Book Reviews

Books"Must read" or "Don't buy" - critical reviews of new science books

Honeybee Democracy, by Tom Seeley
Despite their tiny stature bees can provide Homo sapiens with many interesting role models. Entomologist Tom Seeley of Cornell University (see adjacent photo) tells us why... more
The PHD Movie, by Jorge Cham
Are you one of those Nameless Heroes who spend the best years of their lives – at all unsociable hours – in the lab? Yes? Well, Jorge Cham has made a film about you... more
Building Brains, by David Price, Andrew Jarman, John Mason and Peter Kind
First you need a zygote, then things get complicated. Will this book help its readers to make a brain, or at least to gain a better understanding of how brains are built during animal development? ... more
Review of four calendars for scientists (and other good dudes)
In the last Lab Times of the year, we traditionally present a number of fine calendars that will please any scientist’s heart. This year, feast your eyes on a pocket diary for botanists, an extraordinary anatomical calendar from the US and an extravagant circular calendar that perplexes the eye... more
Developmental Biology by Scott F. Gilbert
The growth and development of organisms is a thrilling thing, in theory as well as in reality. Just ask professional cyclist Tyler Hamilton. ... more
Tropical Rain Forest Ecology by Jaboury Ghazoul and Douglas Sheil
The incredible biological profusion of tropical rain forests has long inspired adventurers and writers to expound on their majesty. Even hard-nosed scientists are in awe of the evergreen home to half the living animal and plant species on Earth. ... more
The Evolution of the Human Head by Daniel Lieberman
Grafted onto a slim neck, we carry around an energy-wasting appendage that torments us with headache, hair-loss and protruding ears. However, we can’t get by without it. Daniel Lieberman, Professor of human evolutionary biology, explains in a heady volume, how our most important body part evolved ... more
Brock Biology of Microorganisms by M. Madigan, J. Martinko, D. Stahl & D. Clark
The smaller the leading actors, the heavier their appearance. The 13th edition of the “bible” of microbiology is devoted once again to the first, smallest and most widespread creatures on earth ... more
Acceptable Risk / The Drug, by William Graham (DVD)
This educational film for biomedical scientists provides, besides atrocity, homicide and fire raising, many interesting insights into life science research conducted in shady basements. Along with laughs for lovers of B movies ... more
Freaks of Nature, by Mark S. Blumberg
The shape of an animal is not as predefined as some may think. The disfigured of today may be the ordinary of tomorrow ... more
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
HeLa cells have been manipulated by thousands of scientists around the world. Few ever thought about where they came from and even fewer about the circumstances under which they were taken. Now is the time ... more
Ecological Developmental Biology by Scott F. Gilbert & David Epel
It’s nutrition that makes a bee larva become a huge, fertile queen or a tiny, sterile worker. And it’s hot weather that makes unborn turtles become female. A didactic masterpiece about environmental effects on embryonic development ... more
3D molecular modelling kits that appeal to every scientist’s inner child
3D modelling kits appeal to every scientist’s inner child. Your Lab Times reporter checked out three common systems, each with a rather different character ... more
Lost Sex: The Evolutionary Biology of Parthenogenesis, by I. Schön, K. Martens & P. Van Dijk
Even though many animals and plants reproduce sexually, plenty of creatures don’t need males to procreate. Maybe they have chosen an even better way ... more
Living in a Microbial World, by Bruce V. Hofkin
Here comes a huge textbook with sometimes unscientific and occasionally even inaccurate information. But it’s not all bad ... more
E.O.Wilson: Anthill
After controversial and groundbreaking books on social insects, biodiversity and human behaviour, myrmecologist and twofold Pulitzer Prize winner, E. O. Wilson, has written his first novel. Unsurprisingly, ants are the protagonists ... more
Boris Mikhaylovich Kozo-Polyansky: Symbiogenesis: A New Principle of Evolution
In the 1920s, the Russian biologist Boris Mikhaylovich Kozo-Polyansky recognised symbiogenesis – the merging of two separate organisms to form a single new organism – as an important evolutionary tool. 86 years after the publication of his historic 1924 opus, Symbiogenesis, an English translation is available ... more
Craig B. Stanford: The Last Tortoise: A Tale of Extinction in Our Lifetime
The future of tortoises is uncertain and their biggest threat is human predation. Craig Stanford takes us closer to these creatures, showing us their biology and analysing their current situation ... more
Michael Ruse and Joseph Travis (Eds.)
Evolution. The First Four Billion Years ... more
DVD: Life in Cold Blood, produced by David Attenborough
A British TV legend proves, with never weakening enthusiasm and stunning scenery, that skilfull knowledge transfer hasn’t anything to do with excessive special effects ... more
Built by Animals, written by Mike Hansell
While posing countless interesting and profound questions about the technical skills of animals, the author, an emeritus professor of animal architecture, unfortunately fails to answer them ... more
Alice Roberts
The Incredible Human Journey 2 DVDs ... more
Petra Seeger
In Search of Memory. The Neuroscientist Eric Kandel.
To be released as a special edition double DVD in May 2010 ... more
By M. Ruse & R. J. Richards (Eds.)
The Cambridge Companion to “The Origin of Species” ... more
Colin Tudge
The Link: Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestor ... more
Jennifer Rohn
Experimental Heart ... more
David Goodsell
The Machinery of Life ... more
Jeffrey Lockwood
Six-legged Soldiers ... more
Peter Badge
Nobels ... more
S. Stearns and J. Koella
Evolution in Health and Disease ... more
Charles Darwin (edited by Frederick Burkhardt)
The Beagle Letters more
Wolfgang Stuppy and Rob Kesseler
Fruit ... more
Calendars
Three great 2009 calendars for life scientists and nature lovers ... more
K.C. Nicolaou & T. Montagnon
Molecules that Changed the World ... more
Jürgen Tautz, Photographs Helga Heilmann
The Buzz about Bess - Biology of a Superorganism ... more
Rosa Margesin et al.
Psychrophiles. From Biodiversity to Biotechnology ... more
Ralph Rapley and David Whitehouse (eds.)
Molecular Forensics ... more
Tibor Braun (ed.)
The Impact Factor of Scientific and Scholarly Journals ... more
Eric Bertrand & Michel Faupel (eds.)
Subcellular Proteomics ... more
Victor R. Alekseev et al.
Diapause in Aquatic Invertebrates: Theory and Human Use (2.2008) ... more
Reinhard Renneberg
Biotechnology for Beginners (2.2008) ... more
Luis M.Chiappe
Glorifed Dinosaurs (1.2008) ... more
G. Gottsberger & I. Silberbauer-Gottsberger
Life in the Cerrado (5.2007)ext ... more
Sapid Science
New Publications (4.2007) ... more
Thomas Hager
The Demon under the Microscope (4.2007) ... more
Matt Ridley
Francis Crick: Discoverer of the Genetic Code (3.2007) ... more
Kesseler/Stuppy
Seeds - Time Capsules of Life (3.2007) ... more
Nicolas Fraser & Douglas Henderson
Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2.2007) ... more
Timothy D. Veenstra & John R. Yates
Proteomics for Biological Discovery (2.2007) ... more
Michael Stebbins
Sex, Drugs & DNA (1.2007) ... more