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61. The Illustrated Longitude
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62. Standard and Microscale Experiments
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63. Scanning Electron Microscopy and
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64. Foundations of Systems Biology
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65. Antibodies: A Laboratory Manual
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66. The Mold in Dr. Florey's Coat
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67. The Riddle of the Compass: The
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61. The Illustrated Longitude
by Dava Sobel, William J. H. Andrewes
list price: $22.95
our price: $15.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802775934
Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
Publisher: Walker & Company
Sales Rank: 12274
Average Customer Review: 4.07 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When Dava Sobel's Longitude was published to universal acclaim in 1995, readers voiced only one regret: that it was not illustrated. Now, William Andrewes, the man who organized and hosted the Longitude Symposium that inspired her book, has joined Dava Sobel to create a richly illustrated version of her classic story.

The Illustrated Longitude recounts in words and images the epic quest to solve the thorniest scientific problem of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Throughout the great age of exploration, sailors attempted to navigate the oceans without any means of measuring their longitude: All too often, voyages ended in total disaster when both crew and cargo were captured or lost upon the rocks of an unexpected landfall. Thousands of lives and the fortunes of seafaring nations hung on a resolution.

To encourage a solution, governments established major prizes for anyone whose method or device proved successful. The largest reward of £20,000-truly a king's ransom-was offered by the British Parliament in 1714. The scientific establishment-from Galileo to Sir Isaac Newton-had been certain that a celestial answer would be found and invested untold effort in this pursuit. In stark contrast, one man, John Harrison, imagined and built the unimaginable: a clock that solved the problem by keeping precise time at sea, called today the chronometer. His trials and tribulations to win the prize throughout a forty-year obsession are the culmination of this remarkable story.

The Illustrated Longitude contains the entire original narrative of Longitude, redesigned to accompany 178 images chosen by Will Andrewes: from portraits of every important figure in the story to maps, diagrams, and photographs of scientific instruments, especially John Harrison's remarkable clocks. Andrewes's elegant captions emphasize the scientific and historical events surrounding the images, and they tell their own dramatic story of longitude, paralleling and illuminating Dava Sobel's memorable tale. ... Read more

Reviews (28)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent read that improves on the original
Having bought and read "Longitude", the only lightly illustrated original hardback version, I wanted to know more about how the actual clocks worked, and I wanted to see them, without making a trans-Atlantic pilgrimage to Greenwich.

Hence, when I saw an illustrated version of "Longitude", I had to buy it. This book contains the original text, with no additions, except for the illustrations. The photographs are beautifully done, as is the printing.

My only hesitation in not awarding the book five stars is that I was hoping for one of two things; either an illustrated version of the original, with a couple of pictures of each chronometer, at a reasonable price, or a more detailed illustrated version, with more information on how the chronometers actually work. What we ended up with is a compromise. Beautiful pictures of the chronometers, but little extra detail of Harrison's marvelous inventions.

Still, an improvement on the original, which is an excellent book, one I have read several times. Highly recommended.

By the way, when I purchased this book, I donated my original version to the library.

4-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!
"The Illustrated Longitude" is an excellent, worthwhile historical account of John Harrison's progression as an instrument maker and legitimate finder of a practical solution to the problem of determining Longitude at Sea.

If you are at all interested in the antecedents of today's accurate timekeeping devices this book is a must. The print quality is very high and the illustrations a wonderful aid to feeling the story unfold. The book does not contain detailed plans of Mr Harrison's chronometers or description of the techniques of celestial navigation, but rather is a brisk, engagingly written account of the origin of the Longitude problem, Mr Harrison's solution and those of his rivals and the political intrigues which delayed full acknowledgement of the merit of the H-1 to H-4 devices.

I bought this book some months after visiting the Old Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England. The ingenious mechanisms at work can keep an observer enthralled for hours. They are also very beautiful. "The Illustrated Longitude" really fills out the significance of the Longitude problem in that era and the career details and challenges overcome by a very clever and self made man.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Story, but BEWARE of innaccuracies in this book.
John Harrison completes his first pendulum clock in 1713 before the age of 20. He made the gears for this out of wood which was radical for such a use, but as a carpenter, perhaps not to him---which is a mark of genius, I'd say; to reach beyond accepted norms in this manner. This he did after borrowing a book on math and the laws of motion; which he copied word for word, making his own copy. He incorporated different varieties of wood into his clock for strenth and later invented a bi-metal pendulum to counteract the expansion and compression of various individual metals. He also employed friction-free movements so as to do away with problematic lubricants. When intrigued by the puzzle of time at sea and the issue of longitude he contemplated substituting something not prone to gravity, as a pendulum of course is, to track times passing. In 1737 he creates a cantilevered clock 4 foot square. This the longitude board (which had offered a cash bonus to anyone who could devise a method in which time at sea could be kept) admired. Four years later he returns with an improved model; then starts on a 3rd model, like the previous two, also a fairly large sized clock.But there exists a problem within this book: An artisan freemason by the name of John Jefferys at the Worshipful Company of clockmakers befriends Harrison and then later presents to him a pocket watch in 1753. Then in 1755, while still working on his 3rd model, Harrison says this to the Longitude board: I have..."good reason to think" on the basis of a watch "already executed that such small machines[he's referring to pocketwatches] may be of great service with respect to longitude." He then completes version 3 in 1759. His fourth version appears just a year later, however, and is a 5 inch wide pocketwatch! The obvious inference made by the author is that after he received the pocketwatch from Jeffreys he seemingly put his version #3 on the backburner and soon started on the pocketwatch 4th version. The author does not claim Harrison copied anything from the Jeffreys model, but she certainly phrases this section so as to lend one to believe that this may have been the case; that Jefferys had a hand in the masterstroke invention Harrison eventually produced in version #4. This is not true. Harrison commissioned the watch he received from Jeffreys and was based on Harrison's specifications. It seems that Harrison simply asked Jeffreys to test an idea which he himself hadn't the time to attack just then; as he was still working on his 3rd version of a table-top prototype clock. Hence Harrison's above statement to the board in 1755 whence his ideas were validated by Jeffreys. In addition, the author plays up the part of the Astronomer Royal's part in attempting to impede Harrison from convincing the longitiude board of the efficacy of a time-piece solution to this problem over a celestial answer to this conundrum. The author also jazzes up the issue of whether Harrison received the prize the board promised to pay for a successful solution herein; even though the board supported him for upwards of 20 years as he pursued this quest. It's as if the author intentionally omitted some facts (that the Jefferys was a Harrison commission), and pumped up others (of a rival/foil on the board trying to impede Harrison and the compensation issue; implying that Harrison was jipped) just to make the story more compelling. John Harrison's story, however, is extremely compelling as it is and didn't need this extra spice served up by the author.Do read this (very short) book on how this Mr. Harrison solved the problem of knowing where one is when at sea; and if you're in London, visit the Old Royal Observatory and the Clockmakers museum (in the Guildhall) where you can see Harrison's wonderful creations in person. Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Man who Captured Time so Ships could Navigate Accurately

Note: This review has been written from a city with the following position on Earth:

LATITUDE: (43 degrees 2 minutes North)
LONGITUDE: (81 degrees 9 minutes West.)

