The Visitors of Ants
Bert Hölldobler & Christina L. Kwapich Belknap (2022)
Ants are “simply fooled”, write Bert Hölldobler and Christina Kwapich of their profoundly researched, gloriously illustrated treatise on ant symbiosis. Different organisms — together with micro organism, butterflies, fungi and spiders — “can circumvent or break their code and exploit the social acquisitions of ant societies”, for instance by coming into colonies and masquerading as ants, so their hosts can not distinguish buddy from foe. Hölldobler’s erstwhile co-author E. O. Wilson, who died final yr, admired this enchanting e book as a “true basic”.
Contained in the Orphan Drug Revolution
James A. Geraghty Chilly Spring Harbor Laboratory Press (2022)
An ‘orphan’ illness is a uncommon situation that has been deserted by the pharmaceutical trade. Fewer than 10 medicine had been authorised for orphan illnesses in the USA within the Seventies — however because the 1983 Orphan Drug Act, there have been greater than 900. Some have been developed by biotech firms the place entrepreneur James Geraghty has held senior roles over 4 a long time. His informative, generally passionate, account mixes sufferers’ struggles with enterprise, drugs, politics and know-how.
Lulu Yilun Chen Hodder & Stoughton (2022)
In 2017, Chinese language firm Tencent overtook Fb financially. Based in 1998 by Pony Ma, it merges the capabilities of Deliveroo, Fb, PayPal, TikTok, Uber, WhatsApp and Yahoo into the super-app WeChat, notes reporter Lulu Chen. Her insider historical past, based mostly on intensive interviews however discreetly unillustrated, wrestles with the tortured relationship between the Web and China’s authorities. She predicts that Tencent’s future can be oriented — like an “overconfident dragon” — extra in the direction of China than the remainder of the world.
Kathryn Harkup Bloomsbury (2022)
Movies starring undercover agent James Bond are well-known for his or her know-how. However how dependable is their science? Kathryn Harkup — a chemist turned writer — supplies a trendy reply, movie by movie. For instance, when writer Ian Fleming printed Goldfinger in 1959, lasers didn’t exist. When its adaptation appeared in 1964, they did. The film confirmed a ruby laser making a demise ray. In actuality, demise would have required a carbon dioxide laser producing infrared radiation, invisible to audiences.
Junaid Mubeen Profile (2022)
For many of historical past, arithmetic has been outlined by calculation — whether or not with stones, slide guidelines or computer systems. This “false coupling” is why, argues mathematician and educator Junaid Mubeen, many concern that the rising calculative energy of synthetic intelligence (AI) will overwhelm mathematicians. His clever evaluation explains why computer systems will at all times complement, not change, individuals. “Human information”, he says, “is embodied, emotive and subjective” — which may by no means be true of computer systems and AI.
The writer declares no competing pursuits.