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Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture (DIY Science) 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1449396596
ISBN-10: 1449396593
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert Bruce Thompson is a coauthor of Building the Perfect PC, Astronomy Hacks, and the Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders. Thompson built his first computer in 1976 from discrete chips. It had 256 bytes of memory, used toggle switches and LEDs for I/O, ran at less than 1MHz, and had no operating system. Since then, he has bought, built, upgraded, and repaired hundreds of PCs for himself, employers, customers, friends, and clients. Robert spends most clear, moonless nights outdoors with his 10-inch Dobsonian reflector telescope, and is currently designing a larger, computerized, truss-tube Dobsonian that he plans to build.

Barbara Fritchman Thompson is, with her husband Robert, the co-author of numerous books about computers, science, and technology. With her Masters in Library Science and twenty years' experience as a public librarian, Barbara is the research half of our writing team.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Series: DIY Science
  • Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Maker Media, Inc; 1 edition (April 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449396593
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449396596
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

From the Publisher

Illustrated Guide to Home Forensic Science Experiments Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments
Number of Experiments 109 83 64
Key Topics Lab Safety, Soil Analysis, Hair and Fiber Analysis, Glass and Plastic Analysis, Detecting Blood and Fingerprints, Drug Testing and Toxicology, Gunshot and Explosives Analysis Lab Safety, Microsms, Carbohydrates, Lipids, Proteins, Enzymes, Vitamins, DNA, Chlorophyll, Photosynthesis, Osmosis, Plants, Air Quality, Genetics, Culturing Bacteria, Antibiotic Resistance, Protists, Fungi, Invertebrates, and Vertebrates Lab Safety, Solutions, Colloids, Suspensions, Chemical Reactions, Redox Reactions, Acid-Base Chemistry, Chemical Kinetics, Gas, Thermochemistry, Electrochemistry, Photochemistry, Qualitative Analysis, Quantitative Analysis, Synthesizing Compounds
Some of the Equipment You'll Work With Magnifier, Microscope, Camera, Balance, Laboratory Glassware, Audio Recorder, Light Filters, Fuming Chambers, Reaction Plate Microscope, Culturing Equipment, Microtome, Dehydrator, Balance, Laboratory Glassware, Reaction Plate, Thermometer, pH Meter/Test Paper Laboratory Glassware, Crucibles, Mortar and Pestle, Reaction Plate, Balance, Lamp, Burner, Hotplate, Thermometer, Battery, Chromatography Paper
Optional Equipment Scanner, Photomicrography, Spectrometer, UV Light Source Spectrophotometer, Ultracentrifuge, DNA Processing Equipment Barometer, Separatory Funnel, Timer, Magnifier
Experiment You'll Tell Your Friends About Producing gunshot residue specimens Extracting and Visualizing DNA Use the Sherlock Holmes Test to Detect Blood
Experiment You Won't Tell Your Family About Testing currency for cocaine and methamphetamine Assaying Vitamin C Concentration in Urine Prepare a Flammable Gelled Sol

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Robert Bruce Thompson and his wife Barbara Fritchman Thompson are now focusing on the home school market. After writing primarily about computers and astronomy for years, they are writing science lab books for the home school market. Their first book for that market was Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments, this one is covers building a home lab for biology experiments. This is not a biology text, as the subheading states, "All Lab, No Lecture." They also sell kits to supply materials for the lab experiments for each book in the Home Experiments series.

In spite of the statement "All Lab, No Lecture," there is a great deal of prose in the book, all of it written in clear, insightful style. Few writers can match the clarity and economy of the Thompsons' writing.

The book begins with instructions on setting up a lab, including chapter and verse on microscopes, culture, histology, and general laboratory equipment. There is basic instruction in using a microscope, mounting and staining specimens. Chemist that he is, Robert then spends time in labs exploring acids, bases, buffers, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, enzymes, and vitamins.

In all, there are 33 labs listed, with multiple procedures within each lab.
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Format: Paperback
A few days ago, Mr. Jack Andraka, was awarded the $75,000 Gordon E. Moore Award for inventing a new way to detect pancreatic cancer, which uses a paper-based sensor that can be dipped into blood or urine, is 90 percent accurate, costs three cents to make, and takes five minutes to run. That means his test is 28 times faster, 28 times less expensive, and over 100 times more sensitive than current testing practices. He invented the test in five months, start to finish, after his uncle died from the disease. The kicker? The Moore Award is for high-school science fairs. Mr. Andraka is a freshman. He is 15 years old. So how can you raise your own, young Jack Andraka?

Well, one great way to start is to get a new book in the O'Reilly "DIY Science" series, Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments. The book explains, in clear and straightforward ways, how to run your own biology lab experiments in your own home. There are chapters on how to set up your own, for-real laboratory at home, how to use a microscope, and other basic techniques. Then, a long series of chapters walks you (and your young Dexter) through experiments and studies for the entire range of biology: from Osmosis, to DNA Separation, to Cell Division, to studying Proteins, Enzymes, and Vitamins, and much more.

After you go through all of these experiments, you would be well on your way to becoming a scientist (or at least a lab technician) in your own right. Note that Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments is not really for young children, as biology itself gets pretty complicated. But you and your child should at least gain a broad and practical understanding of the wonders of the living world around us. And maybe, just maybe, you'll be on your way to changing the world. Just like Jack Andraka.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ever since the authors wrote the "Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments" I have been eagerly awaiting this book. Both books are exceptionally well written for all levels of experience. I use these books for self education to expand my knowledge on various topics and conduct my own experiments and these are perfect for me.

This book is laid out succinctly with abundant illustrations and numerous suggestions for keeping your expenses to a minimum. Very much appreciated. I have a lot of books on self taught biology and this is by far the best. If you do like this resource, you should also check out the associated chemistry book.

I now eagerly await their book regarding Forensic science and experiments, which has been previously hinted about.
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Format: Paperback
This excellent guide to home based microbiological experimentation provides clear instruction and excellent pedagogy for the maker/hobbyist and for homeschooling. The equipment, mostly microscopy, and its selection is clearly described, as are the procedures for all experiments. Full description and instruction is provided around each experiment, and thought-based factual and essay questions are provided for education and enlightenment. This book is excellent in the fun and education it offers, as is the companion volume on home chemistry experiments.

I have only two caveats to offer about this excellent handbook: Firstly, some may prefer or choose to supplement its pedagogy with a clear hierarchical description of the corresponding biology taught in a more lecture/traditional text form to supplement the experiments. Also, despite the title the book concentrates exclusively on microbiology as opposed to other biology experiments that might be performed at home, such as dissection of plants and animals visible to the naked eye, experiments involving bioluminescence, or the production of cellulose from the fermentation of kambucha.

A thoroughly educational and simultaneously entertaining introduction to microbiology for the home Maker and for in-home education.

--Ira Laefsky
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