This book contains the original 1995 "Longitude" text by Dava Sobel. In order to understand the significance of this text, the reader has to understand some words in this book's title and subtitle.

"Longitude" along with Latitude are two numbers along with their compass directions that are used to fix the position of anything on the planet Earth (as in the note above). Lines of Latitude are the imaginary, parallel, horizontal lines circling the Earth with the equator (fixed by nature) being the "zero-degree parallel of latitude." Lines of Longitude or "meridians" are the imaginary lines that run top to bottom (north to south), from the Earth's North Pole to its South Pole with the "prime meridian" (established by political means) being the "zero-degree meridian of longitude." (Since the mid-1880s, the prime meridian has passed through Greenwich, England. Before this time, the imaginary line that passed through a ship's home port was usually used as the zero-degree meridian.)

Finding latitude on land or sea is easy and eventually a device was invented to make it even more easier. But finding longitude, especially at sea on a swaying ship is difficult, a difficulty "that stumped the wisest minds of the world for the better part of human history" and was "the greatest scientific problem" of the 1770s. Ways of determining longitude astronomically were devised, but these proved to be impractical when used at sea.

England's parliament recognized that "the longitude problem" had to be solved practically since many ships containing people and valuable cargo were lost at sea as soon as the ship's navigators lost sight of land. Thus, this parliament offered a top monetary prize that's equivalent to many millions of dollars today to anyone who could solve this problem.

Enter "a lone genius" named John Harrison (1693 to 1776). While most thought that the solution to this problem was astronomical, Harrison saw time as the solution.

To calculate the longitude using time on a ship at sea, you have to realize these two facts found in this book:

(i) The Earth takes 24 hours of time to spin 360 degrees on its axis from east to west.
(ii) Noon (12:00 PM) is the highest point the sun seems to "travel" in a day.

To learn one's longitude at sea using time, as the book explains, it's necessary to do the following:

(1) Know the time it is aboard ship. (Local noon was normally used because of fact (ii) above.)
(2) At the very same moment, know the time at a known longitude (such as at Greenwich, England).
(3) The difference in time between (1) and (2) is converted to a longitude reading in degrees and direction (using fact (i) above.)

So Harrison's solution was the determination of time of (2) above by inventing a precise timepiece. It would, in this case, be set to Greenwich time. (Note that, as stated, (1) could be determined using the noon-day sun but this was not always practical. Eventually, another timepiece was used to determine the ship's local noon for a particular day.) It should be realized that this was the "era of pendulum clocks" where, on a deck of a rocking ship, "such clocks would slow down, or speed up, or stop running altogether." Harrison was to capture time by building a marine clock or "timekeeper" (eventually called a "chronometer") that could be used on a ship at sea.

This book tells the "true story" of Harrison and his chronometers. (There were five built over a forty-year period. Harrison's first timekeeping device was known as H-1, his second was H-2, and so on.) Sobel uses accuracy (as evidenced by her many references) and extensive interviews with experts in the historical and marine navigational fields to create an engaging, mostly non-technical narrative to convey a story that's filled with suspense, heroism, perfectionism, and villiany. (She includes some essential technical detail of her description of Harrison's timekeepers.)

The nearly 180 illustrations chosen by William Andrewes compliment and add another dimension to Sobel's text. As Sobel explains: "Images of characters, events, instruments (especially [the exterior and interior] of Harrison's [timekeeping] contrivances), maps,and publications...illuminate the narrative. These pictures, paired with Will's detailed, [informative, and well-referenced] captions, offer up their own version of a swashbuckling, scientific adventure in the context of history and technology."

Finally, there is a good 1999 movie entitled "Longitude" that is based on this book's text. It makes all the illustrations in this book come alive.

In conclusion, this book's text and illustrations document the exciting story of how "a lone genius" solved "the longitude problem." Sobel states this more eloquently: "With his marine clocks, John Harrison tested the waters of space-time. He succeeded, against all odds, in using the fourth...dimension to link points on a three-dimensional globe. He [took] the world's whereabouts from the stars, and locked [or captured] the secret in"


4-0 out of 5 stars Great If You Can't See Harrison's Clocks in Person.
So as not to repeat myself and try the patience of those customers who have already read "Longitude", I will confine my comments to the additional material in the illustrated version. If you haven't read "Longitude", it's a great little book, and I refer you to reviews by myself and others on that book's page.

"The Illustrated Longitude" contains the entire original text of Dava Sobel's book, "Longitude", along with 178 illustrations provided by William J. H. Andrewes. Mr. Andrewes hosted the Longitude Symposium that inspired Dava Sobel's book and has himself published the annotated proceedings of the Symposium in his book entitled "The Quest for Longitude". The illustrations in this book consist of portraits of people and photographs of documents and instruments which are referenced in the text. The documents include maps, journals, pages of books, and official decrees. Nearly every major player in the Longitude drama is represented with at least one portrait. Most fascinating are the photographs of the time pieces, themselves. I found the illustrations to be only mildly interesting until I got to the discussion of John Harrison's longitude clocks. At this point, I was astonished to see how grand and beautiful H-1 was...and still is, and how small and elegant H-4 is in contrast. I found it difficult to picture Harrison's clocks while reading Dava Sobel's book, and the ability to see them in this illustrated version has left me even more impressed with Mr. Harrison's work. All of Harrison's clocks are represented with large color photographs, and many of the later copies of his works by Larcum Kendall, Thomas Mudge, John Arnold, and Thomas Earnshaw are also pictured. I wish there were more illustrations addressing the workings of Harrison's clocks, but that's probably a subject for another book. I recommend "The Illustrated Longitude" to fans of John Harrison's work and early chronometers who will not have the opportunity to see these incredible instruments in person. ... Read more

62. Standard and Microscale Experiments in General Chemistry
by Carl B. Bishop, Muriel B. Bishop, Kenneth W. Whitten
list price: $71.95
our price: $71.95
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Asin: 0534424570
Catlog: Book (2003-05-08)
Publisher: Brooks Cole
Sales Rank: 868945
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This comprehensive lab manual contains a wide array of experiments without sacrificing organizational clarity and includes categories on Energy, Kinetics, and Equilibrium. All experiments have undergone significant testing before being finalized, and many microscale experiments have been added to allow for more efficient and cost-effective means of conducting experiments. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice lab mannual, lot experiments
this manual is highly recommended if you bought Whitten's General Chemistry text,by the way, that's really a nice textbook.
This manual is also very good. Lot of experiments organized in to many categories. But i think it will be better if it has more information on the lab instruments. ... Read more

63. Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Microanalysis
by Joseph Goldstein, Dale Newbury, Patrick Kchlin, David C. Joy, Charles E. Lyman, Eric Lifshin, Linda Sawyer, Joseph R. Michael
list price: $75.00
our price: $75.00
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Asin: 0306472929
Catlog: Book (2003-02)
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Sales Rank: 248559
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Book Description

This text provides students as well as practitioners (engineers, technicians, physical and biological scientists, clinicians, and technical managers) with a comprehensive introduction to the field of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray microanalysis. The authors emphasize the practical aspects of the techniques described. Topics discussed include user-controlled functions of scanning electron microscopes and x-ray spectrometers, the characteristics of electron beam - specimen interactions, image formation and interpretation, the use of x-rays for qualitative and quantitative analysis and the methodology for structural analysis using electron back-scatter diffraction. SEM sample preparation methods for hard materials, polymers, and biological specimens are covered in separate chapters. In addition techniques for the elimination of charging in non-conducting specimens are detailed. A data base of useful parameters for SEM and X-ray micro-analysis calculations and enhancements to the text chapters are available on an accompanying CD.This is the third edition of this highly acclaimed text and has been extensively revised. The text has been used in educating over 3,000 students at the Lehigh SEM short course as well as thousands of undergraduate and graduate students at universities in every corner of the globe. The authors have made extensive changes to the text and figures in this edition as a result of their experience in teaching the various concepts of SEM and x-ray microanalysis. ... Read more

64. Foundations of Systems Biology
list price: $52.00
our price: $44.72
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Asin: 0262112663
Catlog: Book (2001-10-15)
Publisher: The MIT Press
Sales Rank: 479047
Average Customer Review: 3.25 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The emerging field of systems biology involves the application of experimental, theoretical, and modeling techniques to the study of biological organisms at all levels, from the molecular, through the cellular, to the behavioral. Its aim is to understand biological processes as whole systems instead of as isolated parts. Developments in the field have been made possible by advances in molecular biology--in particular, new technologies for determining DNA sequence, gene expression profiles, protein-protein interactions, and so on. Foundations of Systems Biology provides an overview of the state of the art of the field. The book covers the central topics of systems biology: comprehensive and automated measurements, reverse engineering of genes and metabolic networks from experimental data, software issues, modeling and simulation, and system-level analysis. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good book.
Great for people who are interested in this new area.

2-0 out of 5 stars suckage
I was very disappointed with what I found in this book. There is a broad range of topics, but the material presented for each topic is extremely thin. In fact, it would appear that each topic is covered by a single chapter modeled after a very short scientific paper. There is very little review of current cutting edge methods. For example, of particular interest to this reviewer was the chapter on large-scale gene expression arrays. What this reviewer found for 1/3 of the chapter on gene arrays was a paper detailing the "DBRF" method in inferring gene array data. At the end of the chapter was a conclusion, "Thus it is shown here that the DBRF method is superior the _predictor_ method." What should have been a chapter on 'foundations', as the title implies, seems to have become a chapter for pushing the agenda of a particular author's field of research.

It may very well be that the 'DBRF' method is superior to the 'predictor' method. That we'll leave up to the reader. But the inclusion of such material would seem to undermine the goals stated in the editorial preface, "Toward System-level Understand of Biological Ssytems." A foundations book, instead of focusing on research of particular groups, should attempt to summarize, dissect, review, compare, and criticize the field.

A more appropriate title for this book would be 'A random collection of speculative essays.' There may still be gems in this book for certain readers, but those wishing to learn about general systems biology should turn elsewhere.

1-0 out of 5 stars skim it in the library, if that....
The sizzle of bioinformatics is fadding, so you're looking to become a player in biology's new buzz: systems biology? Well, don't start your search with this book. The title is misleading: "Foundations of Systems Biology". I was expecting a broad overview of the field with maybe a few key examples and typical approaches of experimental design (both wet-lab and computational). However, this book is nothing more than a thrown together collection of papers that would have a better home torn out of the book and placed in journals. A better (and cheaper) starting place for getting an overview of systems biology would be the SCIENCE issue on systems biology (vol 295 2002) [it even has a nice review by Kitano the editor of this book]. For people looking for current gene network modeling techniques, you might start with "Mathematical modeling of gene networks." Smolen, Neuron 2000. But save your money and time by not buying this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very good begining
In my knowledge, this is the first organized effort to present a synoptic view of systems biology. The best part is that all the contributors are themselves active scientists in the field and obviously therefore information presented is very reliable. I would strongly recommend this book for beginners, though I am sure professionals will find it equally interesting. ... Read more

65. Antibodies: A Laboratory Manual
by Ed Harlow, David Lane
list price: $75.00
our price: $75.00
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Asin: 0879693142
Catlog: Book (1988-12-01)
Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Sales Rank: 146907
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars An old classic, but still useful.
This classic is getting old...
But you cand find some important informations inside, classic protocols and keys-data to the antibodies-world.
A must-have reference for any today-biologist working with antibodies (immunostaining, immunoprecipitation, Western-blot, antibodies production, etc...).

4-0 out of 5 stars An excellent summary of immunological methods.
This book is indespensible for those wishing to set up any type of antibody related methodology. Gives excellent overviews of immunodiagnostic methods (ELISA,RIA,etc.), antibody production (polyclonal and monoclonal), and includes basic summaries on the nature of the immune sytem in vivo. Especially useful to researchers developing immuno-techniques as it gives detailed methodologies. ... Read more

66. The Mold in Dr. Florey's Coat : The Story of the Penicillin Miracle (John MacRae Books)
by Eric Lax
list price: $25.00
our price: $17.50
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Asin: 0805067906
Catlog: Book (2004-04-12)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Sales Rank: 6355
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The untold story of the discovery of the first wonder drug, the men who led the way, and how it changed the modern world

The discovery of penicillin in 1928 ushered in a new age in medicine. But it took a team of Oxford scientists headed by Howard Florey and Ernst Chain four more years to develop it as the first antibiotic, and the most important family of drugs in the twentieth century. At once the world was transformed—major bacterial scourges such as blood poisoning and pneumonia, scarlet fever and diphtheria, gonorrhea and syphilis were defeated as penicillin helped to foster not only a medical revolution but a sexual one as well. In his wonderfully engaging book, acclaimed author Eric Lax tells the real story behind the discovery and why it took so long to develop the drug. He reveals the reasons why credit for penicillin was misplaced, and why this astonishing achievement garnered a Nobel Prize but no financial rewards for Alexander Fleming, Florey, and his team.

