Napoleon's Buttons

17 Molecules that Changed History

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Author: Penny Le Couteur,Jay Burreson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781585423316

Category: Science

Page: 375

View: 8464

Examines the roles that the molecular properties of such items as the birth control pill, caffeine, and the buttons on the uniforms of Napoleon's army have played in the course of history.

Napoleon's Buttons

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Author: Penny Le Couteur,Jay Burreson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781440650321

Category: Science

Page: 384

View: 7447

Napoleon's Buttons is the fascinating account of seventeen groups of molecules that have greatly influenced the course of history. These molecules provided the impetus for early exploration, and made possible the voyages of discovery that ensued. The molecules resulted in grand feats of engineering and spurred advances in medicine and law; they determined what we now eat, drink, and wear. A change as small as the position of an atom can lead to enormous alterations in the properties of a substance-which, in turn, can result in great historical shifts. With lively prose and an eye for colorful and unusual details, Le Couteur and Burreson offer a novel way to understand the shaping of civilization and the workings of our contemporary world.

The Demon Under the Microscope

From Battlefield Hospitals to Nazi Labs, One Doctor's Heroic Search for the World's First Miracle Drug

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Author: Thomas Hager

Publisher: Broadway Books

ISBN: 1400082145

Category: Science

Page: 340

View: 805

A sweeping history of the discovery of the world's first antibiotic, sulfa, and its seminal influence on the fields of medicine and science looks at key figures in the battle against disease, how sulfa changed the way in which doctors treated patients, and how it transformed how new drugs are developed, approved, and sold. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.

The Disappearing Spoon

And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

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Author: Sam Kean

Publisher: Little, Brown

ISBN: 9780316089081

Category: Science

Page: 400

View: 6716

From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes incredible stories of science, history, finance, mythology, the arts, medicine, and more, as told by the Periodic Table. Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why is gallium (Ga, 31) the go-to element for laboratory pranksters?* The Periodic Table is a crowning scientific achievement, but it's also a treasure trove of adventure, betrayal, and obsession. These fascinating tales follow every element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, and in the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. THE DISAPPEARING SPOON masterfully fuses science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, and discovery--from the Big Bang through the end of time. *Though solid at room temperature, gallium is a moldable metal that melts at 84 degrees Fahrenheit. A classic science prank is to mold gallium spoons, serve them with tea, and watch guests recoil as their utensils disappear.

Molecules That Changed the World

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Author: K. C. Nicolaou,Tamsyn Montagnon

Publisher: Wiley-VCH

ISBN: 9783527309832

Category: Science

Page: 385

View: 3011

K.C. Nicolaou - Winner of the Nemitsas Prize 2014 in Chemistry Here, the best-selling author and renowned researcher, K. C. Nicolaou, presents around 40 natural products that all have an enormous impact on our everyday life. Printed in full color throughout with a host of pictures, this book is written in the author's very enjoyable and distinct style, such that each chapter is full of interesting and entertaining information on the facts, stories and people behind the scenes. Molecules covered span the healthy and useful, as well as the much-needed and extremely toxic, including Aspirin, urea, camphor, morphine, strychnine, penicillin, vitamin B12, Taxol, Brevetoxin and quinine. A veritable pleasure to read.

Periodic Tales

A Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc

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Author: Hugh Aldersey-Williams

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 006207881X

Category: Science

Page: 448

View: 7965

In the spirit of A Short History of Nearly Everything comes Periodic Tales. Award-winning science writer Hugh Andersey-Williams offers readers a captivating look at the elements—and the amazing, little-known stories behind their discoveries. Periodic Tales is an energetic and wide-ranging book of innovations and innovators, of superstition and science and the myriad ways the chemical elements are woven into our culture, history, and language. It will delight readers of Genome, Einstein’s Dreams, Longitude, and The Age of Wonder.

