Bacteria A Very Short Introduction

In this Very Short Introduction, Sebastian Amyes explores the nature of bacteria.

Bacteria  A Very Short Introduction

Author: Sebastian G.B. Amyes

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0199578761

Page: 152

View: 709

In this Very Short Introduction, Sebastian Amyes explores the nature of bacteria. As a fundamental branch of life, they inhabit every part of the Earth's surface. Amyes examines their origin and evolution, bacteria in the environment, and bacteria and disease, to demonstrate the fundamental role they play in our existence.

Microbiology

Describes the expansions of microbiology; it's methods, from traditional microscopy and laboratory culture to the latest genomic analysis. --

Microbiology

Author: Nicholas P. Money

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199681686

Page: 122

View: 688

Describes the expansions of microbiology; it's methods, from traditional microscopy and laboratory culture to the latest genomic analysis.

Viruses

Viruses are big news.

Viruses

Author: Dorothy H. Crawford

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198811713

Page: 158

View: 384

Viruses are big news. From pandemics such as HIV, swine flu, and SARS, we are constantly being bombarded with information about new lethal infections. In this Very Short Introduction, Dorothy Crawford demonstrates from their discovery and the unravelling of their intricate structures, how clever these entities really are.

Drugs

In this second edition, Les Iversen presents an introductory account of what drugs are, how they work, and the advances made over the past 100 years in the field of pharmacology.

Drugs

Author: Les Iversen

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198745796

Page: 144

View: 537

The twentieth century saw a remarkable upsurge of research on drugs, with major advances in the treatment of bacterial and viral infections, heart disease, stomach ulcers, cancer, and metal illnesses. These, along with the introduction of the oral contraceptive, have altered all of our lives. There has also been an increase in the recreational use and abuse of drugs in the Western world. This Very Short Introduction, in its second edition, gives a non-technical account of how drugs work in the body. Reviewing both legal (alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine) and illegal drugs, Les Iversen disscusses why some are addictive, and whether drug laws need reform. 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.

Infectious Disease

In this Very Short Introduction Benjamin Bolker and Marta L. Wayne explore the world of infectious disease, from viruses and bacteria to protists and fungi.

Infectious Disease

Author: Marta Wayne

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199688931

Page: 144

View: 843

As doctors and biologists have learned, to their dismay, infectious disease is a moving target: new diseases emerge every year, old diseases evolve into new forms, and ecological and socioeconomic upheavals change the transmission pathways by which disease spread. By taking an approach focused on the general evolutionary and ecological dynamics of disease, this Very Short Introduction provides a general conceptual framework for thinking about disease. Ecology and evolution provide the keys to answering the "where", "why", "how", and "what" questions about any particular infectious disease: where did it come from? How is it transmitted from one person to another, and why are some individuals more susceptible than others? What biochemical, ecological, and evolutionary strategies can be used to combat the disease? Is it more effective to block transmission at the population level, or to block infection at the individual level? Through a series of case studies, Benjamin Bolker and Marta L. Wayne introduce the major ideas of infectious disease in a clear and thoughtful way, emphasizing the general principles of infection, the management of outbreaks, and the evolutionary and ecological approaches that are now central to much research about infectious disease. 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.

Viruses A Very Short Introduction

Discusses the discovery of viruses, analyzes the threat of viral infections, and considers ways to prevent the emergence of new and devastating viruses.

Viruses  A Very Short Introduction

Author: Dorothy H. Crawford

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199574855

Page: 156

View: 677

Discusses the discovery of viruses, analyzes the threat of viral infections, and considers ways to prevent the emergence of new and devastating viruses.

Food A Very Short Introduction

500 people a year die of bacterial food-borne illness, and in major incidents,
such as the E. coli outbreak in northern Germany in 2011, already referred to,
many tens of people may die. The bacteria that cause these more serious forms
of food ...

