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Thieves, Deceivers and Killers : Tales of Chemistry in Nature (01 Edition)

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Thieves, Deceivers and Killers : Tales of Chemistry in Nature (01 Edition) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

The tobacco plant synthesizes nicotine to protect itself from herbivores. The female moth broadcasts sex pheromones to attract a mate, while a soldier ant deploys an alarm pheromone to call for help. The carbon dioxide on a mammal's breath beckons hungry ticks and mosquitoes, while a flower's fragrance speaks to the honey bee. Indeed, much of the communication that occurs within and between various species of organisms is done not by sight, sound, or touch, but with chemicals. From mating to parenting, foraging to self-defense, plant and animal activities are accomplished largely by the secretion or exchange of organic chemicals. The fascinating and fast-developing science that encompasses these diverse phenomena is introduced here, by William Agosta, in a series of remarkable stories absolutely accessible to the general reader yet revelatory to chemists and biologists.

Among Agosta's characters are the organisms that steal, counterfeit, or interpret the chemical signals of other species for their own ends. We learn of seeds that mimic ant odors to facilitate their own dispersion and flies that follow the scent of truffles to lay their eggs. We read about pit vipers that react in terror when their flicking tongues detect a king snake, and slave-making ants incapable of finding their own food. And we meet ice-age people who ate birch fungus to relieve whipworms and early human hunters who used the urine of wolves to maneuver deer to favorable sites.

Agosta also chronicles the rapid development of the applied science that makes use of chemical ecology. As researchers deepen our understanding of the biological world, they are making economically significant discoveries (such as enzymes that remain stable in extreme heat), finding ways to reduce our reliance on manufactured pesticides, identifying new uses for traditional medicines, and developing sophisticated new pharmaceuticals effective in treating malaria and several cancers. On the horizon are antiviral agents derived from the chemical defenses of marine species.

From the exploits of flies to the high-stakes effort to cure human disease, Agosta's tour of chemical ecology grants any reader entrance to the invisible realm where chemistry determines life and death.

Synopsis:

"Thieves, Deceivers, and Killers is elegantly written and a joy to read. I strongly recommend it."--James Gould, Princeton University

"This book is a significant contribution to the rapidly developing field of chemical ecology. Although written primarily for the nonscientist, it will be useful to scientists, particularly those who are not active workers in the field of chemical ecology. And even chemical ecologists may find new and fascinating information previously unknown to them because the field is so broadly based on all living organisms."--James Nation, editor, Journal of Chemical Ecology

Synopsis:

The tobacco plant synthesizes nicotine to protect itself from herbivores. The female moth broadcasts sex pheromones to attract a mate, while a soldier ant deploys an alarm pheromone to call for help. The carbon dioxide on a mammal's breath beckons hungry ticks and mosquitoes, while a flower's fragrance speaks to the honey bee. Indeed, much of the communication that occurs within and between various species of organisms is done not by sight, sound, or touch, but with chemicals. From mating to parenting, foraging to self-defense, plant and animal activities are accomplished largely by the secretion or exchange of organic chemicals. The fascinating and fast-developing science that encompasses these diverse phenomena is introduced here, by William Agosta, in a series of remarkable stories absolutely accessible to the general reader yet revelatory to chemists and biologists.

Among Agosta's characters are the organisms that steal, counterfeit, or interpret the chemical signals of other species for their own ends. We learn of seeds that mimic ant odors to facilitate their own dispersion and flies that follow the scent of truffles to lay their eggs. We read about pit vipers that react in terror when their flicking tongues detect a king snake, and slave-making ants incapable of finding their own food. And we meet ice-age people who ate birch fungus to relieve whipworms and early human hunters who used the urine of wolves to maneuver deer to favorable sites.

Agosta also chronicles the rapid development of the applied science that makes use of chemical ecology. As researchers deepen our understanding of the biological world, they are making economically significant discoveries (such as enzymes that remain stable in extreme heat), finding ways to reduce our reliance on manufactured pesticides, identifying new uses for traditional medicines, and developing sophisticated new pharmaceuticals effective in treating malaria and several cancers. On the horizon are antiviral agents derived from the chemical defenses of marine species.