Uncle Tungsten

Memories of a Chemical Boyhood

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Author: Oliver Sacks

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0804172153

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 352

View: 8594

Long before Oliver Sacks became a distinguished neurologist and bestselling writer, he was a small English boy fascinated by metals–also by chemical reactions (the louder and smellier the better), photography, squids and cuttlefish, H.G. Wells, and the periodic table. In this endlessly charming and eloquent memoir, the author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Awakenings chronicles his love affair with science and the magnificently odd and sometimes harrowing childhood in which that love affair unfolded. In Uncle Tungsten we meet Sacks’ extraordinary family, from his surgeon mother (who introduces the fourteen-year-old Oliver to the art of human dissection) and his father, a family doctor who imbues in his son an early enthusiasm for housecalls, to his “Uncle Tungsten,” whose factory produces tungsten-filament lightbulbs. We follow the young Oliver as he is exiled at the age of six to a grim, sadistic boarding school to escape the London Blitz, and later watch as he sets about passionately reliving the exploits of his chemical heroes–in his own home laboratory. Uncle Tungsten is a crystalline view of a brilliant young mind springing to life, a story of growing up which is by turns elegiac, comic, and wistful, full of the electrifying joy of discovery.

Cathedrals of Science

The Personalities and Rivalries That Made Modern Chemistry

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Author: Patrick Coffey

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199886547

Category: Science

Page: 400

View: 7648

In Cathedrals of Science, Patrick Coffey describes how chemistry got its modern footing-how thirteen brilliant men and one woman struggled with the laws of the universe and with each other. They wanted to discover how the world worked, but they also wanted credit for making those discoveries, and their personalities often affected how that credit was assigned. Gilbert Lewis, for example, could be reclusive and resentful, and his enmity with Walther Nernst may have cost him the Nobel Prize; Irving Langmuir, gregarious and charming, "rediscovered" Lewis's theory of the chemical bond and received much of the credit for it. Langmuir's personality smoothed his path to the Nobel Prize over Lewis. Coffey deals with moral and societal issues as well. These same scientists were the first to be seen by their countries as military assets. Fritz Haber, dubbed the "father of chemical warfare," pioneered the use of poison gas in World War I-vividly described-and Glenn Seaborg and Harold Urey were leaders in World War II's Manhattan Project; Urey and Linus Pauling worked for nuclear disarmament after the war. Science was not always fair, and many were excluded. The Nazis pushed Jewish scientists like Haber from their posts in the 1930s. Anti-Semitism was also a force in American chemistry, and few women were allowed in; Pauling, for example, used his influence to cut off the funding and block the publications of his rival, Dorothy Wrinch. Cathedrals of Science paints a colorful portrait of the building of modern chemistry from the late 19th to the mid-20th century.

The Elements of Murder

A History of Poison

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Author: John Emsley

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780192806000

Category: Health & Fitness

Page: 418

View: 1312

A fascinating account of the five most toxic elements describes the lethal chemical properties of arsenic, antimony, lead, mercury, and thallium, as well as their use in some of the most famous murder cases in history, with profiles of such deadly poisoners as Mary Ann Cotton, Michael Swango, and Saddam Hussein and a look at modern-day environmental catastrophes.

Every Molecule Tells a Story

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Author: Simon Cotton

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 1439807744

Category: Medical

Page: 280

View: 7891

From cooking to medicine, from engineering to art, chemistry—the science of molecules—is everywhere. A celebration of the molecules of chemistry, Every Molecule Tells a Story celebrates the molecules responsible for the experiences of everyday life: the air we breathe; the water we drink; the chemicals that fuel our living; the steroids that give us sex; the colours of the seasons; the drugs that heal us; and the scented molecules that enrich our diet and our encounters with each other. You can’t see them, but you know that they are there. Unveiling the structures of poisonous "natural" substances and beneficial man-made molecules, this book brushes away any preconceived notions about chemistry to demonstrate why and how molecules matter.