Food  A Very Short Introduction

Author: John Krebs

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191636991

Page: 144

View: 506

In this Very Short Introduction, Prof Lord John Krebs provides a brief history of human food, from our remote ancestors 3 million years ago to the present day. By looking at the four great transitions in human food - cooking, agriculture, processing, and preservation - he considers a variety of questions, including why people like some kinds of foods and not others; how your senses contribute to flavour; the role of genetics in our likes and dislikes; and the differences in learning and culture around the world. In turn he considers aspects of diet, nutrition, and health, and the disparity between malnutrition in some places and overconsumption in others. Finally, he considers some of the big issues - the obesity crisis, sustainable agriculture, the role of new technologies such as genetic modification of crops, and ends by posing the question: how will it be possible to feed a population of 9 billion in 2050, without destroying our natural environment? 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.

Marine Biology A Very Short Introduction

The marine environment -- Marine biological processes -- Life in the coastal ocean -- Polar marine biology -- Marine life in the tropics -- Deep-ocean biology -- Intertidal life -- Food from the oceans.

Marine Biology  A Very Short Introduction

Author: Philip V. Mladenov

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199695059

Page: 156

View: 606

In this Very Short Introduction, Philip Mladenov provides a fascinating overview of marine biology. Including a tour of marine life and marine processes that ranges from the polar oceans to tropical coral reefs, he outlines the principles of marine biology whilst demonstrating the fundamental impact humans have on the oceans and their ecology.

Genomics

The implications for our health and privacy, and our understanding of ecological systems and evolution are profound. This book provides an account of this exciting new science, its impact and its potential.

Genomics

Author: John M. Archibald

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198786204

Page: 160

View: 433

Genomics has transformed the biological sciences. From epidemiology and medicine to evolution and forensics, the ability to determine an organism's complete genetic makeup has changed the way science is done and the questions that can be asked of it. Its most celebrated achievement was theHuman Genome Project, a technologically challenging endeavor that took thousands of scientists around the world 13 years and over 3 billion US dollars to complete. In this Very Short Introduction John Archibald explores the science of genomics and its rapidly expanding toolbox. Sequencing a human genome now takes only a few days and costs as little as $1,000. The genomes of simple bacteria and viruses can be sequenced in a matter of hours on a device that fitsin the palm of your hand. The resulting sequences can be used to better understand our biology in health and disease and to 'personalize' medicine. Archibald shows how the field of genomics is on the cusp of another quantum leap; the implications for science and society are profound.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, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Astrobiology A Very Short Introduction

mitochondria provides evidence of bacterial ancestry. The distinct DNA of
chloroplasts in plant and algal cells shows that chloroplasts were derived in a
similar way from symbiotic cyanobacteria that ended up living inside larger cells.

Astrobiology  A Very Short Introduction

Author: David C. Catling

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191665258

Page: 144

View: 261

Astrobiology is the study of the origin and development of life on this and other planets. What fascinates people about astrobiology is that it seeks answers to long-standing unsolved questions: How quickly did life evolve on Earth and why did life persist here? Is there life elsewhere in the Solar System or beyond? The research of astrobiology has become more crucial than ever in recent decades, as biologists have discovered microbes that live in ever more extreme settings, such as bubbling hot springs, in acid, or deep within rocks. Rooted in strong and rigorous research, astrobiology incorporates the work of microbiologists, geologists, and astronomers. In this Very Short Introduction, David C. Catling introduces the origins of astrobiology and demonstrates its impact on current astronomical research and potential future discoveries. 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.

Complexity A Very Short Introduction

If we trace carbon flow in an ecosystem, we soon discover that over 90 per cent of
the bio-carbon (carbon held by organisms) resides in bacteria. If we don't take
account of interchanges with bacteria in broader ecosystem models, say those ...

Complexity  A Very Short Introduction

Author: John H. Holland

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191639540

Page: 152

View: 810

The importance of complexity is well-captured by Hawking's comment: "Complexity is the science of the 21st century". From the movement of flocks of birds to the Internet, environmental sustainability, and market regulation, the study and understanding of complex non-linear systems has become highly influential over the last 30 years. In this Very Short Introduction, one of the leading figures in the field, John Holland, introduces the key elements and conceptual framework of complexity. From complex physical systems such as fluid flow and the difficulties of predicting weather, to complex adaptive systems such as the highly diverse and interdependent ecosystems of rainforests, he combines simple, well-known examples — Adam Smith's pin factory, Darwin's comet orchid, and Simon's 'watchmaker' — with an account of the approaches, involving agents and urn models, taken by complexity theory. 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.