The Mold in Dr. Florey’s Coat is the compelling story of the passage of medicine from one era to the next and of the eccentric individuals whose participation in this extraordinary accomplishment has, until now, remained largely unknown.
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fountain of Information in a Pot-Boiler of a Story
This book covers more than twenty-five years of the quest for a viable bacteria fighter recounting the lives of the major players and further depicting the slow progress of medical invention combating infection through all history. The most critical era of this story, however, is coincidently the most important and harrowing years of the 20th century. The all too real threat of a Nazis invasion of Great Britain served as the backdrop for this story's most vital moments.
Few would argue against the notion that the discovery and creation of Penicillin as a viable life saving medication is the most important medical event of the 20th century. Mr. Lax in a detailed, can't put it down, page-turner manages to incorporate the nuances of all of the disparate personalities of the main characters whose devotion to their science and unrelenting commitment to the saving of untold millions of lives refuse to be deterred by the often overwhelming obstacles that faced them each day. In this new century when bringing a drug to market is reputed to take upwards of 10 to 15 million dollars, we watch as Dr. Florey goes before his money sources for research at Oxford and other entities of the time in hopes of raising $100.00 for supplies and comes away with $25.00. (That's right, the decimal points were not misplaced) What we see to our amazement is that they made due.
Dr. Norman Heatley was a genius at coming up with a substitute for just about every necessary hospital research tool imaginable. We share his glee when he shows the rest of the team his latest Rube Goldberg contraption for making some vital process work.
There are countless anecdotes in the day-to-day stories of the mission's successes and failures, all notes and attributions are scrupulously noted by Mr. Lax.
Surreptitious night flights to America via Lisbon with blacked out plane windows, reminiscent of many wonderful movies of the forties portraying life risking events surrounded by war had me shaking my head not simply because of the inherent palpable drama but because it all really happened.
The Americans did lend support in terms of money and ingenuity but it was this team of Oxford scientists who would not be denied. Because of them millions of lives were saved before the end of World War Two and countless millions continue to be saved as a result of the second, third and fourth generations of anti-biotic drugs spawned by their initial discovery.
Mr. Lax has, to the great satisfaction of the reader, set the record straight. He gave credit where it was due without disparaging the reputations of any of many important contributors. It was pleasing and insightful to learn the true story of the greatest medical discovery of the century. Further, that these scientists did their work for the betterment of mankind rather than for the unabated lust for money and power that now confront us daily in news reports cannot be ignored.
My words and recollections only touch the tip of the iceberg that is this story, I urge everyone to pick up a copy of The Mold In Dr. Florey's Coat and then pass it on to a friend. Who knows maybe the notion of doing things for all of the right reasons might just start to spread. ... Read more

67. The Riddle of the Compass: The Invention that Changed the World
by Amir D. Aczel
list price: $13.00
our price: $10.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0156007533
Catlog: Book (2002-05-02)
Publisher: Harvest Books
Sales Rank: 37154
Average Customer Review: 3.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The story of the compass is shrouded in mystery and myth, yet most will agree it begins around the time of the birth of Christ in ancient China. A mysterious lodestone whose powers affected metal was known to the Chinese emperor. When this piece of metal was suspended in water, it always pointed north. This unexplainable occurrence led to the stone's use in feng shui, the Chinese art of finding the right location. However, it was the Italians, more than a thousand years later, who discovered the ultimate destiny of the lodestone and unleashed its formidable powers. In Amalfi sometime in the twelfth century, the compass was born, crowning the Italians as the new rulers of the seas and heralding the onset of the modern world. Retracing the roots of the compass and sharing the fascinating story of navigation through the ages, The Riddle of the Compass is Aczel at his most entertaining and insightful.
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Reviews (42)

2-0 out of 5 stars No riddle. No story.
What a little mess of a book. You see, as it turns out, there isn't really much of a riddle to the invention of the compass. In fact, there isn't really much of a story to the invention of the compasss, or if there is, Dr. Aczel has not stumbled upon it.

So, in order to fill out the pages of this small book, the author spins some unrelated stories that he then tries to somehow pin to the "riddle of the compass." For instance, we are treated to a history of Venice from the Romans to Napolean. Why? Well it seems that as seafaring people, the Venetians probably USED the compass. Or another entire chapter on the travels of Marco Polo to China that ends by noting -- not that Marco Polo had ANYTHING to do with the compass -- but that his travels "prove the feasibility of transport between China and the West. [Polo's] journeys underscore the likelihood that sometime between the Roman era and his own peiord a compass would have arrived in Europe among the many goods that traveled the routes he and his father and uncle took in the late Middle Ages." (I guess I was under the impression that the existence of SOME East-West trade during the Middle Ages was pretty well-accepted. But the Polo trip fills 12 pages of text.)

In these types of books, the relevant digressions are often the essence of what makes for fascinating reading. But here the digressions are almost comically tagential. One feels that Dr. Aczel, if assigned to explicate the story of Little Red Riding Hood, would somehow find his way to a discussion of McCarty-era red-baiting in the little town of Hood, Oregon.

Because there is little to say on the topic, the author struggles to make what might have been a magazine article into a book. As a consequence, the story being told feels silly and the book is poorly organized and frustrating to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Compass In History
Amir Aczel presents us with the story of the origins of the compass, in as much detail as scholars have been able to discover. Aczel covers the use of the compass with ancient mariners and how these mariners had to rely on other navigational aids in the days before the compass, such as wind, plants, sounding lines, sea life, geography, currents, etc.. Also mentioned as well is the use of stars in determining latitude, longitude was much more difficult to determine due to the lack of accurate chronometers in early times.

Much of this volume deals with the origin of the 16 point wind rose and how it became incorporated into the modern compass, documented with events and ancient documents in China, and Italy, up to medival times and beyond. This includes discussions of the Etruscans, the cities of Amalfi and Venice, the explorer Marco Polo, all relating to the development of the compass. The second to last chapter sketches the voyages in the Great Age Of Exploration which were vastly aided by the compass, in addition to the astrolabe, a precursor of the sextant.

I believe that Amir Aczel made a very good case here that the compass is one of the pivitol inventions of humanity. Ask yourself this: if the compass had never been invented (which would have slowed down trade and the exchange of information and ideas) how many years of progress would have been lost? My wild guess is 50-100 years of lost progress, a lot.