Culinary Reactions

The Everyday Chemistry of Cooking

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Author: Simon Quellen Field

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

ISBN: 1569769605

Category: Cooking

Page: 288

View: 5484

"When you're cooking, you're a chemist! Every time you follow or modify a recipe you are experimenting with acids and bases, emulsions and suspensions, gels and foams. In your kitchen you denature proteins, crystallize compounds, react enzymes with substrates, and nurture desired microbial life while suppressing harmful microbes. And unlike in a laboratory, you can eat your experiments to verify your hypotheses. In Culinary Reactions, author Simon Field explores the chemistry behind the recipes you follow every day. How does altering the ratio of flour, sugar, yeast, salt, butter, and water affect how high bread rises? Why is whipped cream made with nitrous oxide rather than the more common carbon dioxide? And why does Hollandaise sauce call for "clarified" butter? This easy-to-follow primer even includes recipes to demonstrate the concepts being discussed, including Whipped Creamsicle Topping (a foam), Cherry Dream Cheese (a protein gel), and Lemonade with Chameleon Eggs (an acid indicator). It even shows you how to extract DNA from a Halloween pumpkin. You'll never look at your graduated cylinders, Bunsen burners, and beakers -- er, measuring cups, stovetop burners, and mixing bowls -- the same way again"--

Molecules and Medicine

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Author: E. J. Corey,Barbara Czakó,L?szl? K?rti

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118361733

Category: Science

Page: 272

View: 2320

Molecules and Medicine provides, for the first time ever, a completely integrated look at chemistry, biology, drug discovery, and medicine. It delves into the discovery, application, and mode of action of more than one hundred of the most significant molecules in use in modern medicine. Opening sections of the book provide a unique, clear, and concise introduction, which enables readers to understand chemical formulas.

Why There's Antifreeze in Your Toothpaste

The Chemistry of Household Ingredients

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Author: Simon Quellen Field

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

ISBN: 1569766827

Category: House & Home

Page: 288

View: 4061

A Selection of the Scientific American Book Club Explaining why antifreeze is a component of toothpaste and how salt works in shampoo, this fascinating handbook delves into the chemistry of everyday household products. Decoding more than 150 cryptic ingredients, the guide explains each component's structural formula, offers synonymous names, and describes its common uses. This informative resource can serve curious readers as a basic primer to commercial chemistry or as an indexed reference for specific compounds found on a product label. Grouped according to type, these chemical descriptions will dissolve common misunderstandings and help make consumers more product savvy.

That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles

65 All New Commentaries on the Fascinating C

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Author: Joe Schwarcz

Publisher: ECW Press

ISBN: 1554905362

Category: Science

Page: 273

View: 1590

Explanations of everyday science are offered in a study that covers everything from helium, mercury in teeth, and soap.

Molecules at an Exhibition

Portraits of Intriguing Materials in Everyday Life

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Author: John Emsley

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 9780192862068

Category: Science

Page: 250

View: 4870

Discusses interesting chemicals, such as the smelliest, most lethal, and most versatile, in a non-technical style that covers each chemical's importance without using formulas, equations, or diagrams

More Molecules of Murder

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Author: John Emsley

Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry

ISBN: 1788011031

Category: Law

Page: 272

View: 5383

How can a plant as beautiful as the foxglove be so deadly and yet for more than a century be used to treat heart disease? The same is true of other naturally occurring molecules as will be revealed in this current book by award-winning author and chemist, John Emsley. More Molecules of Murder follows on from his highly-acclaimed earlier book Molecules of Murder, and again it deals with 14 potential poisons; seven of which are man-made and seven of which are natural. It investigates the crimes committed with them, not from the point of view of the murderers, their victims, or the detectives, but from the poison used. In so doing it throws new light on how these crimes were carried out and ultimately how the perpetrators were uncovered and brought to justice. Each chapter starts by looking at the target molecule itself, its discovery, its chemistry, its often-surprising use in medicine, its effects on the human body, and its toxicology. The rest of the chapter is devoted to murders and attempted murders in which it has been used. But, be reassured that murder by poison is not the threat it once was, thanks to laws which restrict access to such materials and to the skills of analytical chemists in detecting their presence in incredibly tiny amounts.