Biochemistry a Very Short Introduction

This book discusses the key concepts of biochemistry, as well as the recent discoveries and innovations in the field.

Biochemistry  a Very Short Introduction

Author: Mark Lorch

Publisher: Very Short Introductions

ISBN: 9780198833871

Page: 144

View: 427

All living things are composed of cells, which have fundamentally the same chemistry. Biochemistry is the study of reactions within these cells, and the molecules that are created, manipulated, and destroyed as a result of them. This book discusses the key concepts of biochemistry, as well as the recent discoveries and innovations in the field.

Minerals A Very Short Introduction

Amongst the most remarkable examples of organisms producing a mineral to
serve a specific function are the magnetotactic bacteria. Here, the bacterium
concerned produces a chain of perfect crystals (see Figure 18), most commonly
of ...

Minerals  A Very Short Introduction

Author: David Vaughan

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191505331

Page: 144

View: 280

Minerals existed long before any forms of life, playing a key role in the origin and evolution of life; an interaction with biological systems that we are only now beginning to understand. Exploring the traditional strand of mineralogy, which emphasises the important mineral families, the well-established analytical methods (optical microscopy and X-ray diffraction) and the dramatic developments made in techniques over recent decades, David Vaughan also introduces the modern strand of mineralogy, which explores the role minerals play in the plate tectonic cycle and how they interact with the living world. Demonstrating how minerals can be critical for human health and illness by providing essential nutrients and releasing poisons, Vaughan explores the multitude of ways in which minerals have aided our understanding of the world. 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.

Evolution A Very Short Introduction

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.

Evolution  A Very Short Introduction

Author: Brian Charlesworth

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191577669

Page: 160

View: 488

Less than 450 years ago, all European scholars believed that the earth was the centre of a universe that was at most a few million miles in extent, and that the planets, sun, and stars all rotated around this centre. Less than 250 years ago, they believed that the universe was created essentially in its present state about 6000 years ago. Less than 150 years ago, the special creation by God of living species was still dominant. The relentless application of the scientific method of inference from experiment and observation, without reference to religious, or governmental authority has completely transformed our view of our origins and relation to the universe, in less than 500 years. Few would dispute that this programme has been spectacularly successful, particularly in the twentieth century. This book is about the crucial role of evolutionary biology in transforming our view of human origins and relation to the universe, and the impact of this idea on traditional philosophy and religion. The purpose of this book is to introduce the general reader to some of the most important basic findings, concepts, and procedures of evolutionary biology, as it has developed since the first publications of Darwin and Wallace on the subject, over 140 years ago. Evolution provides a unifying set of principals for the whole of biology; it also illuminates the relation of human beings to the universe and each other. In addition, many aspects of evolution have practical importance; for instance, the rapid evolution of resistance by bacteria to antibiotics and of HIV to antiviral drugs are pressing medical problems. 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.

Nutrition A Very Short Introduction

bacteria, which can compete with pathogenic bacteria that cause food poisoning.
Some of the products of this bacterial fermentation are also available to the cells
lining the intestinal tract. They provide a major metabolic fuel for these cells, and
 ...

Nutrition  A Very Short Introduction

Author: David Bender

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191504165

Page: 144

View: 122

Nutrition is a topic of wide interest and importance. In spite of growing understanding of the underlying biochemistry, and health campaigns such as 'five-a-day', increasing obesity and reported food allergies and eating disorders, as well as the widely advertised 'supposed' benefits of food supplements mean that a clear explanation of the basic principles of a healthy diet are vital. In this Very Short Introduction, David Bender explains the basic elements of food, the balance between energy intake and exercise, the problems of over- and under-nutrition, and raises the question of safety of nutritional supplements. 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.

Fractals A Very Short Introduction

Similar patterns can occur when bacteria grow on food. Nutrients, which
encourage bacterial growth, diffuse across a suitable surface and are most likely
to meet a bacterial colony near its extremities and so encourage growth in a
branching, ...