5-0 out of 5 stars Short and yet comprehensive and fascinating book
This book is short and reads fast, but it covers its topic--how the compass came about and how navigation was changed by its use--very well. It talks about how navigation worked before the compass (dispelling the myth that ships hugged the coastline to avoid getting lost). It looks worldwide for evidence of magnets used for direction finding throughout history, not always for use in navigation. All in all, a fun and informative book.

3-0 out of 5 stars What was the riddle?
There are a variety of interesting facts presented, but the narrative fails. Aczel organizes his comments around a visit to Amalfi, Italy. According to the book, he arrives in Amalfi to celebrate the birth of Flavio Gioia, a celebrated 13th century Amalfi native whom locals credit with inventing the compass. Wanting to know more about Flavio, he goes to an Amalfi library for research reading. The result is this little tome. At the book's conclusion, our investigative reporter looks up at the understanding librarian, provides words of appreciation and leaves.

We then learn that the first known use of magnetic direction devices was Chinese divination practice, now known as Feng Shui. It seems the first use of a compass was architectural. The Chinese liked having their front doors facing the auspicious south. Sometime around 1100, someone in Italy discoved Feng Shui navigation. It seems Feng Shui architectural tools were equally useful for turning a boat's bow to the south. Further, the always inventive Italians put the device in a box for easy divination during off shore religious services. This was particularly useful during inclement weather.

I guess the 'riddle' was 'who was Fabio Gioa?', but this pleasant chunk of local folklore is quickly dismissed as legend springing from a missing comma in some 15th century manuscript. An alternative might have been 'who invented the compass,' but it is clear this cannot be deduced. A third mystery involves the changing 'compass rose'. On ancient maps, there were 12 directions. Sometime during the 13th century, maps started using a 16 direction 'compass rose'. Who or what sparked that change?

While these issues have the makings of an excellent story on the social shaping of technology, the author never really bring the issues into focus. There are lots of curious details, but the author forgets the punchline.

A lot of time is spend speculating on who 'invented' the compass. Since the familiar European compass is little more than a boxed Chinese 'pivoting magnetized needle', it isn't clear the 12th century Italian design is really an 'invention' at all. This could have provided an interesting segway to an investigation of 'creation' myths in general. It seems many medieval technological imports from China and/or the Muslim Caliphates get transmuted from 'import' to 'invention' in the 16th century. Why these myths were so important, and still offered credibility seems an important topic, but Aczel only alludes to the issue.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Tale About The Riddle & Compass History
The reviews of this book go from one extreme to the other- are you confused about reading this book? As one reviewer suggested to the naysayers- lighten-up! I agree. This book is well presented and covers far more than the "riddle" of who invented the navigational compass, although that alone is worth the read.

The history of the compass starting with the ancient Chinese discovery of the magnetic qualities of lodestone and applying that knowledge to construct a land use compass, then following the invention around the world and over centuries until it was discovered to be useful for sea navigation and it's design perfection as it traveled from one country to the next up to contemporary times, is also worth the read.

Aczel's treatment of this subject includes his account as a young man and his own time spent in the pilot house of ocean liners learning navigation from his seafaring father and captain. He learned the importance of a compass as a navigation aid and this was a great prelude to writing with hands-on knowledge.

Some of the naysayers have attempted to dilute the importance of the compass as a navigational aid- hah! Like Aczel, I too, have spent much time on the ocean and for those that think sailing without a compass is no big thing, consider the older tools of navigation, i.e., guiding by the stars, etc. What do you guide by with during cloudy skies, turbulent seas and no land in sight for weeks or months on end? The compass is unaffected by those conditions and it also lead to accurate, cross-ocean, long distance mapping of the entire world. And they said that's no big thing???? Landlubbers- sheesh!

After finishing this book, I read "The Compass" by Paula Z. Hogan, 1980. Although it was writen for children 9-12, it is a great read for all ages, very informative and at only 60 pages long plus illustrations and experiments, packs more relevant compass info than any book I've read and is great companion to Aczel's book. ... Read more

68. Colour Atlas Of the Anatomy Of Small Laboratory Animals: Rat, Mouse, Golden Hamster
by Peter Popesko, Viera Rajtova, Jindrich Horak
list price: $145.00
our price: $145.00
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Asin: 0702027030
Catlog: Book (2003-01-14)
Publisher: W.B. Saunders Company
Sales Rank: 168000
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69. Quantum Physics (Essential Science Series)
by John R. Gribbin, John Gribbin
list price: $7.00
our price: $6.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0789489236
Catlog: Book (2002-11-01)
Publisher: DK Publishing Inc
Sales Rank: 69090
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Making science more accessible than ever before!

The Essential Science series makes the difficult and fascinating world of cutting-edge science accessible to everyone with a stimulating mix of lively illustrations and jargon-free text. Important scientific theories are explained clearly in these authoritative guides that feature cross-references, glossaries, and thorough indexes. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars So little and so much
I have read several books on Quantum physics and I have never come accross such clear explanations on some strange concepts ranging from black body radiation to QED and Quantum teleportation. And in only 70 pages! I think Gribbin's strength is in its ability to explain advanced concepts from the layman's point of view. ... Read more

70. LabVIEW Programming, Data Acquisition and Analysis (with CD-ROM)
by Jeffrey Y. Beyon, Jeffrey Y Beyon
list price: $69.00
our price: $69.00
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Asin: 0130303674
Catlog: Book (2000-08-30)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Sales Rank: 199782
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

*Master LabVIEW programming - hands-on!

*Learn through real-world data acquisition and analysis applications

*Dozens of key techniques presented through easy-to-adapt templates

*Extensively classroom-tested with professional engineers

*CD-ROM: Tools, templates, and complete LabVIEW evaluation version

Master LabVIEW programming from the ground up - fast!

LabVIEW Programming, Data Acquisition and Analysis is your easy, hands-on guide to LabVIEWprogramming and data analysis. Whether you're learning LabVIEW from the ground up, or updating knowledge you already have, Jeffrey Beyon covers every key technique you need to build reliable, high-performance applications. You'll start with the basics: the structure of LabVIEW source files; using sub VIs; loops and conditional statements; data display; data types; and the prerequisites for data acquisition, including sampling theorems and data acquisition VIs. Next, Beyon covers every key category of data acquisition and analysis application - analog and digital, input and output. Coverage includes:

*Practical techniques for data save/read, data conversion, and much more

*Tips and tricks for memory management, large file management, and more

*Implementing each leading data analysis VI

*Instrument control, counters, and more

*Avoiding and troubleshooting common LabVIEW programming problems

Most examples are presented in the form of software templates that are easy enough to understand quickly, and robust enough to serve as building blocks for real-world solutions. You'll find detailed, end-of-chapter review questions; an accompanying lab workbook is also available. Whether you're a field engineer, scientist, researcher, or student, there's no faster way to get results with LabVIEW!


