Un jour aux Etats-Unis une dame trouve dans son jardin une énorme masse jaune de la texture d'une éponge. Les policiers sont appelés et, paniqués, lui tirent dessus, sans aucun effet, les pompiers le brûlent mais, le lendemain, la chose a doublé de taille. C'est un blob. Evidemment, cela a donné lieu à un film d'épouvante : " Beware of the Blob " avec Steve Mac Queen. A-delà de l'anecdote, le blob semble immortel. Coupé en morceaux, il cicatrise en deux minutes. Ses seuls ennemis sont la lumière et la sécheresse. Mais il peut " hiberner", en attendant des jours meilleurs. Le blob – ou physarum polycephalum – n'a pas de neurones, mais est capable d'apprendre et de résoudre des problèmes complexes comme les labyrinthes. Il est même doté d'une personnalité. En effet, Les souches se comportent différemment selon leur pays d'origine : L'Américain est plutôt agressif, l'Australien plus pacifique, le Japonais a une tendance à la procrastination...Il est dépourvu de membres mais il bouge, certes lentement. En conditions de laboratoire, il se nourrit de flocons d'avoine et de flans. Bien que dépourvu de cerveau et d'estomac, il parvient à maintenir un apport optimal de nutriments essentiels à sa survie et à sa croissance. C'est un hasard qui l'a mis sur le chemin d'Audrey Dussutour spécialiste des fourmis. Depuis la jeune chercheuse toulousaine s'y consacre. Le blob révèle d'étonnantes capacités et les scientifiques vont de découvertes en découvertes. Chacune d'elle ouvre une fenêtre sur notre propre espèce : mystère de nos origines, solutions pour améliorer notre longévité, pistes pour le traitement du cancer, nouvelle façon d'appréhender l'apprentissage...Nous n'avons pas fini d'entendre parler du blob !
Darwin Comes to Town
Author: Menno Schilthuizen
*Carrion crows in the Japanese city of Sendai have learned to use passing traffic to crack nuts. *Lizards in Puerto Rico are evolving feet that better grip surfaces like concrete. *Europe’s urban blackbirds sing at a higher pitch than their rural cousins, to be heardover the din of traffic. How is this happening? Menno Schilthuizen is one of a growing number of “urban ecologists” studying how our manmade environments are accelerating and changing the evolution of the animals and plants around us. In Darwin Comes to Town, he takes us around the world for an up-close look at just how stunningly flexible and swift-moving natural selection can be. With human populations growing, we’re having an increasing impact on global ecosystems, and nowhere do these impacts overlap as much as they do in cities. The urban environment is about as extreme as it gets, and the wild animals and plants that live side-by-side with us need to adapt to a whole suite of challenging conditions: they must manage in the city’s hotter climate (the “urban heat island”); they need to be able to live either in the semidesert of the tall, rocky, and cavernous structures we call buildings or in the pocket-like oases of city parks (which pose their own dangers, including smog and free-rangingdogs and cats); traffic causes continuous noise, a mist of fine dust particles, and barriers to movement for any animal that cannot fly or burrow; food sources are mainly human-derived. And yet, as Schilthuizen shows, the wildlife sharing these spaces with us is not just surviving, but evolving ways of thriving. Darwin Comes toTown draws on eye-popping examples of adaptation to share a stunning vision of urban evolution in which humans and wildlife co-exist in a unique harmony. It reveals that evolution can happen far more rapidly than Darwin dreamed, while providing a glimmer of hope that our race toward over population might not take the rest of nature down with us.
Author: Carlos Rojas Alvarado, Steven L. Stephenson
Publisher: Academic Press
Myxomycetes: Biology, Systematics, Biogeography, and Ecology is a comprehensive overview of the body of accumulated knowledge that now exists on myxomycetes. Its broad scope takes an integrated approach to the knowledge of this organismal group, considering a number of important aspects of their genetics and molecular phylogeny. It also treats myxomycetes as a distinct group from fungi, and includes molecular information that discusses the systematics and evolutionary pathways of the group. Additionally, biomedical and engineering applicability is discussed, thus expanding the audience and use of the book in a multidisciplinary context. The book provides an authoritative resource for students, researchers and educators interested in the fields of protistology, microbial ecology, molecular microbiology, biogeography, mycology, biodiversity, and evolutionary biology, and will also interest the amateur naturalist and biologist. Written in a simple, concise, and relatively non-technical style, allowing for a broad readership within biological, environmental and life science programs at academic and research institutions Contains the comprehensive body of information available on myxomycetes under one cover, with contributions from the leading authorities in their respective topics Provides straightforward, compiled information about myxomycetes and the potential of this group for basic and applied research
Author: Nathan Emery
Birds have not been known for their high IQs, which is why a person of questionable intelligence is sometimes called a "birdbrain." Yet in the past two decades, the study of avian intelligence has witnessed dramatic advances. From a time when birds were seen as simple instinct machines responding only to stimuli in their external worlds, we now know that some birds have complex internal worlds as well. This beautifully illustrated book provides an engaging exploration of the avian mind, revealing how science is exploding one of the most widespread myths about our feathered friends--and changing the way we think about intelligence in other animals as well. "Bird Brain" looks at the structures and functions of the avian brain, and describes the extraordinary behaviors that different types of avian intelligence give rise to. It offers insights into crows, jays, magpies, and other corvids--the "masterminds" of the avian world--as well as parrots and some less-studied species from around the world. This lively and accessible book shows how birds have sophisticated brains with abilities previously thought to be uniquely human, such as mental time travel, self-recognition, empathy, problem solving, imagination, and insight. Written by a leading expert and featuring a foreword by Frans de Waal, renowned for his work on animal intelligence, "Bird Brain" shines critical new light on the mental lives of birds.