Fractals  A Very Short Introduction

Author: Kenneth Falconer

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 019166345X

Page: 152

View: 845

Many are familiar with the beauty and ubiquity of fractal forms within nature. Unlike the study of smooth forms such as spheres, fractal geometry describes more familiar shapes and patterns, such as the complex contours of coastlines, the outlines of clouds, and the branching of trees. In this Very Short Introduction, Kenneth Falconer looks at the roots of the 'fractal revolution' that occurred in mathematics in the 20th century, presents the 'new geometry' of fractals, explains the basic concepts, and explores the wide range of applications in science, and in aspects of economics. This is essential introductory reading for students of mathematics and science, and those interested in popular science and mathematics. 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.

Coral Reefs A Very Short Introduction

Direct consumption of vast numbers of microbes that have grown fat on waste
and dead organic matter is very important to many species. Bacteria commonly
clump around waste matter forming larger particles, and these bacterial clumps ...

Coral Reefs  A Very Short Introduction

Author: Charles Sheppard

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191505234

Page: 144

View: 290

Coral reefs have been long regarded with awe by the millions of people who have encountered them over the centuries. Early seafarers were wary of them, naturalists were confused by them, yet many coastal people benefited greatly from these mysterious rocky structures that grew up to the surface of the sea. They have been rich in their supply of food, and they provided a breakwater from storms and high waves to countless coastal communities that developed from their protection. Their scale is enormous and their value high. Found in countless locations around the world, from the Indo-Pacific coral reef province to the Caribbean and Australia, they support both marine and human life. In this Very Short Introduction, Charles Sheppard provides an account of what coral reefs are, how they are formed, how they have evolved, and the biological lessons we can learn from them. Today, the vibrancy and diversity of these fascinating ecosystems are under threat from over exploitation and could face future extinction, unless our conservation efforts are stepped up in order to save them. 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.

Teeth A Very Short Introduction

That said, you should still brush your teeth—not only does it remove plaque
bacteria that cause demineralization, but the fluoride can actually help
remineralize enamel if the damage isn't too severe. Periodontal disease. Oral
bacteria also ...

Teeth  A Very Short Introduction

Author: Peter S. Ungar

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191649546

Page: 144

View: 839

Teeth are amazing - the product of half a billion years of evolution. They provide fuel for the body by breaking apart other living things; and they must do it again and again over a lifetime without themselves being broken in the process. This means that plants and animals have developed tough or hard tissues for protection, and teeth have evolved ways to sharpen or strengthen themselves to overcome those defences. And just as different jobs require different tools, animals with different diets have different shaped teeth to deal with the variety of foods that they eat. In this Very Short Introduction, Peter S. Ungar, an award-winning author and leading scientist, presents the story of teeth. Ungar outlines the key concepts, including insights into the origin of teeth and their evolution. Considering why teeth are important, he describes how they are made, and how they work, including their fundamental importance in the fossil record. Ungar finishes with a review of mammal teeth, looking at how they evolved and how recent changes to our diet are now affecting dental health. 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.

Genes A Very Short Introduction

Griffith was studying the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae, a major cause of
human pneumonia as well as many other infections. These bacteria come in
various subtypes. The 'smooth' forms have slimy capsules around the cells that ...

Genes  A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan Slack

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191664189

Page: 152

View: 196

In this exploration of the concept of the gene, Jonathan Slack looks at the discovery, nature, and role of genes in both evolution and development. Explaining the nature of genetic variation in the human population, how hereditary factors were identified as molecules of DNA, and how certain specific mutations can lead to disease, Slack highlights how DNA variants are used to trace human ancestry and migration, and can also used by forensic scientists to identify individuals in crime. He also explores issues such as the role of genetic heritability and IQ as well as the changes that occur in the genes of populations during evolution. An ideal guide for anyone curious about what genes are and how genetics can be put to use, this Very Short Introduction demonstrates the ways in which the gene concept has been understood and used by molecular biologists, population biologists, and social scientists around the world. 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.