*Complete library of LabVIEW tools and templates

*Full LabVIEW evaluation version

Companion lab workbook:
Hands-On Exercise Manual for LabVIEW Programming, Data Acquisition and Analysis ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book for upto intermediate Labview Programmers
I like this book a lot. In first few chapters it includes a short but enough introduction about Labview. It is easy to read and to follow.

This is not a magical book which can teach you LabView from zero level to advanced one quickly. Don't expect miracles. However, if you are intended to perform DAQ with LabView, I higly recommend you to read this book with some other LabView books. This book does not go into very detail of DAQ VI's but give you some insight which may be the best for the beginning but not enough for advanced applications.

Don't forget, it takes time and effort to perform a good job for your application.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book
Very useful book for anyone who wants to learn how Labview can be used in Data Acquisition or just wants to learn about Labview. The first few chapters provided a good intro to Labview and the later chapters provided great examples. ... Read more

71. Writing Successful Science Proposals
by Andrew J. Friedland, Carol L. Folt
list price: $16.00
our price: $16.00
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Asin: 0300081413
Catlog: Book (2000-03-01)
Publisher: Yale University Press
Sales Rank: 60384
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book will be of value both to scientists and to undergraduate and graduate students who want to write successful grant or research proposals.For scientists, today's environment of limited funding from Congress and private foundations means that grant proposals must be effective, competitive, and readable.The book is designed to provide a guide to writing proposals and improving their overall quality. For graduate students in the natural sciences, courses on proposal development and writing are increasingly part of the curriculum--this book is, in fact, derived from a course taught by the authors at Dartmouth.Increasingly, research design is a part of the curriculum for undergraduates in science.This book will provide guidance during the conceptualization and formulation of a research plan as well as give specific information for effectively organizing and presenting material in a format widely used for proposal submissions. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good overview of the content and organization of a proposal
Friedland and Folt provide a very nice, concise guide to writing research proposals. They go over the organization of the proposal, what is important to get across in what sections, and also touch on the "storytelling" aspects, such as funneling from broad themes to specifics. I also found useful the list a range of funding sources.

The only major drawback to the book as a general reference is that it is heavily oriented towards experimental biology. Much of the nuts-and-bolts advice doesn't apply to theoretical work, and little or no equivalent advice is given for theoretical proposals.

5-0 out of 5 stars Frieland and Folt a Success
Friedland and Folt are the Strunk and White of proposal writing. They have written a clear, concise guide to scientific proposal writing that captures the essence of the scientific enterprise.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for all beginning PhD students
Writing a PhD prospectus can be pretty intimidating. Where do you start? What do you include? What do you not include? This little book has the answers, and it has been an enormous help to me as I write my own proposal. Friedland and Folt's book is very clear and well-written, and full of practical information on how to write a clear, concise, and exciting proposal. Exercises along the way help to guide you step-by-step through the whole thought process. With this book in hand, writing a prospectus almost seems easy! This book should be sent to all first-year students, along with their registration materials. ... Read more

72. Visions
list price: $24.95
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Asin: 0385484984
Catlog: Book (1997-01-15)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 253322
Average Customer Review: 4.49 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In a spellbinding narrative that skillfully weaves together cutting-edge research among today's foremost scientists, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku--author of the bestselling book Hyperspace--presents a bold, exhilarating adventure into the science of tomorrow.

In Visions, Dr. Kaku examines in vivid detail how the three scientific revolutions that profoundly reshaped the twentieth century--the quantum, biogenetic, and computer revolutions--will transform the way we live in the twenty-first century.The fundamental elements of matter and life--the particles of the atom and the nucleus of the cell--have now been decoded, closing one of the great chapters of scientific history.But this is just the preface to an even more far-reaching scientific revolution, as we make the transition from being passive observers of the mysteries of nature to becoming masters of nature, able to manipulate matter, life, and intelligence to remold the world around us.

In the first part of Visions, Dr.Kaku discusses the cyber future, when millions of microprocessors are scattered throughout our environment; when the iron principle that has ruled the computer industry, Moore's Law, finally collapses, forcing scientists to adopt startling new designs like DNA computers and quantum computers; and when artificial intelligence systems finally arrive.

In the next section, Dr. Kaku shows how the decoding of DNA will allow us to conquer devastating genetic diseases, defeat many cancers at the molecular level, synthesize new medicines using virtual reality, grow new organs, conquer aging and reshape our genetic inheritance.

Finally, he explores how quantum physicists will perfect new ways to harness the cosmic energy of the universe--from molecular machines to supermagnets that may energize a second industrial revolution, to powerful fusion engines that one day may take us to the stars.

What makes Michio Kaku's vision of the future of science so compelling and authoritative is that it is based on the groundbreaking research already underway at leading laboratories around the world.Weaving interviews with over 150 scientists--several of them Nobel laureates--into a rich, inspiring narrative, Dr. Kaku reveals the growing consensus among key scientists about how science will likely evolve through the early, middle, and late years of the twenty-first century.

An intimate, thrilling tour through the next century of science, Visions is a riveting, essential map to how scientists will reshape our future. ... Read more

Reviews (49)

4-0 out of 5 stars a whirlwind tour of tomorrow's breathtaking technologies
In "Visions," theoretical physicist Kaku describes the boundless new technologies that will become available in the next hundred years and beyond, in three general areas: computers and information technology, biotechnology, and fundamental physics. The ideas presented are based on extensive consultation with experts in a variety of fields, and are thrilling prospects that are as well grounded in current authority as might be expected in the dicey business of predicting the future flow of technological progress.

The predictions on information technology detail ever more free-flowing information outlets and ubiquitous computerized devices. The predictions of biotechnology are perhaps the most exciting, offering a wide look at how much more advanced medicine will soon become in diagnosing and preventing cancers and other critical diseases years earlier than is possible now. Kaku describes how this will come about from the increasing understanding of the human genome and the application of electronic and information technology to biotechnology. Curiously, the third section, on fundamental physics, which actually is Kaku's area of expertise, seems the least imaginative and the most rushed. It's hard to give anything more than a cursory glance in going from coverage of current-day projects to considering warp drives, alien intelligences, and alternate universes in under 100 pages. This is made worse when Kaku stops firmly in the present to criticize nuclear power plants and the International Space Station.

Overall, it's an authoritatively speculative look at these three areas of technological promise, although the format is a little strained. If you are unfamiliar with all of these areas and want a brief introduction to each, this is an ideal place to look. Despite Kaku's misgivings about a few technological choices, he is an effective evangelist for the faith in human understanding.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Physicist Looks at the Future
Superstring physicist Michio Kaku turns his eyes to the future, and sees many bright developments in the 21st century. What is really remarkable about this book is Kaku's ability to explain in a clear way how the Quantum revolution of the turn of the previous century has dramatically effected, or perhaps invented, the three great revolutions of the 20th century: computers, biotechnology, and quantum physics. Kaku is especially good in outlining his reasons for his view of the future; and gives pretty reasonable timelines for the achievement of certain goals. The book is easy for a layperson to read and understand, and gives a good overview of scientific development. Well worth reading, at times profound.