The Tree of Life
Author: Guillaume Lecointre, Hervé Le Guyader
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Did you know that you are more closely related to a mushroom than to a daisy? That crocodiles are closer to birds than to lizards? That dinosaurs are still among us? That the terms "fish," "reptiles," and "invertebrates" do not indicate scientific groupings? All this is the result of major changes in classification, whose methods have been totally revisited over the last thirty years. Modern classification, based on phylogeny, no longer places humans at the center of nature. Groups of organisms are no longer defined by their general appearance, but by their different individual characteristics. Phylogeny, therefore, by showing common ancestry, outlines a tree of evolutionary relationships from which one can retrace the history of life. This book diagrams the tree of life according to the most recent methods of classification. By showing how life forms arose and developed and how they are related, The Tree of Life presents a key to the living world in all its dazzling variety.,
Author: Rudy Simone
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
*Gold Medal Winner in the Sexuality / Relationships Category of the 2011 IPPY Awards* * Honorary Mention in the 2010 BOTYA Awards Women's Issues Category * Girls with Asperger's Syndrome are less frequently diagnosed than boys, and even once symptoms have been recognised, help is often not readily available. The image of coping well presented by AS females of any age can often mask difficulties, deficits, challenges, and loneliness. This is a must-have handbook written by an Aspergirl for Aspergirls, young and old. Rudy Simone guides you through every aspect of both personal and professional life, from early recollections of blame, guilt, and savant skills, to friendships, romance and marriage. Employment, career, rituals and routines are also covered, along with depression, meltdowns and being misunderstood. Including the reflections of over thirty-five women diagnosed as on the spectrum, as well as some partners and parents, Rudy identifies recurring struggles and areas where Aspergirls need validation, information and advice. As they recount their stories, anecdotes, and wisdom, she highlights how differences between males and females on the spectrum are mostly a matter of perception, rejecting negative views of Aspergirls and empowering them to lead happy and fulfilled lives. This book will be essential reading for females of any age diagnosed with AS, and those who think they might be on the spectrum. It will also be of interest to partners and loved ones of Aspergirls, and anybody interested either professionally or academically in Asperger's Syndrome.
In this, the second volume in an important new series presenting core concepts across a range of critical areas of human knowledge, author Joanne Baker unravels the complexities of 20th-century scientific theory for a general readership. From Hubble's law to the Pauli exclusion principle, and from Schrodinger's cat to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, she explains ideas at the cutting-edge of scientific enquiry, making them comprehensible and accessible to the layperson.
This is Dali
Author: Catherine Ingram
Publisher: Laurence King Publishing
Salvador Dalí is one of the most popular artists in the world, known for his lavish lifestyle, gravity-defying moustache, and bizarre art. This book tells the story of Dalí's life and explores the meaning of his Surrealist paintings. It goes beyond his fine art practice and discusses his venture into the commercial world from his extravagant jewelry to his cheeky design for the Chupa Chups lollipops. Surrealism is revealed as a way of life; illustrations bring to life the extraordinary Dream Ball at the Coq Rouge, his fabulous home at Port Lligat, and his underwater fantasy at the World Fair's Surrealist pavilion. Fun, provoking, and endlessly frustrating, Dalí is brought under the spotlight. Catherine Ingram brings her specialized knowledge to the book, while Andrew Rae, an award-winning illustrator, vividly portrays the text. This title is appropriate for ages 14 and up
A Summer with Montaigne
Author: Antoine Compagnon
Publisher: Europa Editions
In his writing and his person, Michel de Montaigne embodied the Humanist ideal. He stands at the start of the French Renaissance in philosophy and literature. But what does Montaigne have to tell us about how to think and live today? In forty short and lively chapters written over a single summer, Antoine Compagnon seeks answers to that question. Compagnon and his subject are congenial, erudite companions. Both are vivid reminders that while ever there are people willing to consider carefully, observe passionately, and speak measuredly, there is hope. A few years ago, Antoine Compagnon was asked to host a radio broadcast, every day for an entire summer, on a formidable subject: Michel de Montaigne. From that experience came this engaging and entertaining book, A Summer with Montaigne. An intelligent and thought-provoking treatise in forty chapters that will introduce readers unfamiliar with Montaigne to his unique brilliance and remind those who already know Montaigne's work of its vitality, force, and enduring timeliness. Compagnon breathes life into the musings of Montaigne, approaching his subject not as the recluse many imagine him to have been, but rather a multi-faceted individual of complex thought and astonishing analytical prowess. Once the mayor of Bordeaux, Montaigne was a committed spirit of his time, advising his powerful contemporaries and always in touch with the questions and concerns of the moment, of which many remain pressing today. Composed over a period of twenty years, Montaigne's Essays deal with timeless themes. From the problems posed by religion, war, power and friendship to the ridiculousness of our weaknesses, Montaigne's Essays remain a moving commentary on what it means to be a human being in any age. Is this a serious and philosophical book? Certainly. But Compagnon never pontificates and is never austere. Many of the anecdotes he chooses allow us to approach the world of Montaigne with a sense of humor and, most importantly, companionship.
