Staff Pick

In his enthusiastic examination of microbiology, Yong admits to having a “favorite” bacterium (mine is the one that gives squid a bioluminescence that matches moonlight), but in general he emphasizes the larger microbiome, the body’s equivalent to a landscape’s ecosystem. As complicated as the genome and as consequential, the human biome consists of all the bacteria, viruses, and other living organisms on the skin, in the gut, and anywhere else they can thrive. This system constitutes an “essential organ” that enables life and also determines so many aspects of behavior that it raises new questions about what an individual is—if such a creature even exists.

I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life Cover Image
By Ed Yong
ISBN: 9780062368591
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - August 9th, 2016

In the last century, nuclear science changed the world; today, genetics has us again on the brink of a new age, but now it’s not just the world we’re remaking—it’s ourselves. Mukherjee skillfully retraces our steps, relating what we suspected about genetics before we found genes, how we learned to read their code, and, now, how we may rewrite it. The science is here in fascinating detail, along with the many ethical questions the new technologies raise. Reminding us that “genes are essentially a method of information transfer and data storage,” Mukherjee emphasizes that what matters is “what we do with this information.”

The Gene: An Intimate History Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476733500
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - May 17th, 2016

The Gene: An Intimate History Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476733524
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Scribner - May 2nd, 2017

In 1977 NASA launched the Voyager satellites on a ‘Grand Tour’ of the outer planets that fundamentally altered our view of the cosmos. Those robotic explorers are now speeding off into the vastness of interstellar space. They are likely to be humanity’s most enduring artifacts. Marvelously presented by Bell in a compelling and lucid manner, this is a story that everyone should read to learn the wonders of scientific and personal discovery. But don’t take my word for it. Take the word of Voyager scientist Rich Terrile who said "Voyager was the most amazing experience of my life."

The Interstellar Age: The Story of the NASA Men and Women Who Flew the Forty-Year Voyager Mission Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101983898
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton - January 19th, 2016