Molecules of Murder

Criminal Molecules and Classic Cases

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Author: John Emsley

Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry

ISBN: 1782627995

Category: Science

Page: 252

View: 4982

Molecules of Murder is about infamous murderers and famous victims; about people like Harold Shipman, Alexander Litvinenko, Adelaide Bartlett, and Georgi Markov. Few books on poisons analyse these crimes from the viewpoint of the poison itself, doing so throws a new light on how the murders or attempted murders were carried out and ultimately how the perpetrators were uncovered and brought to justice. Part I includes molecules which occur naturally and were originally used by doctors before becoming notorious as murder weapons. Part II deals with unnatural molecules, mainly man-made, and they too have been dangerously misused in famous crimes. The book ends with the most famous poisoning case in recent years, that of Alexander Litvinenko and his death from polonium chloride. The first half of each chapter starts by looking at the target molecule itself, its discovery, its history, its chemistry, its use in medicine, its toxicology, and its effects on the human body. The second half then investigates a famous murder case and reveals the modus operandi of the poisoner and how some were caught, some are still at large, and some literally got away with murder. Molecules of Murder will explain how forensic chemists have developed cunning ways to detect minute traces of dangerous substances, and explain why some of these poisons, which appear so life-threatening, are now being researched as possible life-savers. Award winning science writer John Emsley has assembled another group of true crime and chemistry stories to rival those of his highly acclaimed Elements of Murder.

Mauve

How one man invented a colour that changed the world

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Author: Simon Garfield

Publisher: Canongate Books

ISBN: 1786892790

Category: History

Page: 216

View: 1706

1856. Eighteen-year-old chemistry student William Perkin's experiment has gone horribly wrong. But the deep brown sludge his botched project has produced has an unexpected power: the power to dye everything it touches a brilliant purple. Perkin has discovered mauve, the world's first synthetic dye, bridging a gap between pure chemistry and industry which will change the world forever. From the fetching ribbons soon tying back the hair on every fashionable head in London, to the laboratories in which scientists first scrutinized the human chromosome under the microscope, leading all the way to the development of modern vaccines against cancer and malaria, Simon Garfield's landmark work swirls together science and social history to tell the story of how one colour became a sensation.

Seven Elements That Have Changed The World

Iron, Carbon, Gold, Silver, Uranium, Titanium, Silicon

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Author: John Browne

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0297868063

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 4589

'Fascinating and enjoyable ... enthused with insight' - Brian Cox Uranium, carbon, iron, titanium, gold, silver and silicon - former BP CEO John Browne explains how seven elements are shaping the 21st century, for good and for bad. Humans have put the Earth's resources to extraordinary use, but not always for the benefit of humankind. SEVEN ELEMENTS vividly describes how iron, carbon, gold, silver, uranium, titanium and silicon have shaped the world around us - for good and for bad. This book takes you on an adventure of human passion, ingenuity and discovery, but it is a journey that is far from over: we continue to find surprising new uses for each of these seven key elements. Discover how titanium pervades modern consumer society, how natural gas is transforming the global energy sector and how an innovative new form of carbon could be starting a technological revolution. SEVEN ELEMENTS is a unique mix of science, history and politics, interwoven with the author's extensive personal and professional experience.

The Botany of Desire

A Plant's-eye View of the World

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Author: Michael Pollan

Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks

ISBN: 0375760393

Category: Gardening

Page: 271

View: 5461

Focusing on the human relationship with plants, the author of Second Nature uses botany to explore four basic human desires--sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control--through portraits of four plants that embody them: the apple, tulip, marijuana, and potato. 100,000 first printing.