5-0 out of 5 stars Quite a payload of food for thought
The intriguing and "user friendly" personality that brought you Hyperspace (Michio Kaku) returns with a heavyweight in revolutionary scientific information. This book will leave you dizzy with concrete facts as well as potential possibilities throughout different areas of biology, technology, and physics. Geniously organized, this book begins by summarizing the different areas of science and their cross-influences, then opens up a whole new world in each respective subject. From artificial intelligence to genetics and (of course) a touch of quantum physics, this book will bring the tingling excitement of a fantastical future realistically close. With insights on economic growth and influences on society, this book shows that world of science fiction luxury and awe is not so far off at all. A great way to broaden your perspectives in one handy book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Informative
I hate futuristic books. I don't like raw speculation. So this book, given to me as a gift, surprised me. Written by a reputable high energy physicist who's taken the trouble to understand details of ideas far afield from his own, the book is a gem, written like a scientific novel. In place of futuristic speculation we're presented with well-established ideas in highly readable form. The chapters on DNA and Cancer alone make the book worth reading. Other recommended, very readable, books providing more detail are "One Renegade Cell" and "Genome".

An irritation: the author shoots half-heartedly from the hip against reductionism on pp. 10-12. The problem is that there is no falsifiable alternative to reductionism, or the isolation of cause and effect. So-called holism is a vague, not mathematically formulable notion. Holism in biology remains an empty hope. Schrödinger explained in "What is Life" why evolution can only be understood at the molecular scale and never at the macroscopic scale. Every mathematical model that succeeds empirically is a form of reductionism. Quantum physics (including all of chemistry) reduces phenomena to atoms and molecules, cell biology reduces phenomena largely to genes and proteins, SOC (self organized criticality) hopes to reduce nature to sand grains and sandpiles, network enthusiasts hope to reduce phenomena to nodes and links (wait until they try to do dynamics empirically correctly...). Economics (beyond finance) so far has failed as scientific theory because it cannot find any suitable "invariant units" to build a theory on, human preferences having failed to do the job. Computerization and advances in biology (all via reductionism, by the way) do not and cannot change these facts. Let me state this challenge to the author and to other critics of reductionism: present us with something nonreductionist that is empirically correct. Until then, be pleased to restrain yourselves from purely speculative and totally unproductive criticism of science.

5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant and thought-provoking celebration of knowledge
Visions is a brilliant journey into the world of tomorrow. It is full of informative and thought-provoking questions.

Visions raises points regarding the human craving for knowledge and technology, and the irreducible chaos that we may encounter in the future because of our manipulation of the planet and our bodies.

His writing again comes about lively and envigorating. His thoughts and explanation of issues are balanced and allow the reader to dwell deep into complex matters without him or her requiring a doctorate in the sciences.

This is another wonderful and excellent book that our Dr. Kaku has developed. Bravo! ... Read more

73. README FIRST for a User's Guide to Qualitative Methods
by Janice M. Morse, Lyn Richards
list price: $41.95
our price: $41.95
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Asin: 0761918914
Catlog: Book (2002-03-19)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Sales Rank: 158197
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Book Description

"A useful and accessible framework for understanding the decision-making process that underlies the 'making' of data. The text offers explanations of how and why choices can be made in accordance with fundamental notions of methodological purposivenessand methodological congruence. A particular value of this text is its highlighting of decisions that underlie one's use of computer applications in the organization and analysis of research data. The text also provides useful distinctions among phenomenological, ethnographic, and grounded theory approaches to fieldwork."

Tom Schram, Education, University of New Hampshire

Offering a map to show readers how some methodological choices lead more directly than others to particular goals, this book provides beginning researchers with an overview of techniques for making data, and an explanation of the ways different tools fit different purposes and provide different research experiences and outcomes. The authors clearly explain why there are many methods and show readers how to locate their study within that choice. Written to be a pragmatic companion, this text will help readers get confidently and competently started on a research path that will work for their study.


  • Tutorials: Provide readers with the opportunity to practice tasks to do with the data provided in the Appendices or with the reader’s own data. The tutorials can be performed in conjunction with the data provided on the CD.
  • Software Demo CD: Provides an opportunity to try some of the tools available in modern software by using QSR’s NVivo product with the data from two real projects, Barbara Lloyd’s "Body Images" study based on focus groups and semi-structured interviews with school students, and Paul Thompson’s "100 Families" life history study.
  • Suggested Reading Resources: Grouped by category, these end of chapter resources offer researchers an excellent guide for further information on specific qualitative approaches, writing, design, etc.
... Read more

74. Introduction to Proteomics: Tools for the New Biology
by Daniel C. Liebler
list price: $59.50
our price: $59.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0896039919
Catlog: Book (2001-12-15)
Publisher: Humana Press
Sales Rank: 240674
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Daniel C. Liebler masterfully introduces the science of proteomics by spelling out the basics of how one analyzes proteins and proteomes, and just how these approaches are then employed to investigate their roles in living systems. He explains the key concepts of proteomics, how the analytical instrumentation works, what data mining and other software tools do, and how these tools can be integrated to study proteomes. Also discussed are how protein and peptide separation techniques are applied in proteomics, how mass spectrometry is used to identify proteins, and how data analysis software enables protein identification and the mapping of modifications. In addition, there are proteomic approaches for analyzing differential protein expression, characterizing proteomic diversity, and dissecting protein–protein interactions and networks. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very readable introduction to Proteomics
This very readable book provides an excellent overview of proteomics. It gives a survey of techniques, comparing them and explaining why and when they are used. This is not the place to learn any method in detail. But it is the only book I have seen that you can read cover to cover in a few days and get the big picture of the field. Some caveats: each chapter has only 3 or 4 references, and the book focuses on methods connected to mass spectrometry. But if you want a quick and pleasant introduction to methods for purifying and identifying proteins, including discussions of ICAT, protein complexes and post-translation modifications, I highly recommend this book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Good information, poor organization
There really are lots of good facts in this book. Somehow, though, they never come together to form a coherent whole.

Most chapters read like essays, meant to stand on their own. That means that many chapters repeat introductory material already covered, and remake points already made. Yes, I appreciate that silver staining does not properly represent the whole range of protein expression levels. I do not appreciate the need to stat that three or four times.

