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The Best American Science Writing 2012 Original Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0062117915
ISBN-10: 0062117912
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Edited by Michio Kaku, cofounder of string field theory, theoretical physicist, and New York Times bestselling author, The Best American Science Writing 2012 is the latest edition of the popular annual series dedicated to collecting the most crucial, thought-provoking, and engaging science writing of the year. Culled from a wide variety of publications, these selections of outstanding journalism cover the full spectrum of scientific inquiry, providing a comprehensive overview of the most compelling, relevant, and exciting developments in the world of science. From climate change to public health, the origins of the universe to the wiring of the human brain, parallel universes to artificial intelligence, the world of science is vast and diverse, offering endless challenges and possibilities that provide new understanding of ourselves, our world, and our universe. Provocative and engaging, The Best American Science Writing 2012 reveals just how far science has brought us and where it is headed next.

About the Author

Dr. Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist and the cofounder of string field theory (a branch of string theory), and he continues Einstein’s search to unite the four fundamental forces of nature into one unified theory. He is also the New York Times bestselling author of seven books, including his most recent work, Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100.

Jesse Cohen is a writer and freelance editor. He lives in New York City.

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Product Details

  • Series: Best American Science Writing
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; Original edition (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062117912
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062117915
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Where can you witness the launch of the last manned space shuttle and engage with Siberian wolves that behave like dogs. It all happens in the pages of the Best American Science Writing, 2012 edition. I just received my paper copy and confess to already having read half the book. I was gripped and stirred and surprised by many of the essays as I was kept up at night finishing stories in the dim bedroom light when I should have been asleep. This year's collection is edited by Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist or string theorist to be more precise and the New York Times bestselling author of seven books.

If you have been burrowed in your lab studying a particular gene or been focused on discovering planets in other solar system; or between getting the kids to school and rushing to work were too busy to catch more than a few minutes of NPR while stuck on the freeway--this book is for you. It helps you catch up on exciting developments in science in the recent past in short digestible stories that can be savored by both scientists and non-scientists.

The second essay explains how the immune system is trained to kill cancer cells. It follows three people on a new clinical trial. Patient T cells are extracted and contacted with non replicating mutated AIDS viruses that contain genes to reprogram the T cells. An ingenious solution, as the AIDS virus naturally latches on to the T cell. The T cells now programmed to attack B cells carrying CD 19 start their battle. The patients initially suffered severe fever while the attack raged but then went into surprising remission. This held true for two of the three patients. The caveat was of course the small sample size.

In "The Last Shuttle Launch", PJ O'Rourke takes his seven year old son to see Atlantis soar into the sky.
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I read and review this series every year. What a great collection of articles Kaku selected! And this time, they don't follow the trend in recent years toward "soft" science. That doesn't mean it's hard to read, either.

Out of tens of hundreds of articles series editor Jesse Cohen sent to editor (and self-proclaimed science junkie) Michio Kaku, Kaku chose 23. He ordered the articles in this fashion: 1st - human biology, 2nd - the environment, 3rd - the space program, 4th - the universe, and 5th - where science collides with religion and sensitive societal issues.

*one of my favorites - "Mending the Youngest Hearts" by Gretchen Vogel, from "Science": Some babies are born with only one pumping chamber instead of two. They receive staged operations, starting, in part, with a new route from the inferior vena cava (IVC) to the pulmonary artery. Unfortunately, it has to be redone since the shunt won't grow with the child. Using stem cells, resorbing shunts, and multidisciplinary science, the new vessel now grows with the patient. Surprisingly, although the stem cells help get things started, they then disappear. The nonbiological part does, too, and the new vessel is eventually made from cells from the patient's own IVC.

*one of my favorites - "An Immune System Trained to Kill Cancer" by Denise Grady, from the "New York Times": More multidisciplinary science. Disabled HIV virus carries cancer-fighting genes into the patient's own T-cells. Doctors are using gene therapy to train a person's own immune system to kill cancer cells. It was a "Hail Mary" experimental treatment for Mr. Ludwig, who had chronic lymphocytic leukemia and was almost dead. Now he is in complete remission.
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This was a required text for a college general education science course, which I was not looking forward to as a non-STEM major. This book was surprisingly good, though! I actually enjoyed reading the articles, which were not too complicated for a lay person, and were very interesting!
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I buy the latest book in this series each year as it comes out. The articles are always fascinating and usually I would never find the information anywhere else. It makes a great Christmas gift for young and old as it comes out near the end of the year. Buy it yourself and see!
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A good read. A couple chapters were a bit technical for me and I have a masters degree!!!! But then again it is science writing. ;). Great way to keep up with current concepts and much more entertaining than a text book!!!!
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I really like this series however, this one seems to have just a hint of political consideration which I don't think belongs in serious writing about the natural sciences.
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Dr. Kaku assembled a beautifully diverse and insightful collection of writings. Much more than your normal collection of excellent lay science writing, it explores the intersection of science, philosophy, and religion. Well done.
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