Oct 22, 2012 — By some counts of human history, the number of humans on Earth may have skidded so sharply that we were down to just 1,000 reproductive adults. And a supervolcano might have been to blame.
Sep 28, 2012 — When William Buckland was a kid, an undergraduate at Oxford in the late 1790s, he pulled a prank that was so rude, so smart, and so biologically sophisticated for his day, he deserves a crown for The Best Use of Grass Ever.
Jul 23, 2012 — In The Violinist's Thumb, writer Sam Kean goes inside our genetic code, looking at the stories written by the fundamental building blocks within us. The book explains things like why some people can't handle drinking coffee and why some human babies are born with tails.
Jul 18, 2012 — Tsutomu Yamaguchi was late for work in August 1945, in Hiroshima, Japan, when he saw an airplane drop a silvery speck into the air. He survived the bombing only to make his way to Nagasaki three days later...just as that city was bombed, too.
Jul 17, 2012 — Sam Kean's The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code delves into the history of genetics, in the anecdotal and engaging mode of his previous exploration of the periodic table, The Disappearing Spoon.
May 24, 2012 — Critic Michael Schaub offers a sneak peek at some of the most hotly anticipated books of the summer: An Obama bio. A sparkling debut. Thrillers of both the fictional and body-science kind. Even Lincoln is reborn in this season of sun, sand, renewal — and reading.
Jul 9, 2011 — Ever wonder why supermarket tomatoes taste like nothing? Food writer Barry Estabrook's new book traces the troubled history of the modern commercial tomato.
Jun 28, 2011 — In his new book, Tomatoland, food writer Barry Estabrook details the life of the mass-produced tomato — and the environmental and human costs of the tomato industry. Today's tomatoes, he says, are bred for shipping and not for taste.
Oct 19, 2009 — Richard Powers' Generosity features a preternaturally buoyant Algerian refugee who is found to have a gene for happiness. Is joyousness catching? Reviewer Jane Ciabattari says it is.
Jun 6, 2008 — Futurist Ray Kurzweil explains the idea of the "singularity" — what happens when technology advances so much that it's impossible to predict what happens next. Will artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and biotechnology be able to completely reshape what it means to be human?