Despite its "Introduction" title, the author seems to forget what a novice will need to learn. For example, there's a discussion of isoelectric focussing for protein separation. That includes mention of the technique's history, and why it used to have reproducibility problems. I never did see an exact description of what the techique actually is or how it works, though. Likewise, the author describes a number of important software packages used in proteomics. There are no screen shots, though, comparisons of capabilities, details of usage, or even references for letting me find out more on my own.

When I got to the the end of this book, I wanted to go back and review a few points. Because of the generally poor organization, it was always a struggle to figure out just which discussion covered the topics I wanted.

Other books cover almost all of this title's content, and do so more clearly. I suggest that the interested reader keep on looking. ... Read more

75. The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes: Volume 1 : Philosophical Papers (Philosophical Papers Volume I)
by Imre Lakatos
list price: $42.00
our price: $42.00
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Asin: 0521280311
Catlog: Book (1980-10-16)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 215128
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Imre Lakatos' philosophical and scientific papers are published here in two volumes. Volume I brings together his very influential but scattered papers on the philosophy of the physical sciences, and includes one important unpublished essay on the effect of Newton's scientific achievement. Volume II presents his work on the philosophy of mathematics (much of it unpublished), together with some critical essays on contemporary philosophers of science and some famous polemical writings on political and educational issues. Imre Lakatos had an influence out of all proportion to the length of his philosophical career. This collection exhibits and confirms the originality, range and the essential unity of his work. It demonstrates too the force and spirit he brought to every issue with which he engaged, from his most abstract mathematical work to his passionate 'Letter to the director of the LSE'. Lakatos' ideas are now the focus of widespread and increasing interest, and these volumes should make possible for the first time their study as a whole and their proper assessment. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Methods of Scientific Research
Philosophy of Science is a crucial subset of philosophy, since it directly affects scientific research. We need to know what constitutes a properly constructed theory, and more to the point, which claims are not theoretical, or perhaps not even scientific. With that goal established, we need to know how to empirically verify the theory in question. Theories are developed within axiomatic systems, are based on assumptions, and present us with a compact thesis, or a set of theses. A theory is scientific if we can falsify it with empirical data. If a theory is not testable, then it is not a good theory, since we cannot accept or reject its propositions. An obvious point is to be raised here - when and under which conditions shall we reject a theory?

Methodological studies flourished in the XX century with the works of Karl Popper, Milton Friedman, Imre Lakatos, Harold Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend and other philosophers. The contribution of Imre Lakatos was significant. With his version of corroboration and refined fascificationism we were able to apply new standards towards the methods of rejection of scientific theories. A single rejection of the scientific theory is not likely to falsify it, unlike advocated previously. However, the main point is that while the absolute truth is always of importance, i.e. whether a given theory is considered "true" because we have not been able to negatively falsify that theory; it is more important that various theories can be compared to each other, even if they are all imperfect. To this end, we can specify a set of thresholds, and say that a research programme A is more empirically valid than a research programme B if it does withstand a larger number of empirical tests. Of course, as simple as it sounds, it is a useful method of evaluation of theories, and can be augmented as needed within a given science.

Philosophy of Science and methodology is of utmost importance to theorists, since more often than not, nonscientific methods of theory construction are used, and even worse, empirical data are inductively used to hypothesize about the causes for the pattern of these data. It's methodologically invalid and by construction, these theories are not falsifiable since they are derived from data. This is true especially within economic theory; labor economics and macroeconomics in particular.

The works of Lakatos are summarized and condensed in various descriptive volumes on the Philosophy of Science, however it is illuminating to read the original works of this ingenious philosopher, since by doing so you gain an additional layer of understanding.

I will not go as far as saying that it should have been a must reading for any scientist, since such proposition would be hardly realistic, but I will say that it is a treat for those who have already tasted methodology in a compact form, and would like to expand their knowledge. ... Read more

76. Flow Measurement: Practical Guides for Measurement and Control
by David W. Spitzer, D. W. Spitzer
list price: $155.00
our price: $155.00
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Asin: 1556177364
Catlog: Book (2001-04-01)
Publisher: ISA-Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation
Sales Rank: 682032
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Everything you need to know about flowmeters
This is the only book I know of that thoroughly explains every flow measurement technology. If you ever buy or specify flowmeters, it's a great reference to have. ... Read more

77. Infrared and Raman Spectroscopy of Biological Materials (Practical Spectroscopy)
by Hans-Ulrich Gremlich, Bing Yan
list price: $195.00
our price: $195.00
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Asin: 0824704096
Catlog: Book (2000-12-01)
Publisher: Marcel Dekker
Sales Rank: 1153390
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78. Measurement Error Models
by Wayne A.Fuller
list price: $198.00
our price: $180.18
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Asin: 0471861871
Catlog: Book (1987-06-30)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 506964
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Book Description

This valuable book-length treatment of the field offers coverage of estimation for situations where the model variables are observed subject to measurement error. Included are regression models with errors in the variables, latent variable models, and factor models. Brings together results from several areas of application, including discussion of recent results for nonlinear models and for models with unequal variances. Also explained are the estimation of true values for the fixed model, prediction of true values under the random model, model checks, and the analysis of residuals. Procedures are illustrated with data drawn from nearly twenty real-data sets. ... Read more

79. Scientific Research in Education
by Richard J. Shavelson
list price: $25.00
our price: $25.00
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Asin: 0309082919
Catlog: Book (2003-01-01)
Publisher: National Academies Press
Sales Rank: 284795
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80. LabVIEW GUI: Essential Techniques
by David J. Ritter
list price: $59.95
our price: $50.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071364935
Catlog: Book (2001-11-28)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional
Sales Rank: 331341
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Dave Ritter is unique in the breadth of his abilities and the depth of his understanding of LabVIEW - and how to teach it..." - Gary Johnson, author Lab/VIEW Graphical Programming *Describes how to implement modern GUI (GraphicUser Interface) methodologies within the LabVIEW application *Provides interface design strategies and basic graphic design principles *Includes over 100 step-by-step LabVIEW GUI Code examples *CD-ROM includes every VI (virtual instrument) mentioned in the book, Quicktime videos demonstrating key aspects of the hands-on section, and a trial version of LabVIEW 5.0 ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars GUI Design for Test and Measurement
As a long-time LabVIEW programmer, I know how easy it is to create rich, graphical user interfaces with LabVIEW. I also know how frustrating it is to have an end user sit down in front of my LabVIEW masterpiece and not have a clue of what to do. In his easy to read style, Dave explains effective user interface design and how to apply it to test and measurement.

I especially appreciated Ch. 6 "Graphic Design for Engineers 101 - A Crash Course in Layout and Design." The discussion on designing an effective layout and the provided templates are excellent. ... Read more

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