From the exploits of flies to the high-stakes effort to cure human disease, Agosta's tour of chemical ecology grants any reader entrance to the invisible realm where chemistry determines life and death.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Protos and Their Slaves 3

Chapter 1: From Protos and Lepts to Nature's Special Chemicals 9

Chapter 2: Paying Ants for Transportation 25

Chapter 3: Getting Pollinated 39

Chapter 4: Files and the Misery They Bring 59

Chapter 5: Eavesdropping as a Way of Life 79

Chapter 6: Success through Mimicry and Theft 97

Chapter 7: Bacteria: Chemical Complexities in Simple Cells 117

Chapter 8: Delving into Nature's Chemicals 135

Chapter 9: Stocking the Medicine Chest 153

Chapter 10. Loose Ends and New Beginnings 173

Chapter 11. Complexity in the Real World 189

Chapter 12: Capitalizing on Ecology 211

Glossary 221

Further Reading 227

Index 233

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691092737
Author:
Agosta, William
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton, N.J.
Subject:
Ecology
Subject:
Chemical ecology.
Subject:
Life Sciences - Ecology
Subject:
Life Sciences - Biology - General
Subject:
Biology
Subject:
Biological Sciences.
Subject:
Biochemistry
Subject:
Environmental Studies-Environment
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
February 2002
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
18 halftones
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 12 oz

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Related Subjects


Reference » Science Reference » Technology
Science and Mathematics » Biology » General
Science and Mathematics » Chemistry » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General

Thieves, Deceivers and Killers : Tales of Chemistry in Nature (01 Edition) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.00 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691092737 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "Thieves, Deceivers, and Killers is elegantly written and a joy to read. I strongly recommend it."--James Gould, Princeton University

"This book is a significant contribution to the rapidly developing field of chemical ecology. Although written primarily for the nonscientist, it will be useful to scientists, particularly those who are not active workers in the field of chemical ecology. And even chemical ecologists may find new and fascinating information previously unknown to them because the field is so broadly based on all living organisms."--James Nation, editor, Journal of Chemical Ecology

"Synopsis" by , The tobacco plant synthesizes nicotine to protect itself from herbivores. The female moth broadcasts sex pheromones to attract a mate, while a soldier ant deploys an alarm pheromone to call for help. The carbon dioxide on a mammal's breath beckons hungry ticks and mosquitoes, while a flower's fragrance speaks to the honey bee. Indeed, much of the communication that occurs within and between various species of organisms is done not by sight, sound, or touch, but with chemicals. From mating to parenting, foraging to self-defense, plant and animal activities are accomplished largely by the secretion or exchange of organic chemicals. The fascinating and fast-developing science that encompasses these diverse phenomena is introduced here, by William Agosta, in a series of remarkable stories absolutely accessible to the general reader yet revelatory to chemists and biologists.

Among Agosta's characters are the organisms that steal, counterfeit, or interpret the chemical signals of other species for their own ends. We learn of seeds that mimic ant odors to facilitate their own dispersion and flies that follow the scent of truffles to lay their eggs. We read about pit vipers that react in terror when their flicking tongues detect a king snake, and slave-making ants incapable of finding their own food. And we meet ice-age people who ate birch fungus to relieve whipworms and early human hunters who used the urine of wolves to maneuver deer to favorable sites.

Agosta also chronicles the rapid development of the applied science that makes use of chemical ecology. As researchers deepen our understanding of the biological world, they are making economically significant discoveries (such as enzymes that remain stable in extreme heat), finding ways to reduce our reliance on manufactured pesticides, identifying new uses for traditional medicines, and developing sophisticated new pharmaceuticals effective in treating malaria and several cancers. On the horizon are antiviral agents derived from the chemical defenses of marine species.

From the exploits of flies to the high-stakes effort to cure human disease, Agosta's tour of chemical ecology grants any reader entrance to the invisible realm where chemistry determines life and death.

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