ChemEd X contributors and staff members are continually coming across items of interest that they feel others may wish to know about. Picks include, but need not be limited to, books, magazines, journals, articles, apps—most anything that has a link to it can qualify.
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Barry Commoner argues that the central "dogma" of genetic engineering, that DNA alone controls protein synthesis in a one-to-one correspondence between genes and proteins, is highly questionable.
I first wrote about the controversial thesis of this book back in January of 2000, when my "Pick" was an article about David Hockney by Lawrence Wechler in the New Yorker. With the publication of this very attractive, large-format book, you can look for yourself at the evidence that he argues shows that many of the great master painters secretly used optical devices to help produce their work.
Ice cores, bored through thousands of feet of stable glacial ice in Greenland, have proved to be our best record of global climate over more than a hundred thousand years.
Sue Hubbell has written beautifully about her experiences as a beekeeper in rural Missouri. For example, I recommend her "Broadsides from the Other Orders and "A Country Year".
One of the goals of a course I teach in our Honors College is to provide non-science majors with the tools they need to differentiate authentic science from material that has merely been provided a "scientific" dressing. Physicist Robert Ehrlich has provided nine case studies that are ideal for this purpose. Do more guns in the hands of citizens decrease crime? Is AIDS really caused by HIV?
No, phosphorus did not jump to a new position in the periodic table - it is still element number 15.
Malcolm Gladwell has done it again. This article is very much in the spirit of the books by Henry Petroski, who has written about the engineering hidden in ordinary objects such as paperclips and pencils.
Professor James Collman of Stanford University has provided an excellent resource for all of us who try to help our students and the general public to discriminate between valid science and the bogus "scientific" claims that pervade television, the Internet, the grocery store, and especially the "health food" store.
For a long time, it could be said that with some validity that drugs not help athletes perform better. That is no longer the case. It is could increasingly difficult to assure that amateur athletes, even high school athletes, are not training and competing with the aid of testosterone and its precursors, or erythropoetin.
I've been reading a lot lately about alchemy, and was therefore delighted to find a new book on the history of chemistry (that includes some on alchemy), just published by Johns Hopkins University Press. Trevor Levere takes on the impossible task of chronicling the developments in chemistry from its beginning to the present, in only a little over 200 pages.