Author: Bonnie Vanak
THE WOLF MUST HAVE A MATE TO SURVIVE... Nicolas was the strongest and fiercest of the Draicon, until he was banished for a trumped-up crime. Now the werewolf has only one path to redemption: find the Draicon's long-lost empath, the woman who will save the pack--and Nicolas himself--from terrible danger. Maggie Sinclair is a veterinarian, dedicated to healing. She has no idea of her true nature, the magic waiting in her soul--or the man coming to claim her. The survival of their pack depends on them finding each other, on their ability to become one. But their enemies have also found Maggie, and will kill to stop her awakening to an all-consuming passion...
Dinosaurs Are Forever A pictorial history of paleoart It was 1830 when an English scientist named Henry De la Beche painted the first piece of paleoart, a dazzling, deliciously macabre vision of prehistoric reptiles battling underwater. Since then, artists the world over have conjured up visions of dinosaurs, woolly mammoths, cavemen, and other creatures, shaping our understanding of the primeval past through their exhilarating images. In this unprecedented new book, writer Zo� Lescaze and artist Walton Ford present the astonishing history of paleoart from 1830 to 1990. These are not cave paintings produced thousands of years ago, but modern visions of the prehistory: stunning paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, mosaics, and murals that mingle scientific fact with unbridled fantasy. The collection provides an in-depth look at this neglected niche of art history, and shows the artists charged with imagining these extinct creatures projected their own aesthetic whims onto prehistory, rendering the primordial past with dashes of Romanticism, Impressionism, Japonisme, Fauvism, and Art Nouveau, among other influences. With incisive essays from Lescaze, a preface by Ford, five fold-outs, and dozens of details, the book showcases a stunning collection of artworks plucked from major natural history museums, obscure archives, and private collections, and includes new photography of key works, including Charles R. Knight's seminal dinosaur paintings in Chicago and little-known masterpieces such as A. M. Belashova's monumental mosaic in Moscow. From the fearsome to the fantastical, Paleoart: Visions of a Prehistoric Past 1830-1990 is a celebration of prehistoric animals in art, and a novel chance to understand our favorite extinct beasts through a new art historical lens.
A tale of devout pilgrims to the Holy Land in Medieval times in which the "wandering Jew" of the author's "The sibyl" attains his deliverance.
This is Charles Darwin's chronicle of his five-year journey, beginning in 1831, around the world as a naturalist on the H.M.S. Beagle.
As the organizer of some of the most important meetings in science and religion in Europe, Jean Staune is in a core position to report on the dialogue between science and religion, primarily from the views of scientists. In this book, the translation of a recent French edition, he presents "audacious and rigorous" articles by fifteen renowned leaders in the field, of whom four are Nobel Prize winners. They represent nine countries and seven religions. Each of the authors in this volume responds in a different way, addressing naturalism, materialism, the nature of consciousness, reductionism, and the quest for meaning.Two paradigms emerge, with those who say that God (or direction) can exist in the universe because we can understand certain things, while others say that God exists because we cannot understand the universe altogether. Their reflections on the accessibility and the mystery of the world show the extraordinary abstract revolution that took place in science during the twentieth century and the way this establishes a bridge between science and religion. Contributors are Nobel Prize winners Christian de Duve, Charles Townes, Ahmed Zewail, and William D. Phillips; as well as Paul Davies, Bernard d'Espagnat, Thomas Odhiambo, Ramanath Cowsik, Jean Kovalevsky, Thierry Magnin, Bruno Guiderdoni, Trinh Xuan Thuan, Khalil Chamcham, Michael Heller, and Philip Clayton.