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See Inside January 2012

Recommended: Sea

Books and recommendations from Scientific American



Courtesy of Sea, by Mark Laita, Abrams, 2011

Sea
by Mark Laita. Abrams, 2011

See sea horses, stingrays, octopuses, nudibranchs and other marine creatures as you have never seen them before. Photographer Mark Laita borrowed a veritable ark of specimens to shoot in the black aquarium he built in his studio in Los Angeles. The result is a mesmerizing series of portraits of those enigmatic denizens of the deep.

The Wandering Gene and the Indian Princess
by Jeff Wheelwright. W. W. Norton, 2012

In 1999 a Hispano woman named Shonnie Medina died at the age of 28 after refusing surgery for breast cancer. Medina had been found to carry a dangerous breast cancer mutation called BRCA1 185delAG that is associated with Jewish ancestry. Journalist Jeff Wheelwright tells the story of this gene and how the Medinas—previously unaware of their background—came to inherit it.

A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing
by Lawrence M. Krauss. Free Press, 2012

Theoretical physicist Lawrence M. Krauss skewers the notion that creation requires a creator. Mounting evidence from cosmology, particle theory and gravitation, he asserts, indicates that not only could our universe have arisen from nothing but that nothingness might have been required for its origin. Krauss discusses the possible implications of these findings for predicting what the future holds.

Dirty Minds: How Our Brains Influence Love, Sex and Relationships
by Kayt Sukel. Free Press, 2012

Journalist Kayt Sukel delves into the latest neurobiological research to explore what, exactly, love is and why it makes us do crazy things. This is no self-help book, however. In exploring such topics as monogamy, the parent-child bond, pheromones, and male and female responses to pornography, Sukel reveals just how complex and mysterious our brains really are.

ALSO NOTABLE

BOOKS
The Sounding of the Whale,
by D. Graham Burnett. University of Chicago Press, 2012

The Infinity Puzzle: Quantum Field Theory and the Hunt for an Orderly Universe,
by Frank Close. Basic Books, 2011

Memory: Fragments of a Modern History,
by Alison Winter. University of Chicago Press, 2011

The Life of Super-Earths: How the Hunt for Alien Worlds and Artificial Cells Will Revolutionize Life on Our Planet,
by Dimitar Sasselov. Basic Books, 2012

Evolution’s Witness: How Eyes Evolved,
by Ivan R. Schwab. Oxford University Press, 2011

Time Travel and Warp Drives,
by Allen Everett and Thomas Roman. University of Chicago Press, 2011

Deep History: The Architecture of Past and Present,
by Andrew Shryock and Daniel Lord Smail. University of California Press, 2011

Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter,
by Terrence W. Deacon. W. W. Norton, 2011

APPS

Swift Explorer.
NASA’s Swift mission team, 2011 (gratis).
For iPad/iPhone

Mammals of North America.
Princeton University Press, 2011
For iPhone/iPad/Android

This article was originally published with the title "Recommended."

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