desert
Asparagine and old lace
Peptides shielding our skin
Health warning: your body may be unstable
All together now
So where is most of the universe?
Cell jet printers
A frizzled inhairitance
How to eat without a stomach
Astronomy helps spotting whalesharks
Talk to your protein
Ancient protein survives in our eyes

SEXY -
OFFIAL: PEOPLE ARE THE WEIRDEST CREATURES ON THIS PLANET: SORRY, PLATYPUS
Read my lips
A matter of taste
Let your love glow
Jacobson's molecules
The science of the Simpsons
Elusive treasures
Eggs and sperms and rock n' roll
A Cuban success story
Cupid chemistry

COOL -
WELL, HUMANS MAY BE WEIRD, BUT THEY DID DEVELOP SOME COOL TECHNOLOGY
Crystallographic antibodies
Dip-pen lithography
Traffic-light proteins
A cool receptor
Biotronics: a collision of continents
The one-atom quantum computer
Twist and twirl
Multi-purpose DNA
Diatoms
Nature's warning signs
All on one chip
Platinum stories
Nanowires plugged into nerve cells
Aptamer sensors
Hairy ball theorem untangles chemical problem
"This is a rich source of entertainment to the reader who dips in and cherry picks topics.... There are many cool science stories here for you to enjoy." (Education in Chemistry, May 2009)

"A huge set of short essays on obscure and interesting scientific topics … .[A valuable] resource for livening up lectures by professors who are trying to get undergraduates excited about science." (The Quarterly Review of Biology, March 2009)

"His choice in organizing the book into three parts titled 'Crazy Creatures,' 'Sexy Science,' and 'Cool Technology' demonstrates his desire to reveal how science is cultural activity that provides exciting and relevant change to the world." (CHOICE, January 2009)

"This selection from Michael Gross' work of the past fifteen years is a welcome and refreshing treat … .An excellent tool for introducing students to the many facets of science." (ChemBioChem, November 2008)